In a new twist on Young’s classic double-slit experiment, researchers have shown that the double slits can be replaced by electron-emitting diatomic molecules and that traces of electron-wave interference can be directly observed in measurements of the vibrationally resolved photoionization spectra.Read more…
The signal recognition particle (SRP) delivers proteins to the cell membrane in prokaryotes and in eukaryotes to the endoplasmic reticulum. Researchers learned more about this essential and evolutionarily conserved process, called co-translational protein targeting, via the crystal structure of the complexed SRP molecule. Read more…
The ALS welcomes industrial users from large and small companies whose projects advance scientific knowledge, investigate the development of new products and manufacturing methods, or provide economic benefits and jobs to the economy. The Users from Industry Web page details how users can access the ALS, and provides contact information for prospective users interested in learning more about pursuing a scientific program at the ALS.
User Support Building Gets LEED Gold
The ALS User Support Building (USB) has earned a LEED Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, the second-highest rating after Platinum. Many innovative and creative features were incorporated into the “green” design of the USB, including the ability to capture natural light, reducing lighting loads; sensors that, when a window is opened, turn off the ventilation system; extensive metering; and a heat-recovery system. More than 10 percent of the building material and 75 percent of construction waste was recycled. The toilets have a dual-flush option for greater water savings. Overall, the building has been designed to be 56 percent more efficient than a normal, baseline building, according to project director Joe Harkins. This is the second Lab building to receive LEED Gold; the first was the Molecular Foundry.
Media Tour for Climate Change Journalists
On Tuesday, February 7, a special News Media Climate Workshop was held at Berkeley Lab for local and national reporters. After presentations about climate change research from Margaret Torn, Billy Collins, and others, the groups toured the ALS with Director Roger Falcone and stopped by Beamline 8.0.1 to learn about advances in battery development from Wanli Yang (right). They also heard from Musa Ahmed about current research in combustion at Beamline 9.0.2. Reporters from the New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Forbes, Wall Street Journal, Associated Press, Reuters, and other news outlets attended the workshop. A journalist from San Francisco’s Business Times described her visit to the ALS in the article “Berkeley Lab synchrotron like Star Wars or 1950s sci-fi.”
NGLS@Noon: Looking at LDRDs
The next three NGLS@Noon science discussions will focus on NGLS Lab Directed Research and Development (LDRD) proposals. Meetings will be held March 2, 16, and 30 in the User Support Building, Room 15-253. Attendees are advised to arrive early as this popular series is routinely filling the room! The talks will also be webcast locally.
Upcoming meeting topics:
Friday, March 2
Enabling Structural Systems Biology at NGLS
Greg Hura and John Tainer
Life Sciences Division, SIBYLS Beamline ALS
Friday, March 16
Development and Feasibility of Fluctuation X-Ray Scattering at the NGLS
Berkeley Center for Structural Biology – Physical Biosciences Division
Friday, March 30
Correlated Electron Physics at Ultrafast Timescales – Challenges and Opportunities
Ultrafast Materials Program – Materials Sciences Division
During the winter shutdown, a new klystron was installed as an upgrade to the ALS storage ring radio frequency (SRRF) system. There were many challenges in commissioning the new klystron and this drove many staff to work very long hours to complete the job. A legacy piece of SRRF equipment that protects the klystron when it is tripped off caused some difficulties at the end of the shutdown. The ALS RF engineering group and the entire ALS electrical engineering group came together to help troubleshoot and ultimately repair the equipment. This tireless effort resulted in the ALS losing only one day of scheduled user operations, returning beam to users on February 15.
Announcing New UEC Assignments
On February 16, 2012, the Users’ Executive Committee (UEC) met at the ALS to elect a new vice chair and to appoint officers. Many UEC appointments serve to help make the ALS User Meeting a success through the organization of keynote and science talks, workshops, poster sessions, the student poster competition, and the annual Halbach, Renner, and Shirley Awards ceremony. Thank you to Corie Ralston, our new vice chair, and the other officers for agreeing to serve in these essential roles.
Vice chair: Corie Ralson
Secretary: Yuri Suzuki
Nominating Committee: Jeff Kortright and David Kilcoyne
National User Facility Organization representative: Yves Idzerda
ALS User Meeting co-chairs: Peter Nico and Chris Cappa
ALS User Meeting Student Poster Competition chair: Hendrik Bluhm
Awards committee: Adam Hitchcock and Yves Idzerda
Open Call for Users’ Meeting Workshops
The 2012 ALS User Meeting co-chairs Peter Nico and Chris Cappa are now accepting applications for workshops. Please send your workshop ideas and an estimate of length (half day, full day) to firstname.lastname@example.org by April 30, 2012.
Planning for Change
The purpose of the UEC is to facilitate communication between ALS users and ALS management (see the UEC Charter). In practice, the UEC presents the needs of users to management on issues such as operating policy, use of the ALS, and user support. It is also the UEC’s responsibility to help ALS management communicate plans for the ALS to users. ALS users are encouraged to contact the UEC.
This past week, the UEC communicated with users of ALS Beamline 10.3.2 in response to proposed changes to the beamline’s staffing and operation. These potential changes were shared with the UEC by ALS management on Thursday, February 16, 2012. We invite all interested ALS users to join the conversation, which is being held via email, by contacting the full UEC by email, or reach individual UEC members by telephone.
For the user run from February 14 to February 19, 2012**, the beam reliability [(time scheduled – time lost)/time scheduled)] was 80.0%. For this period, the mean time between failures (MTBF) was 57.0 hours, and the mean time to recovery (MTTR) was 867 minutes; 28 hours of scheduled user beam time were lost to a complex problem with the SRRF system on February 14 and 15.
** Note: The ALS was shut down for scheduled maintenance and upgrades from January 3 – February 13, 2012.
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).
Long-term and weekly operations schedules are available on the Web at