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Q&A with Berkeley Lab Nuclear Scientist Maria Żurek

Maria Żurek, a postdoctoral researcher at Berkeley Lab, was invited to attend the 2019 Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting in Lindau, Germany, in early July. The annual event offers networking opportunities for students, postdoctoral researchers, and Nobel laureates from around the world. A total of 580 researchers and 39 Nobel laureates from 89 countries attended this year’s meeting.

VIDEO: Particle Accelerators Drive Decades of Discoveries at Berkeley Lab and Beyond

This video and accompanying article highlight the decades of discoveries, achievements and progress in particle accelerator R&D at Berkeley Lab. These accelerators have enabled new explorations of the atomic nucleus; the production and discovery of new elements and isotopes, and of subatomic particles and their properties; created new types of medical imaging and treatments; and provided new insight into the nature of matter and energy, and new methods to advance industry and security, among other wide-ranging applications.

A Graphene Superconductor That Plays More Than One Tune

Researchers at Berkeley Lab have developed a graphene device that’s thinner than a human hair but has a depth of special traits. It easily switches from a superconducting material that conducts electricity without losing any energy, to an insulator that resists the flow of electric current, and back again to a superconductor – all with a simple flip of a switch.

Some Assembly Required: Scientists Piece Together the Largest U.S.-Based Dark Matter Experiment

Most of the remaining components needed to fully assemble an underground dark matter-search experiment called LUX-ZEPLIN (LZ) arrived at the project’s South Dakota home during a rush of deliveries in June. When complete, LZ will be the largest, most sensitive U.S.-based experiment yet that is designed to directly detect dark matter particles.

Simons Foundation Contributes $20M More to Observatory Exploring Early Universe

The Simons Observatory, a Berkeley Lab-involved project under construction in Chile’s Atacama Desert that will measure the properties of universe’s early light – the cosmic microwave background (CMB) – with extreme precision, has received a new commitment of $20 million from the Simons Foundation.

A New Filter to Better Map the Dark Universe

To address messy measurements of the cosmic web that connects matter in the universe, researchers at Berkeley Lab developed a way to improve the accuracy and clarity of these measurements based on the stretching of the universe’s oldest light.

The ‘Little’ Computer Cluster That Could

A computer cluster at Berkeley Lab, which switched off last month, since 1996 had served as a steady workhorse in supporting groundbreaking physics research conducted by large collaborations.

Four Berkeley Lab Scientists Elected as National Academy of Sciences Members

Four Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) scientists have been elected into the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) in recognition of their exemplary past and and continuing original research.

Setting a ‘Gold Standard’ for Ultrasensitive Particle Detectors

Alan “Al” Smith was a pioneer in the “low-background counting” performance of particle detectors – their ability to see ever-fainter signatures of particle interactions. He developed the gold standard for measuring trace levels of radioactivity in materials and components.

When Semiconductors Stick Together, Materials Go Quantum

A simple method developed by a Berkeley Lab-led team could turn ordinary semiconducting materials into quantum machines – superthin devices with extraordinary electronic behavior. Such an advancement could help to revolutionize a number of industries aiming for energy-efficient electronic systems – and provide a platform for exotic new physics.