LBL C U R R E N T S -- February 25, 1994

LBL researchers join thousands at AAAS meeting in San Francisco

By Lynn Yarris

LBL Director Charles V. Shank spoke about the great potential of femtoscience--the imaging of primary events on a femtosecond (quadrillionth of a second) timescale--and offered one approach to creating femtosecond pulses of x-rays.

Former LBL Director Andy Sessler and Associate Director-at-Large Glenn Seaborg led a morning-long discussion of new physics in the Bay Area that included a talk by Earth Sciences Division Director Sally Benson on advances in geoscience. Life Sciences Director Mina Bissell contributed to a seminar for students entitled "Half the Secret of Life is Outside the Cell," and Rollie Otto, head of LBL's Center for Science and Engineering Education, spoke at a session advocating science education reform.

This is a just a partial list of speakers from LBL who joined nearly 5,000 other scientists and engineers for the 160th national meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), held Feb. 18-23 in San Francisco at the Hilton Hotel.

The keynote address for this year's meeting was delivered by John H. Gibbons, science adviser to President Clinton. The thrust of Gibbons' talk was a declaration that the Strategic Defense Initiative begun by President Reagan--the space-based missile defense system often referred to as the Star Wars program--is "behind us now." Any technological advances to come out of the program, he said, should be applied to improving the U.S. economy.

"After all," Gibbons said, "for $35 billion, we ought to get something back."

During his address and in an earlier press briefing, Gibbons repeatedly stressed the Clinton Administration's determination to focus science more strongly on areas that will create new jobs and improve the nation's competitiveness with the world's other high-tech leaders--Japan and Germany.

In response to questions about Energy Secretary Hazel O'Leary's commissioning of a high-level review of the national laboratories, Gibbons firmly stated that the Administration has no intention of shutting down either of the weapons laboratories.

"We are figuring out how best to re-orient their assets, but shutting either one down is a silly option," he said.

Gibbons also expressed strong support for cooperative research agreements between the national laboratories and private industry.

"In the past, American scientists have developed great ideas with great potential," Gibbons said, but too often, these ideas have been adopted and turned into manufacturing jobs by other nations, especially Japan. Joint science-based ventures between federal laboratories and private industry consortia could prove to be a "bonanza" for smaller U.S. companies, he asserted, giving them "access to many new technologies they have long lacked."

The science policies of the Clinton Administration came under some criticism, however, from Congressman George E. Brown, Jr. (D-Riverside), who chairs the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology.

"At a time when our economy is healthy and growing again, drastic reductions in investments for science and technology are not even keeping up with inflation," he said.

Federal funds for research and development, which were once set at nearly three percent of the U.S. gross domestic product, are now barely one percent, well behind Japan and Germany.

"The total picture is much more disturbing because we have lost our lead in research and development," Brown said. "It is a totally unsatisfactory situation and I am filled with consternation."

Brown offered two suggestions for keeping the budget for science tight while at the same time maintaining progress in research. First, he proposed a policy that would require Congressional authorization for all science projects involving more than $50 million a year in Federal funds. He also proposed that any university which accepts "earmarked" money be barred from receiving National Science Foundation funding.

For the first time at a AAAS meeting, LBL maintained a booth in the AAAS Exhibition Hall. Organized by David Gilbert, who splits his time between Life Sciences and the Public Information Department, the booth featured a photo display of the Laboratory and publications such as Research Highlights. There was also a short videotape of astrophysicist George Smoot explaining the famous COBE satellite results that revealed fluctuations in the temperature of the cosmic background radiation.

Teller of tales

Storyteller and playwright Marijo visited LBL on Feb. 18 to share tales of African and African-American folklore in honor of Black History Month. Marijo entertained a full house in the Bldg. 50 auditorium.

NASA engineer overcame the odds

By Jeffery Kahn

Christine Darden started out as a teacher. Several decades later, she is a senior project engineer for NASA in charge of its Supersonic Transport Research Project.

Speaking at LBL on Feb. 17 at a noontime lecture in honor of Black History Month, Darden described both the sonic boom research effort and the personal story of how she became one of the first black, female leaders at NASA's Langley Research Center.

"You have to be ready when opportunities come," she said. "And, you have to be persistent."

Darden, who received a Ph.D. in fluid mechanics from George Washington University, said she came of age at a time when the job opportunities for black women were very limited. She steered a course suggested by her father, to become a teacher.

Even as she fulfilled the course curricula for teaching, Darden said she prepared for unknown future opportunities, taking advanced math classes. These courses later opened the door to a career in research.

She recalled the several years she spent in the classroom and what happened when her principal discovered that she had applied for graduate school. Given a choice of keeping her position and withdrawing her application or giving up her job and taking a chance on being accepted to graduate school, she turned in her resignation. Though she was not admitted at that time, she kept at it and ultimately prevailed.

Darden joined NASA 25 years ago, intent on a career in engineering. Instead, she was assigned a job as a data analyst. However, preparation and persistence ultimately opened doors for her.

Today, Darden heads one of the key teams in NASA's Supersonic Transport Research Project. At present, the European-built Concorde is the only faster-than-sound commercial airliner. Though the Concorde has been limited because of its range and cost, government and industry believe the development of a next-generation American supersonic plane is vital to maintaining a thriving U.S. aerospace industry.

Darden said Phase I of the project grapples with resolving environmental issues; Phase II deals with the technical challenges of building the plane. Darden's team is involved in Phase I research on reducing the sonic boom created by supersonic planes.

"We are trying to figure out how to reduce the sonic boom pressure field so that we can fly over land at supersonic speeds," she said. "This might allow us to open up routes over land, not just over the ocean." That, Darden said, would significally reduce the cost of travel.

Using wind tunnels and scale models, the sonic boom team has identified different shapes of aircraft with the potential to reduce the sonic boom pressure field by two-thirds. Darden said the next step may be to field- test model aircraft to verify the wind tunnel work.

"The sonic boom program is a risky assignment," Darden acknowledged. "There are a lot of people who believe we won't be able to make any progress on this problem. We think we can."

LBL's Tuition Reimbursement Program one path to success

By Mike Wooldridge

Pursuing a career and going to school: the two aren't mutually exclusive, thanks to LBL's Employee Tuition Reimbursement Program. The program, which repays two-thirds of the costs of college courses when they are job related, is available to all career employees working at least half time.

Although Tuition Reimbursement has been in existence for decades at the Lab, the program has generally had a low profile. However, the Lab's Diversity Committee recently targeted the program as a way to improve educational opportunities for employees. Its recommendations prompted the Director's Action Committee to approve measures to encourage employees to use the program, and to bring the newly learned skills back to the lab.

"It is a way employees can become more valuable to the Lab and to themselves," says LBL Director Charles Shank.

Employees that have taken advantage of the program represent a diverse lot, according to the Director's Action Committee. The 100 that participated in the program in the first nine months of 1993 were split evenly among job classifications, including 36 percent from office and clerical categories, 36 percent from professional categories, and 21 percent from technical categories. In addition, 55 of the participants were women and 20 were from underrepresented groups.

Mary Worth, administrator for the Life Sciences Division and chair of the Diversity Committee's subcommittee on education, speaks from experience about the program's benefits. With support from the program at various times since 1978, she received her bachelor's degree in economics last spring from the University of San Francisco.

"I started working full-time when I finished high school," Worth says. "I never had the chance to be a full-time student."

Although she admits that tackling both school and a career was a chore at times, Worth says she found her efforts towards one often helped her at the other. In her upper division courses at USF, she wrote papers on strategic planning, administration of contracts and grants, and diversity, all subjects that were related to her job. Computer programming classes helped her develop specialized financial reporting systems for her office.

"I was able to pursue projects in the courses that would benefit me in my job, and accomplish two things at once," Worth says.

An attractive part of the program, in addition to the financial assistance, is the flexibility employees have in choosing both the school they attend and how they chart their class time.

"People have the freedom to select the institution that is best for them, whether it's a junior college, public school or private school," Worth says. "They can also take courses at a pace that is comfortable."

In the coming weeks, the Human Resources Department will distribute information on how employees can take advantage of the reimbursement program. Watch for an update in Currents.

LBL's dosimetry program receives accreditation

By Jeffery Kahn

After successfully negotiating a gauntlet of tests that check accuracy and precision, LBL's thermoluminescent dosimetry (TLD) program has been accredited by the U.S. Department of Energy.

DOE accreditation makes it possible for the Laboratory to phase out film badges and, over the next six months, replace them with TLDs. Up until now, LBL has issued TLDs only on a limited basis.

TLDs are solid-state personal dosimeters that unlike film badges, can be reused. They provide a more accurate dose response than film badges and have an excellent ability to distinguish between beta, low-energy gamma and x-ray, high-energy gamma, and slow neutron radiation.

Environment, Health, and Safety Division health physicist Kathleen Dinnel, the Dosimetry Unit leader, said DOE accreditation allows LBL to process and read the TLDs here at the Lab.

"To process personal dosimetry, the Lab must achieve and maintain accreditation by DOELAP (DOE Laboratory Accreditation Program)," said Dinnel. "DOELAP is designed to assure that dosimeters provide a uniform and accurate dose reading to a given exposure at facilities throughout the country. Every two years, the accreditation process is repeated to assure that high standards are maintained."

The DOELAP performance test begins in Idaho, where DOE exposes 40 TLDs to a range of eight categories of energies and then forwards them to LBL without saying what doses have been administered. Dinnel said her staff must then process the dosimeters and come up with accurate dose results.

Passing this performance test once is not sufficient. It is repeated three times over a half-year period, and then is followed up by a site assessment of the personal dosimetry program. Dinnel said everything from the records system, the training of staff, quality control and assurance, and the procedures governing the program had to be approved before accreditation was granted.

The TLDs are sophisticated solid state devices that contain four crystalline elements--two lithium borate and two calcium sulfate cells. When exposed to ionizing radiation, electrons within the four crystal elements become excited and "trapped" in this excited state.

To read the dose recorded by the TLD, the dosimeter is processed in a reader in Bldg. 90. The TLD is heated, releasing the trapped electrons and light, which is recorded by a photo-multiplier tube. The light output is directly correlated to a known dose through an algorithm that is specific to LBL and the range of occupational exposures possible here.

Dinnel said the TLDs are able to provide remarkable detail about the nature of any given dose. They allow LBL's health physicists to discriminate between shallow and deep penetrating doses and between gamma, x-ray, beta, and slow neutron exposures.

"In the next six months," Dinnel said, "virtually everybody with a dosimeter here--other than people working in neutron fields--will be issued a TLD. We'll be seeking accreditation on another TLD for use in high-energy neutron fields, and at that stage, we'll phase over these workers to TLDs as well."

As the phase-over takes place, Currents will run additional articles with further information about the new personal dosimetry program.

Seaborg recalls his AEC years

Associate Director-at-Large Glenn Seaborg addressed a Human Resources Forum on Feb. 15, sharing his experiences as a presidential advisor on atomic energy and science education issues. His discussion covered some 45 years of service beginning with Franklin Roosevelt, and including his years as chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission under Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon. Seaborg also reiterated his enthusiasm for science and the need for improvement in science education, especially at the pre-college level.

LBL Golf Club tourney

LBL's February Golf Tournament, held at the Lake Chabot Golf Course in Oakland, yielded the following results, categorized in "flights" by handicap, with net scores in parentheses:

Flight 1 Flight 2 Flight 3 Blind Bogey

1st L. Willis (66) D. Medel (62) S. Arnold (68) A. Rollins (70)

2nd H. Helliwell (67) G. Buck (67) G. Kagawa (69)

3rd J. Young (70) F. Stern (68) Judy Lee (69)

4th J. Jones (71) M. Rvolo (69) John Lee (70)

5th D. Corbin (71) D. Weber (69) C.P. Johnson (71)

The LBL Golf Club holds tournaments each month at courses throughout the Bay Area. Membership is open to all LBL employees, retirees, and their families. Anyone wishing to join should call Tom Corbin at X7617 or John Lee at X4595.

C A L E N D A R []

28 m o n d a y


7:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Bldg. 77


1 p.m., Bldg. 50 Aud.; Input for the HEPAP Subpanel on the Future of HEP


3:30 p.m., 3105 Etcheverry; H. Sakuma, PNC, "The High Level Radioactive Waste Management Program in Japan," Refreshments, 3:15 p.m.


4 p.m., 120 Latimer; J. Armor, Air Products & Chemicals, "Catalytic Removal of Nitrogen Oxides," Refreshments, 3:30 p.m.

1 t u e s d a y


1 p.m., 50B-2222; B. Joiner, Joiner Associates, "Rapid Learning - Rapid Improvement"


4 p.m., Bldg. 66 Aud.; C. Mills, Univ. of Minnesota, "Nitric Oxide: All You Ever Wanted to NO About NO in Immunology and Physiology""

2 w e d n e s d a y


11 a.m., 425 Latimer; H.-H. Limbach, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany, "Proton Transfer Dynamics in Liquids and Solids, a Challenge for NMR Spectroscopy"


4 p.m., 6189 Etcheverry; E. Reissner, UCSD, "The Center of Shear and the Bending of Plates"


4:30 p.m., 1 Le Conte; H. Quimm, SLAC, "CP Violation in B Physics," Refreshments, 4 p.m., 375 Le Conte

3 t h u r s d a y


1:30 p.m., Bldg. 66 Aud.; K.A.R. Mitchell, Univ. of British Columbia, "Reconstructions and Relaxations at Metal Surfaces Resulting from the Chemisorption of Electronegative Atoms"


4 p.m., Bldg. 70A-3377; B. Llope, Michigan State, "Nuclear Disassembly in Central Heavy Ion Collisions at Intermediate Beam Energies"

4 f r i d a y


10:30 a.m., Bldg. 71 Conf. Rm.; H. Okamoto, Kyoto Univ., Japan, "Three Dimensional Laser Cooling of Stored and Circulating Ion Beams by Means of Forced Synchro-betatron Coupling"



Oatbran pancakes

Turkey noodle [[heart]]

Stuffed pepper w/pasta

Grilled ham & cheese

South of the Border


3-cheese omelet

Vegetarian vegetable [[heart]]

Roast beef sandwich

Tuna melt

Shanghai red cooked ribs


Corned beef hash & eggs

Beef barley

Southern-fried chicken

Chicken breast on wheat bun [[heart]]

South of the Border


Blueberry pancakes

Creamy seafood chowder

Roast turkey breast

Steak burger

Chicken adobo [[heart]]


Ham scramble

Chicken w/rice [[heart]]

Trout almondine

Sadie's choice

South of the Border

[[heart]]Denotes lowfat item

Trout-fishing derby

The Outdoors Club is holding its next fishing derby on Saturday, March 5, at the San Pablo Reservoir Recreation Area. Weigh-in is scheduled for 3:30-4 p.m. at the south end boat ramp. Tickets are $1.

Bring the whole family for a day of fun and prizes. For questions or reservations, call Al Harcourt at X7660 or Bruce MacDonell at X6476.

Easter candy on sale

The Employees Buying Service is once again selling Sees Candy in time for Easter. This year's selection includes Assorted and Nuts & Chews for $7 a box ($9.60 retail), as well as chocolate rabbits, eggs, baskets, and lamb boxes. You may purchase the candy between 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, in the cafeteria lobby.

Rainfall at LBL

Tom Glimme of EH&S's Environmental Monitoring Unit reports that the year-to-date amount measured in the rain gauge atop Bldg. 75 as of midnight, Tuesday, Feb. 22, was 16.22 inches, indicating rainfall of 3.69 inches in the previous seven days. The current rainy season officially began on July 1, 1993.


Flea Market ads may be sent via Lab mail to Bldg. 65B, electronic mail to, or via Fax to X6641. The deadline is 5 p.m Friday.


'69 CHEVROLET Chevelle Malibu, red w/white top, 350 V-8, a/t, p/s, p/b, a/c, exc. cond., $4500/offer. Charley Matuk, X4658, 283-6111

'83 HONDA Civic 1300FE hatchbk, runs well, gd cond., 153K mi., great commuter car, $1400. Steven Cooper, X6023, (707)864-9451

'84 VOLVO 240 DL, burgundy, 4-dr, 5-spd, a/c, cass., 166K mi., runs well, $1800/b.o. Jon, X4462

'86 FORD Taurus, low mi., p/s, a/c, new paint, exc. cond., $3400. Kelvin, 428-4637, 653-0312 (eve.)

MOTORCYCLE, '81 Honda CB 900F Supersport, tank & saddle bags, luggage rack, padded back rest, exc. cond., photos in cafeteria, $1500. Ron, X6189, 516-1727

VW WHEELS, 15", 4 bolt, $6 ea.; 15" Bias tires, $10 ea. or $18 for 2, Oakland. 482-3030


VANPOOL, rider wanted, Concord to LBL/UCB, 7:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., M-F. Roger Cochran, X5565

VANPOOL, riders wanted, Antioch to Berkeley, 7:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. work hrs. Charles Smith, X7615, Vanessa Selzer, 642-6301


COLLECTORS to trade foreign stamps, all areas. Matt, 644-9466

TRAVELERS for Ladakh/Markha Valley, 8/15 - 9/9, western edge of Tibetan plateau, $2800 incl. airfare, transfers, hotels & trekking costs. 524-9473

TICKETS for any Warriors games at Coliseum. X4069


AQUARIUM, 20 gal., under-gravel filter, heater, air pump, gravel, decorations, $35; solid oak stand for aquarium, $125 new, asking $60, $85/both. Diane, X5839, 658-9690

BED, twin sz., Simmons, almost new, $200; 6" bookshelf, white, $20; director's chair, $20; 1950s style desk/dresser, $50; misc. glassware, vases, canisters, dish set; misc. household items, make offer. (415) 346-0497

BICYCLES, girl's 26", 10-spd, Murray, 18" frame, exc. cond., $60; 24" single spd bike, exc. cond., $30; scooter, 12" pneumatic tires, w/hand brake, $20; '94 Entertainment Coupon Book, $36, $8 goes towards American Liver Foundation. Hank, X4517

COUCH, blk/brn/white, 6' , $65; round (35 1/2") kitchen table, Formica top like blonde wood, black legs, $15; shoe roller skates, sz. 5, $15; girl's black tap dance shoes, sz. 7, $5. Marie Alberti, X4317

ELECTRIC DRYER, Hotpoint, gd working cond., recently replaced heating element, $50/b.o., will deliver within reasonable distance. Greg, X4757, 528-2044

FUTON, queen sz., wood frame, couch & mattress, 6 mos. old, orig. over $500, $200; dishwasher, Kenmore, black, $85; wood bookshelf, made to set on desk, has light in bottom sec., $20 or free w/futon or washer. Paula Laguna, X4493, 938-1755

HAMMOND ORGAN (Spinet), 2 manuals, 13 base pedals, 20 yrs. old, exc. cond., model A100, $300/b.o. Bob, 376-2211

JET SKI, '85 Kawasaki 440, S.S. prop, elec. bilge pump, pole spring, water bypass, flush kit, modified pump, milled head, ported cylinders, cover & cart, photos in cafeteria, $1,700. Ron, X6189, 516-1727

SKI BOOTS, Asolo Extreme Plus Telemark boots, size 8-1/2 downsize ~1 size from what you normally wear), exc. cond., used for 1 season, new style ratchet buckles, Black Diamond goretex Supergaitors to fit, exc. cond., $325/b.o. for all. David, 653-6057

SKI BOOTS, Salomon, fits approx. sz. 8, exc. cond., gd for teenage or intermed. skier, used for 2 seasons, $65. H. Matis, X5031, 339-0584

TYPEWRITER, Coronamatic, Super-12, SCM Smith-Corona, elec., very gd cond., in hard case, looks like new, $30. M. Aljaradi, X4050, 540-7173

VIOLIN, 3/4 size, exc., German made, great workmanship, tone, w/bow & plain case, worth over $400, sell $250 firm; fancy case for same $50, Oakland. 482-3030


ALBANY, spacious 2-bdrm, 2-bth condo, dishwasher, washer/dryer, frpl, w-w carpet, pool, sauna, gym, indoor garage parking (2), nr trans., $1K/mo. 540-5925

BERKELEY, furn. rm w/sep. entrance, pvt. bth, garden view, kitchen & laundry privs., walking distance from LHS, $485/mo. 549-0510

BERKELEY, lower 2-bdrm flat, front & back yds, parking, storage area, 10 min. walk to UCB/LBL shuttle, $825/mo. 548-9869

BERKELEY, 2-bdrm house , yard, garage, workshop, frpl, hardwd flrs, 25 min. walk to UCB/LBL shuttle, $875/mo. 527-4192

BERKELEY, lower studio unit, Ocean View area, nr shops & cafes, 25 min. walk to UCB/LBL shuttle, avail. 3/15,

$485/mo. 540-0385

BERKELEY (2 listings), 3-bdrm, 2-bth upper duplex, new bldg., fridge, dishwasher, washer/dryer, 2 frpls, Jacuzzi bthtub, w-w carpets, deck, off st. parking, nr dwntn, $1400/mo.; Rm avail. in house, quiet area, nr Rose Garden, avail. 3/1, $450/mo. David, 525-4470

BERKELEY HILLS, home to share, 5 min. from LBL, 2-bdrms avail., $400/mo. (ea.), share utils. Chitra, 540-0510

CONCORD, nr Ygnacio at base of Mt. Diablo, roommate wanted for spacious 4-bdrm house, community pool open May-Oct., nr shopping & state parks, 35 min. to LBL, van/carpools avail., $300/mo. + share utils. X4517

KENSINGTON, furn. 3-bdrm,

2-bth house, lg. LR, bay view, frpl, grand piano, dining area, lg. kitchen, laundry, yd, avail. 4/1, $1550/mo. + dep. Judy Bingham, 849-3711,


KENSINGTON (2 listings), both unfurn. & in quiet neighborhood, 2-bdrm, 1-bth home, living rm w/frpl, dining rm, lg. kitchen, hardwd flrs, deck, garden, $1200/mo.; studio, carpeted, 670 sq. ft., incl. full Pullman kitchen, opulent bth, deck, view, garden, nr trans., $750/mo. 524-9473

KENSINGTON, 1 furn. lg. rm. in 4-bdrm house, bay view, frpl, washer/dryer, nr bus stop & Tilden Park, $425/mo. 528-6953 (eve.)

KENSINGTON, spacious 5-bdrm house to share w/1 person, pvt. bth, privacy, bay view from lg. bdrm, garden, trees, nr busses & shopping, favorite of LBL people, $530/mo., 1st, last + $200 cleaning dep. &

1/3 utils. 524-7086

NO. OAKLAND, 6330 Shattuck nr Alcatraz, 4-bdrm, 2-bth house, gd for group, $1265/mo. X7390, 843-4736

ROCKRIDGE, rm avail. in house, share house w/3 male, 1 female environmentally-minded U.C. grad students, communal vegetarian meals, bike to UCB, short walk to BART, buses & shopping, no smokers, avail. 4/1, $400/mo. 658-1390

WANTED: Furn. 4-bdrm

w/garden in Berkeley hills for French academic couple physicist-biologist visiting UC,

3 children (12-11-7) 2 grandparents, 10 mos. to 1 yr. beginning end of Aug. '94. Andre Neveu (011) 33-67143908 (ofc.), 67589109 (home), 67143031 (fax)

WANTED: House/apt for visiting prof. & family, 3 mos., April-June, 2 or 3 bdrm. Ian, X4174


INCLINE VILLAGE, No. Tahoe, 3-bdrm condo, slps 8+, nr skiing (5 min. from Diamond Peak, 10 min. from Northstar), convenient to lake, casinos & shopping. Hank, X4517,



BERKELEY, 1716 & 1718 Chestnut St., duplex, 2-bdrm, 1-bth, other 1-bdrm, 1-bth, lg. parking area, nr trans., No. Berkeley BART, tenants-in-common, or sell the whole thing. Debra Mathews,




Mary Bodvarsson, X4014

Mac QuickMail, fax X6641


Jeffery Kahn

Mike Wooldridge

Lynn Yarris


Fax X6641

Deadline: 10:30 a.m. Tuesday


Fax X6641

Deadline: 5 p.m. Friday


Mary Padilla, X5771


Alice Ramirez

Published weekly by the

Public Information Dept., Bldg. 65B

Mike Chartock, Acting Manager