From organic matter to pencil lead, carbon is a versatile element. Now, another use has been found: magnets. Researchers studying the effects of protons on the electronic structure of graphite found very strong magnetization when hydrogen atoms are incorporated at the surface of graphite.Read more…
At Earth’s core-mantle boundary, seismic waves travel faster in certain directions. This appears to be related to the deformation of constituent minerals. To better understand, researchers re-created the ultrahigh pressures of the deep earth while conducting x-ray diffraction experiments to probe changes in crystal orientations. Read more…
All staff and users are also invited to participate in the second annual ALS Photo Contest. This year’s theme is “The ALS at Work” with the focus on users, students, and staff working in and around the ALS, celebrating the broad spectrum of people who make the ALS a success. Prizes will be awarded to the photographers whose photos are selected by the user community during the meeting.
The Advanced Light Source, its science and its users, will be featured at the next “Science at the Theater” at the Berkeley Repertory Theater on Monday, September 12, from 7 to 9 p.m. Moderated by Roger Falcone, panel speakers will include users Rachel Segalman, Axel Brunger, and Andrew Westphal discussing how their research at the ALS is paving the way for clean energy, improving medicine, and probing the mysteries of the universe.
News from User Services
The User Office received 317 new general user proposals (GUPs), and beam time requests for 289 active proposals for the January-June 2012 cycle. This is a record number of new proposals!
A big thanks to all beamline scientists who completed the new proposal feasibility review. The PSP is already reviewing proposals and benefiting from their comments.
Reminder about User Agreements
The DOE requires all users working at user facilities to have a signed User Agreement. A User Agreement is a contract between Berkeley Lab and a user’s home institution and covers all users from that institution. User Agreements are formally implemented by the Lab’s Sponsored Project Office; a list of more than 300 current User Agreements can be viewed here.
A User Agreement takes several days to set up, so it is essential that anyone inviting researchers to the ALS who are NOT working under a General Science or Structural Biology GUP, or an Approved Program proposal (i.e., PRT users, beamline scientist’s invitees, etc.), notify both the user and the User Office if a User Agreement is required. The ALS User Office and the Resource Group will work to ensure that all User Agreements are in place before users arrive to avoid delay in working at the ALS. More information about User Agreements can be found in the ALS User Guide.
Sen. Barbara Boxer, Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren Visit the ALS
U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer and U.S. Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren, member of the House Committee on Science, Technology and Space, separately toured the Advanced Light Source and Berkeley Lab on Wednesday, August 17. Hosted by Lab Director Paul Alivisatos and ALS Director Roger Falcone, they learned of the research taking place at the ALS, including work on more efficient combustion at ALS Beamline 9.0.2 and investigations into artificial photosynthesis at Beamline 7.0.1.
COSMIC at the ALS
A new beamline is under design and construction at the ALS for soft x-ray coherent scattering and microscopy (COSMIC), and on August 2-3, 2011, a workshop was held at Berkeley Lab to discuss the scientific opportunities for this new facility. Participants in the workshop, “COSMIC at the ALS: New Frontiers in Soft X-Ray Coherent Scattering and Imaging,” discussed the capabilities and applications of this new beamline to a range of scientific issues, such as equilibrium fluctuation at the nanoscale in complex materials, properties of hierarchically ordered systems, and nanoscale self-organization in soft matter. The meeting featured a set of plenary talks from leaders in the field and complementary short talks from those who wish to be part of the COSMIC scientific user team and those who are developing the applications of these techniques. During a breakout session, imaging and scattering groups considered in detail the beamline and endstation requirements, outlining the scientific and technical cases for the ALS’s two new state-of-the-art endstations at the COSMIC beamline.
Six students visited the ALS on July 26 as part of SMASH (Summer Math and Science Honors Academy), a five-week summer program that focuses on promoting STEM-field higher education and career options. SMASH is organized by the Level Playing Field Institute, a San Francisco nonprofit organization, and provides local high-achieving students from disadvantaged backgrounds the opportunity to get a head start on high school academics while working with graduate student mentors at UC Berkeley and Stanford. Fatima Alleyne and Elizabeth Boatman, both from the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at UC Berkeley, were mentors for the visiting students.
The SMASH scholars who toured the ALS will be sophomores at Bay Area high schools this fall. Their visit was part of their capstone course “Current Research Topics in Science.” Seeing the ALS allowed the students to view one of the largest, most interdisciplinary and collaborative research facilities in the country. Students saw first hand that “cutting-edge science is exciting and conducted by real people.” According to Boatman, who conducts research on Beamline 10.3.2, the students also told their peers that they learned a lot of new things and that the ALS field trip was a lot of fun. “Of course,” she said, “those of us who conduct research at the ALS already know how much fun it is!”
UCOP Communications Team Does a Photo Shoot at the ALS, Berkeley Lab
UCOP photographer Elena Zhukova captures Shirley (Suet) Liu doing bench work at ALS Beamline 9.0.2.
On August 18, 2011, representatives of the University of California’s Office of the President (UCOP) visited the ALS and Berkeley Lab on a mission to photograph scenes of everyday life at the Lab. The UCOP communications team is on a yearlong mission to all UC-related campuses, medical centers, and research facilities, amassing photographs for a new stock photo library. “The UCOP is in the process of rebranding,” said Kate Brown, UCOP External Relations Senior Designer, “and we didn’t have a stockpile of photos from all the UC facilities. So we’re creating one!” Brown was joined by photographer Elena Zhukova and her assistant, Leon Tverskoy.
Submit Nominations for UEC Awards, New Representatives
The 2011 ALS User Meeting is fast approaching (October 3-5, 2011) and registration is open. Co-chairs Jeff Kortright and Gyorgy Snell have planned an exciting program, including a diverse set of plenary talks, an update from the DOE, an open forum for users, ALS science highlights, and topical workshops. Back by popular demand, the student Poster Slam will continue this year as part of the student poster competition, so polish up your elevator speech and enter your poster abstract.
I want to ask each of you to consider nominating a worthy individual or team for one of the three awards given at the User Meeting. Nominations are open for the Shirley Award for Outstanding Science, the Halbach Award for Innovative Instrumentation, and the Renner Award for Outstanding Support to Users. Nomination forms and instructions can be found at the meeting Web site. The nomination deadline is Wednesday, September 14.
Please also consider nominating yourself or another user for election to the Users’ Executive Committee. The UEC represents the interests of all users to ALS management and DOE. We need talented individuals from all of the user communities to help us accomplish this goal. We also need to elect a new student member this year for a two-year term. Please contact Corie Ralston or David Osborn to learn more or submit a nomination. I look forward to seeing you October 3-5 at the ALS User Meeting. All users are welcome to contact their UEC representatives to raise issues of concern relating to their own research or to alert us to issues facing our whole community.
For the period August 11-16, (the single complete user week which followed the extended shutdown), the beam reliability [(time scheduled – time lost)/time scheduled)] was 99.3%. For this period, the mean time between failures (MTBF) was 39.6 hours, and the mean time to recovery (MTTR) was 25 minutes. There were no significant interruptions.
More detailed information on reliability is available on the ALS reliability bulletin board, which is located in the hallway between the ALS and the control room in Building 80. Questions about beam reliability should be directed to Dave Richardson (DBRichardson@lbl.gov, x4376).
Paul Adams describes his new role as the new ALS Division Deputy for Biociences, the current state of bioscience beamlines and research at the ALS, and the newly-formed Biosciences Council. Read the Article
The next ALS Science Café will be held September 28 at noon in the User Support Building’s main conference room. Listen to talks by Alfred Mueller (Justus-Liebig-Universitaet): Atoms behind bars, Ken Goldberg (CXRO): Wavelength Specific Reflections: A new EUV Zoneplate Microscope at the ALS, and Josh Turner (LCLS/SLAC): Title TBA.
Biological Safety Gets a Boost
Welcome to Shraddha Ravani, who will be working with David Malone and Doug Taube to help users perform biological work at the ALS. A researcher in the Life Sciences Division, Ravani has worked closely with the Lab’s EH&S Division in setting up biological use authorizations. She will be working one day per week for the ALS reviewing experiment safety sheet proposals, as well as coordinating the biological work at the beamlines and in the new Biological Lab in the User Support Building.