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Mineral Discovery Made Easier: X-Ray Technique Shines a New Light on Tiny, Rare Crystals

Like a tiny needle in a sprawling hayfield, a single crystal grain measuring just tens of millionths of a meter – found in a borehole sample drilled in Central Siberia – had an unexpected chemical makeup. And a specialized X-ray technique in use at Berkeley Lab confirmed the sample’s uniqueness and paved the way for its formal recognition as a newly discovered mineral: ognitite.

Building a Better Electron Gun

The successful test of the LCLS-II electron gun marks the culmination of a Berkeley Lab R&D effort spanning more than a decade. The gun’s design was conceived in 2006 by John W. Staples, a retired Berkeley Lab physicist, and Fernando Sannibale, a senior scientist in Berkeley Lab’s Accelerator Technology and Applied Physics Division.

Berkeley Lab-Built Electron Gun Fires Up for LCLS-II X-Ray Laser Project

A new electron gun, designed and built at Berkeley Lab to supply electrons for a next-gen X-ray laser, fired its first electrons today. The X-ray laser is part of the LCLS-II project, which is an upgrade of SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory’s Linac Coherent Light Source X-ray laser.

Diamonds From the Deep: Study Suggests Water May Exist in Earth’s Lower Mantle

A new study, which included experiments at Berkeley Lab, suggests that water may be more common than expected at extreme depths approaching 400 miles and possibly beyond – within Earth’s lower mantle. The study explored microscopic pockets of a trapped form of crystallized water molecules in a sampling of diamonds.