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Supernova Twins: Making Standard Candles More Standard Than Ever

Type Ia supernovae are bright “standard candles” for measuring cosmic distances. Standard enough to discover dark energy, they’re far from identical. Researchers at the Berkeley Lab-based Nearby Supernova Factory have shown that supernova twins with closely matching spectra double the accuracy of distance measures.

2015 Nobel Prize in Physics Has Berkeley Lab Roots

Berkeley Lab scientists and engineers played important roles in the design and construction of SNO – the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory – as well as subsequent data analysis that contributed to the 2015 Nobel Prize in Physics awarded to Canada’s Arthur McDonald.

DESI, an Ambitious Probe of Dark Energy, Achieves its Next Major Milestone

The U.S. Department of Energy has announced approval of Critical Decision 2 (CD–2), authorizing the scientific scope, schedule, and funding profile of DESI, the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument, an exceptional apparatus designed to improve our understanding of the role of dark energy in the expansion history of the universe.

Best Precision Yet for Neutrino Measurements at Daya Bay

In the Daya Bay region of China a research project is underway to study ghostlike, elusive particles called neutrinos. Today, the international Daya Bay Collaboration announces new findings on the measurements of neutrinos, paving the way forward for further neutrino research, and confirming that the Daya Bay neutrino experiment, significant as the first equal partnership between the U.S. and China in a major physics project, continues to be one to watch.

New Visitor Center in South Dakota Highlights Underground Science

The Sanford Lab Homestake Visitor Center, a facility that highlights Homestake Mine’s gold and silver past and particle physics future, held its grand opening ceremony on June 30.

How a New Telescope Will Measure the Expansion of the Universe

Michael Levi and David Schlegel, physicists at Berkeley Lab, discuss the future of the DESI project and how its forthcoming map will help scientists better understand dark energy.

Is Interstellar’s Science So Stellar?

Interstellar features astronauts who take a wormhole ride to another galaxy to explore planets around a massive black hole. In a conversation last week, Berkeley Lab’s David Schlegel discussed the science in the movie and what Hollywood could learn from scientists about fantastic settings in outer space.

Berkeley Lab Scientists Recipients of 2015 Breakthrough Prizes

Berkeley Lab astrophysicist Saul Perlmutter and biochemist Jennifer Doudna were among the featured recipients of the 2015 Breakthrough Prizes in Fundamental Physics and Life Sciences.

Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI) Wins $1.1M Award

The Heising-Simons Foundation has awarded $1.1M to the DESI project with the goal of helping to fabricate the unique optics needed to capture spectra of the young expanding universe.

Hide & Seek: Sterile Neutrinos Remain Elusive

The Daya Bay Collaboration, an international group of scientists studying the subtle transformations of subatomic particles called neutrinos, is publishing its first results on the search for a so-called sterile neutrino, a possible new type of neutrino beyond the three known neutrino “flavors,” or types.