Science snapshots from Berkeley Lab

New Berkeley Lab breakthroughs: engineering chemical-producing microbes; watching enzyme reactions in real time; capturing the first image of ‘electron ice’; revealing how skyrmions really move

LED Material Shines Under Strain

A team led by researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and UC Berkeley has demonstrated an approach for achieving LEDs with near 100% light-emission efficiency at all brightness levels.

Automatically Steering Experiments Toward Scientific Discovery

Scientists at Brookhaven and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories have been developing an automated experimental setup of data collection, analysis, and decision making.

Main Attraction: Scientists Create World’s Thinnest Magnet

Scientists at Berkeley Lab and UC Berkeley have created an ultrathin magnet that operates at room temperature. The ultrathin magnet could lead to new applications in computing and electronics – such as spintronic memory devices – and new tools for the study of quantum physics.

What if We Could Give Viruses a One-Two Punch?

Researchers at Stanford and Berkeley Lab’s Molecular Foundry have developed virus-killing molecules called peptoids. The technology could make possible an emerging category of antiviral drugs that could treat everything from herpes and COVID-19 to the common cold.

This crystal impurity is sheer perfection

Scientists at Berkeley Lab and UC Berkeley have developed a nanoparticle composite that grows into 3D crystals. The new 3D-grown material could speed up production and eliminate errors in the mass manufacturing of nanoscale photonics for smart buildings or actuators for robotics.

UAH-led space weather prediction research could be critical to Space Force Command

Research to improve space weather predictions by Dr. Nikolai Pogorelov at The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH), a part of the University of Alabama System, will boost abilities crucial to the success of the defense mission of the Space Force Command that’s set to be located in Huntsville, Ala.

Key to Carbon-Free Cars? Look to the Stars

In a decade-long quest, scientists at Berkeley Lab, the University of Hawaii, and Florida International University uncover new clues to the origins of the universe – and land new chemistry for cleaner combustion engines

Are Heavy Metals Toxic? Scientists Find Surprising New Clues in Yeast

Scientists at Berkeley Lab and UC Berkeley have compiled the most complete library yet of lanthanide heavy metals and their potential toxicity – by exposing baker’s yeast to lanthanides. Their findings could help researchers uncover hidden pathways between lanthanide metals and disease.

First nanoscale look at a reaction that limits the efficiency of generating clean hydrogen fuel

Transitioning to a hydrogen economy will require massive production of cheap, clean hydrogen gas for fuel and chemical feedstocks. New tools allow scientists to zoom in on a catalytic reaction that’s been a bottleneck in efforts to generate hydrogen from water more efficiently.

The Spintronics Technology Revolution Could Be Just a Hopfion Away

A research team co-led by Berkeley Lab has created and observed quasiparticles called 3D hopfions at the nanoscale (billionths of a meter) in a magnetic system. The discovery could advance high-density, high-speed, low-power, yet ultrastable magnetic memory “spintronics” devices.

This hydrogen fuel machine could be the ultimate guide to self improvement

Scientists at Berkeley have uncovered an extraordinary self-improving property that transforms an ordinary semiconductor into a highly efficient and stable artificial photosynthesis device

April Snapshots

Science Snapshots from Berkeley Lab: X-rays accelerate battery R&D; infrared microscopy goes off grid; substrates support 2D tech

Science Snapshots From Berkeley Lab – Week of March 29, 2021

India’s Ambitious Clean Energy Goals, a Secret Pathway to Harnessing the Sun for Clean Energy, and a Supersmart Gas Sensor for Asthmatics

Revealing Nano Big Bang – Scientists Observe the First Milliseconds of Crystal Formation

At Berkeley Lab’s Molecular Foundry, scientists recruited a world-leading microscope to capture atomic-resolution, high-speed images of gold atoms self-organizing, falling apart, and then reorganizing many times before settling into a stable, ordered crystal.

Do You Know the Way to Berkelium, Californium?

Scientists at Berkeley Lab have demonstrated how to image samples of heavy elements as small as a single nanogram. The new approach will help scientists advance new technologies for medical imaging and cancer therapies.

Missing Baryons Found in Far-Out Reaches of Galactic Halos

Researchers have channeled the universe’s earliest light – a relic of the universe’s formation known as the cosmic microwave background – to solve a missing-matter mystery and learn new things about galaxy formation. Their work could also help us to better understand dark energy and test Einstein’s theory of general relativity by providing new details about the rate at which galaxies are moving toward us or away from us.

Science Snapshots: COVID-19, power outages, Alzheimer’s disease, and optical antennas

March Science Snapshots from Berkeley Lab

A COSMIC Approach to Nanoscale Science

COSMIC, a multipurpose X-ray instrument at Berkeley Lab’s Advanced Light Source, has made headway in the scientific community since its launch less than 2 years ago, with groundbreaking contributions in fields ranging from batteries to biominerals.

Advisory Committee Releases Strategic Plan for U.S. Fusion, Plasma Program

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Fusion Energy Sciences Advisory Committee (FESAC) has adopted and endorsed a new report that lays out a strategic plan for fusion energy and plasma science research over the next decade. The report has been…

Science Snapshots From Berkeley Lab

These news briefs cover topics including gut microbes, tsetse flies in 3D, an energy use framework for heating and cooling, and new gravitational lensing candidates.

Building a Giant 2D Map of the Universe to Prepare for the Largest 3D Map

Before DESI, the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument, can begin its 5-year mission from an Arizona mountaintop to produce the largest 3D sky map yet, researchers first needed an even bigger 2D map of the universe.

Two Berkeley Lab Scientists Honored with the Lawrence Award

The Department of Energy has announced that Susannah Tringe and Dan Kasen, two scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), will receive the Ernest Orlando Lawrence Award, one of DOE’s highest honors. Additionally, former Berkeley Lab scientist M. Zahid Hasan was also named as one of the eight recipients.

Scientists Recruit New Atomic Heavyweights in Targeted Fight Against Cancer

Researchers from Berkeley Lab and Los Alamos National Laboratory have developed new methods for the large-scale production, purification, and use of the radioisotope cerium-134, which could serve as a PET imaging radiotracer for a highly targeted cancer treatment known as alpha-particle therapy.

Scientists Say Farewell to Daya Bay Site, Proceed with Final Data Analysis

The Daya Bay Reactor Neutrino Experiment collaboration – which made a precise measurement of an important neutrino property eight years ago, setting the stage for a new round of experiments and discoveries about these hard-to-study particles – has finished taking data. Though the experiment is formally shutting down, the collaboration will continue to analyze its complete dataset to improve upon the precision of findings based on earlier measurements.

8 Berkeley Lab Scientists Named 2020 AAAS Fellows

The American Association for the Advancement of Science, the world’s largest general scientific society, today announced that 489 of its members, among them eight scientists at Berkeley Lab, have been named Fellows. This lifetime honor, which follows a nomination and review process, recognizes scientists, engineers, and innovators for their distinguished achievements in research and other disciplines toward the advancement or applications of science.

New Material Designed by Berkeley Lab ‘Mines’ Copper from Toxic Wastewater

A research team led by Berkeley Lab has designed a new material – called ZIOS (zinc imidazole salicylaldoxime) – that extracts copper ions from mine wastewater with unprecedented precision and speed.

Charges Cascading Along a Molecular Chain

Removing one charged molecule from a one-dimensional array causes the others to alternately turn ‘on’ or ‘off,’ paving the way for information transfer in tiny circuits

Know When to Unfold ’Em: Study Applies Error-Reducing Methods from Particle Physics to Quantum Computing

Borrowing a page from high-energy physics and astronomy textbooks, a team of physicists and computer scientists at Berkeley Lab has successfully adapted and applied a common error-reduction technique to the field of quantum computing.

VIDEO: Dark Matter Day Q&A with LUX-ZEPLIN Spokesperson Kevin Lesko

Kevin Lesko, a spokesperson for the LUX-ZEPLIN (LZ) dark matter experiment and senior physicist at Berkeley Lab, shares his insights about the mysteries of dark matter, what we know about it, and what we hope to learn about it from LZ, in this Q&A interview at Sanford Lab.

Berkeley Lab Scientists Contribute to New Exploration of Higgs Boson Interactions

A new analysis, featuring important contributions by Berkeley Lab scientists, strongly supports the hypothesis that the Higgs boson interacts with muons, which are heavier siblings of electrons and the lightest particles yet to reveal evidence for these interactions.

What’s Nanotechnology? Kristin Persson Explains at 4 Different Levels

In celebration of National Nanotechnology Day, Molecular Foundry Director Kristin Persson explains atomic-scale engineering at four different levels – for a kindergartner, a middle schooler, a high school senior, and a graduate student

Jennifer Doudna Wins 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry

Biochemist Jennifer Doudna, a professor at UC Berkeley and faculty scientist at the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), is co-winner of the 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for “the development of a method for genome editing.”

Lead Lab Selected for Next-Generation Cosmic Microwave Background Experiment

The largest collaborative undertaking yet to explore the relic light emitted by the infant universe has taken a step forward with the U.S. DOE’s selection of Berkeley Lab to lead the partnership of national labs, universities, and other institutions that are joined in the effort to carry out the DOE roles and responsibilities.

Lab Researcher and Physics Undergrad Shares Poster Project Honoring Black Physicists

Inspired by the nation’s grappling with issues of race and racial discrimination, UC Berkeley physics major and Berkeley Lab student assistant Ana Lyons turned to art as a way to contribute to the conversation.

3 Awards Will Support Accelerator R&D for Medical Treatment, Miniaturization, and Machine Learning

U.S. Department of Energy awards announced in July will advance Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) R&D to develop a more effective and compact particle-beam system for cancer treatment, improve particle-beam performance using artificial intelligence, and develop a high-power, rapid-fire laser system for both tabletop and large-scale applications.

2D Electronics Get an Atomic Tuneup

Scientists at Berkeley Lab have demonstrated a new technique that could improve the performance of atomically thin semiconductors for next-generation electronics such as optoelectronics, thermoelectrics, and sensors.

New NSF Physics Frontier Center Will Focus on Neutron Star Modeling in ‘Gravitational Wave Era’

A new Physics Frontier Center at UC Berkeley, supported by the National Science Foundation, expands the reach and depth of existing capabilities on campus and at neighboring Berkeley Lab in modeling one of the most violent events in the universe: the merger of neutron stars and its explosive aftermath.

Natalie Roe Named Berkeley Lab’s Associate Director for Physical Sciences

Natalie Roe, who joined Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) as a postdoctoral fellow in 1989 and has served as Physics Division director since 2012, has been named the Lab’s Associate Laboratory Director (ALD) for the Physical Sciences Area. Her appointment was approved by the University of California. The announcement follows an international search.

Berkeley Lab Part of Multi-Institutional Team Awarded $60M for Solar Fuels Research

The Department of Energy has awarded $60 million to a new solar fuels initiative – called the Liquid Sunlight Alliance (LiSA) – led by Caltech in close partnership with Berkeley Lab. LiSA will build on the foundational work of the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis (JCAP).

Another Win for the Standard Model: New Study Defies Decades-Old ‘Discrepancy’ With High-Precision Measurement

A new study dives into a decades-old discrepancy from a Standard Model of particle physics pillar known as “lepton flavor universality,” and provides strong evidence to resolve it.

Battery Breakthrough Gives Boost to Electric Flight and Long-Range Electric Cars

Researchers at Berkeley Lab, in collaboration with Carnegie Mellon University, have developed a new battery material that could enable long-range electric vehicles that can drive for hundreds of miles on a single charge, and electric planes called eVTOLs for fast, environmentally friendly commutes.

Scientists Successfully Demonstrate a New Experiment in the Search for Theorized ‘Neutrinoless’ Process

Nuclear physicists affiliated with Berkeley Lab played a leading role in analyzing data for a demonstration experiment in France that has achieved record precision for a specialized detector material.

Scientists Dive Deep Into Hidden World of Quantum States

A research team led by the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) has developed a technique that could lead to new electronic materials that surpass the limitations imposed by Moore’s Law.