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Berkeley Lab Currents

July 24, 1998


First Beam of Positrons Stored in B-Factory's Low Energy Ring

By Lynn Yarris

"And they're off!" might have been the battle cry at 4 a.m. on July 16, when the Low Energy Ring (LER) of the B-factory stored its first beam of positrons (positively-charged electrons). With the B-factory's High Energy Ring (HER) having begun storing beams of electrons a short while earlier, construction of the $230 million particle collider--a collaboration between Berkeley Lab, the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC), and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL)--appears on schedule for its targeted completion date of October of this year.

The historic event took place following five "hectic" days of commissioning. Success was achieved when the LER stored a one milliampere beam of positrons for approximately 30 seconds while meeting all of its design parameters.

"The LER is one of the most challenging storage rings ever designed," says Michael Zisman, an Accelerator and Fusion Research Division (AFRD) physicist in charge of commissioning the LER. "Congratulations to all of the hard-working LER commissioning team for this extraordinary effort."

"B-factory" is the popular name given to the conversion of SLAC's PEP collider (Positron-Electron Project) into PEP-II, an "asymmetric" collider--one in which the two colliding beams of particles are not of equal energies. For the B-factory, the asymmetric rings are the HER, which will store electrons at an energy of 9 GeV (billion electron volts), and the LER, which will store positrons at 3.1 GeV. The rings, both of which measure nearly 2.2 kilometers in circumference (1.36 miles), are stacked together in the same tunnel with the LER, positioned immediately above the HER. Primary responsibility for the design, construction and commissioning of the LER belongs to Berkeley Lab. The HER is an upgrade of the old PEP ring.

The purpose of the B-factory is to produce copious quantities (with factory-like reliability) of B mesons, particles containing a "bottom" quark, the fifth of the six quarks believed to be fundamental constituents of matter. Measuring the lifetimes of B mesons and their antiparticle counterparts, B-bars, offers scientists their best opportunity to study differences between matter and antimatter, particularly the phenomenon known as CP violation (charge-conjugation/parity).

This phenomenon is widely believed to be responsible for the fact that during the first split seconds of the Big Bang, the process of creation favored matter over antimatter.

The use of an asymmetric collider to produce B particles was first proposed in 1987 by Pier Oddone, then head of Berkeley Lab's Physics Division and now one of the Lab's deputy directors. The idea is that an electron-positron collision yields a particle known as the upsilon 4S, which immediately decays into a B meson and a B-bar. These B particles in turn decay into a host of other charged and neutral particles whose detection can provide a wealth of information.

In all previous colliders, where the energies of the two beams were equal, the newly created B particles would have remained nearly stationary, making it difficult to study their decay products. In an asymmetric collider, however, the B particles are carried down the beamline in the direction of the more energetic beam. This forward motion with respect to a laboratory frame of reference causes their decay products to separate in space and time.

"This separation permits the reconstruction of the individual B mesons and the study of the time evolution of their decays," Zisman says.

The decay of a B meson is such a rare event that nearly a hundred million B/B-bar pairs must be produced in order for scientists to record any significant data. This requires a collider of unprecedented "luminosity"--a measurement of the rate of particle collisions over space and time. The B-factory's design calls for a luminosity of 3 x 1033 (3 followed by 33 zeros) collisions per square centimeter per second, which is at least 10 times better than the highest luminosity achieved with the best machines in the world today.

"The study of B meson decays will be one of the key elements of worldwide high energy physics investigations for many years to come," Zisman says.

Photo: Components of the asymmetric beamlines for the B-factory being built at SLAC include the upper raft, which holds the magnets for the Low Energy Ring, and the lower raft, a refurbished dipole for the High Energy Ring. SLAC1.tif

Photo: The PEP-II facility, or "B-factory," is a collaborative project between Berkeley Lab, SLAC and LLNL. Built to produce "copious" quantities of B mesons, the B-factory could help show why the process of creation favored matter over antimatter. SLAC.tif


Responding To Chemical And Biological Terrorism

Scientists model airflow and pollutant transport

By Paul Preuss

Chemical and biological terrorism is quickly moving off the paperback-thriller page and the movie screen into the real world. Last May, only four days after President Clinton announced a presidential directive to strengthen the government's management of chemical and biological crises, The New York Times revealed that the Aum Shinrikyo cult, which in 1995 killed a dozen people by releasing nerve gas in Tokyo subways, had on nine previous occasions sprayed deadly organisms, including anthrax, over wide areas of Tokyo and nearby U.S. military bases. Bad weather and weak strains of germs apparently blunted those attacks.

"So far our domestic terrorists seem to prefer bombs," says Joan Daisey of Berkeley Lab's Environmental Energy Technologies Division (EETD), "but an effective chemical or biological attack, although a rare event, would have terrible consequences. We can't ignore the possibility."

Since 1996 the Department of Energy has mounted a multi-laboratory effort to improve response to terrorist attack through its Chemical and Biological Nonproliferation Program. One area of study is known as "Transport and Fate"--an innocent (if ominous-sounding) term for what happens to gases and particles as they travel through buildings, subways and urban areas.

"Our goal is to support incident-response teams," Daisey explains, "not only by helping them plan what to do in real time, but by seeing what modifications can be made to mitigate possible effects in advance."

Transport and Fate team members began by surveying virtually all existing computer models that could simulate chemical and biological releases in an urban environment--even though none of the models were designed with terrorism in mind.

The aim is "to provide rules of thumb to first responders," says Daisey. "Because we need to get something out there right away, on the first cut we assume only air flow matters, that there are no losses of the chemical or biological agent."

The next step is to refine the models. "On the next cut, we need to know where the contaminants go. For one thing, that tells us where to put detectors."

Of the four DOE national laboratories in the Transport and Fate collaboration, says Daisey, Los Alamos and Livermore are concentrating on outdoor and urban areas, Argonne is studying subways, and Berkeley Lab studies buildings.

All the labs are working to develop state-of-the-art modeling capabilities, which will be tested in case studies.

Subways have peculiar problems, including the piston effects of trains moving in tunnels and the sometimes subtle interconnections of subways, buildings, and streets. As for outdoor spaces, "even though pollution studies have driven outdoor models for 50 years, there are still unanswered questions," Daisey says.

Energy-efficient buildings have been a major research area for EETD since the oil crises of the 1970s. Over a period of eight years, an international team led by Helmut Feustel of EETD developed a computer model dubbed COMIS (Conjunction of Multizone Infiltration Specialists), which treats buildings as interlacing systems of paths along which air masses flow among hundreds of separately defined zones. COMIS is the basis for DOE's Transport and Fate work on interiors.

Despite many years of work, the COMIS model must be extended, although, says Daisey, "we know where many of the holes are. We haven't done well with stairwells, for example, because of the temperature gradient, and as yet we can't predict dispersion in large rooms where the air is not well mixed." Modeling only a minute of real time with adequate computational fluid dynamics can take a long time; new techniques are needed--specifically "better and faster lumped parameter modules"--to extend the COMIS model.

When it comes to modeling, "accounting for deposition losses of chemicals is relatively straightforward; we have to study chemical interactions, including absorption and desorption," Daisey says, but of the chemicals and gases used by terrorists, "a lot of them are just glorified pesticides." She notes that although chemicals are typically quick acting, if released inside a building they may reach the outside only very slowly.

Biological agents are a different matter. "In the current COMIS model we treat bio-aerosols as collections of particles with a single average deposition rate, but we are now integrating the MIAQ4 model developed by Bill Nazaroff and Glenn Cass to account for particle deposition by size, surface orientation and air turbulence. Particle size, air movement, and air filtration all affect deposition losses in buildings." Nazaroff is with Berkeley Lab's EETD and UC Berkeley, and Cass is with Cal Tech.

Since air in most buildings is recirculated, germs may be widely transported within minutes. Yet depending on how quickly the disease organisms take effect, it may be days before a biological attack is detected, if ever. Daisey points out, however, that "filtration systems don't just protect against terrorism; we always have aerosols with us. Good filtration can reduce the incidence of colds and flu."

Accurately modeling the transport of contaminants in a building is one challenge; just as important is correctly characterizing the building.

"Complex buildings change from season to season. If you want to evacuate the building, do you shut off the HVAC systems? For how long? If there are two systems slopping over, it matters," Daisey says.

EETD's Rich Sextro and Helmut Feustel are leading the effort to improve methods for characterizing complex buildings in order to make accurate modeling of airflow and pollutant transport possible.

Meanwhile, in an effort to get useful information to the quick-response teams as soon as possible, Daisey and her colleagues have concentrated their efforts on the kinds of buildings that offer the most attractive targets. "In terms of airflow and other variables, we're trying to generalize office buildings, shopping malls, auditoriums, hospitals, and so on," she explains. "Terrorists are not likely to strike a residential suburb. The targets are places with lots of people."

Attempts--so far inept--to carry chemical and biological terrorism to the U.S. homeland have already been made. The Lab's EETD researchers hope that their efforts, in partnership with Livermore, Los Alamos and Argonne, will help to mitigate any such attempts in the future.

Photo: "Terrorists are not likely to strike a residential suburb," says Joan Daisey of the Environmental Energy Technologies Division. "The targets are places with lots of people." skyline.tif

Photo: EETD's Helmut Feustel, Joan Daisey and Rich Sextro--shown here holding a gas mask--are working to mitigate the effects of terrorist attacks before they happen. Photo by Don Fike (XBD9807-01753-02)


New Battery Will Keep Electrical Cars Going and Going

By Eli Kintisch

Berkeley Lab scientists are working on the preliminary stages of a project, which when completed, will allow you to purchase a sporty, sleek sedan with the worst gasoline mileage you have ever imagined: zero miles per gallon.

And consumers will love it.

This future car won't need gas at all, but instead will rely on clean, inexpensive electric power, a much more efficient source of energy. Researchers in the Environmental Energy Technologies Division (EETD) are devising rechargeable batteries to power the next generation of electric vehicles.

Led by Elton Cairns, head of the Electrochemical Technologies Group, scientists are developing high performance batteries that utilize lithium electrodes and synthetic plastic materials. These batteries may one day make electric cars a viable, competitive alternative to current automobiles.

"Making a high performance battery is easy," said Cairns, noting that lithium batteries are very successful in cell phones and notebook computers, applications in which the current expensive cells are affordable. "But making a high performance battery that costs less is hard. The way it stands now, currently available lithium batteries are too expensive to use to power cars."

A battery consists of a positive and negative electrode separated by an electrolyte, a material through which flow charged atoms, known as ions. To produce electricity, ions from the negative electrode flow towards the positive electrode, leaving a buildup of electrons on the negative electrode, which generates a current. If designed properly, a battery may be recharged by applying a current in the reverse direction, which forces the metal ions to return to the negative electrode.

Depending on the materials used for the electrodes, batteries can have different capabilities for storing energy. Standard rechargeable batteries use lead and lead oxide for the electrodes, usually with a liquid electrolyte. As a light metal which gives its electrons up easily, lithium offers a high electrochemical capacity and an environmentally-benign alternative to harmful lead. Researchers are looking at both manganese oxide and sulfur as possible positive electrode materials.

In order to make a rechargeable lithium battery, Cairns says, scientists must tackle "a mile-long list of requirements--that almost no materials will satisfy." Because lithium is so reactive, a specially designed organic solid electrolyte must be used instead of an aqueous liquid, which would react with the metal. But the electrolyte must be very thin to allow ion and electron flow.

In addition, making a battery that can be repeatedly recharged requires that the molecular structure of the electrodes allow repeated ion movement. And the battery should be light, cheap to produce, environmentally benign, and--in order to be feasible for cars--contain materials that pack an electrochemical bang-for-the buck.

Undertaking this challenge is a range of scientists from EETD, the Material Science Division (MSD), and UC Berkeley departments. Collaborators on the project include EETD's Jim Evans, John Kerr, Kim Kinoshita, Frank McLarnon, John Newman, Tom Devine, and Kathryn Striebel, along with MSD's Lutgard DeJonghe, Marca Doeff, Phil Ross, and Steve Visco.

Because electric vehicles are a priority for the Department of Energy, the project receives funding for its two -million-dollar budget through DOE's Offices of Transportation Technologies and Basic Energy Sciences.

The environmental advantages offered by electric cars are dazzling. Their engines are far more efficient than combustion competitors, and unlike gasoline cars, they don't waste fuel idling. Most importantly, electric cars generate no fumes. Instead, the energy to recharge batteries is produced at power plants, whose smokestacks can be treated to cut pollution.

"It's much easier to control emissions at the power plant than on many individual automobiles," says Cairns.

Although still in their infancy, electric cars can perform remarkably well alongside their smoky competitors. GM's currently available two-door EV-1, which can be leased for as low as $340 a month, can attain a 0-to-60 in a sporty eight seconds flat. The car uses advanced lead/acid batteries, which are relatively inexpensive to produce, but must be recharged after driving about 80 miles.

Scientists calculate that lithium batteries could store three times more energy per kilogram than lead cells, allowing drivers to travel more than two hundred miles before a recharge--roughly the same range afforded between gasoline fill-ups.

"According to the market projections, for some time the electric vehicle will be 30 percent more expensive than its gasoline counterpart," said Cairns. "But operating costs will be much lower and fuel costs extremely lower."

Cairns estimates that fuel costs for future battery-powered cars will vary from one to two cents per mile, depending on the electric company, as opposed to five to 10 cents per mile, the cost of gasoline for most cars. This could translate into yearly savings of thousands of dollars on gasoline alone--not to mention maintenance: electric vehicles do not require transmissions, motor oil or tune-ups.

In order to investigate different combinations of materials for the batteries, Cairns' team builds dime-sized test cells. Computer-controlled cyclers are used to discharge and recharge the cells to test their performance.

The final product will be a paper-thin cell with a shiny side of lithium, a side covered in black carbon, and a thin polymer electrolyte in between. The multi-layered sheets may be rolled into a cylindrical shaped cell or stacked on top one another to resemble standard car batteries.

Building a better battery has been a lifelong objective for Cairns, who has served as an international leader in chemical engineering for over 30 years. In addition to a long span of fruitful research with the Department of Energy, he has served as president of the Electrochemical Society and will soon head the International Society of Electrochemistry.

Photo: The battery of GM's EV-1 electric car (right) must be recharged every 90 miles. By developing powerful lithium fuel cells, Berkeley Lab scientists hope to triple the battery life of future models and make electric cars competitive. EV-1.tif

Photo: Electrochemical Technologies Group researchers are using a dime-sized test cell--shown here sitting on its stainless steel casing--to test different battery materials for future rechargeable batteries to be used for electric cars. battery.tif


Washington News

Senators unite behind science

A group of Senate Republicans and Democrats joined forces to make a joint plea for the long-term health of science and technology. Led by Senator Bill Frist (R-Tenn), the coalition introduced a bill that would boost civilian R&D spending from $38 billion in 1999 to $68 billion in 2010. That amounts to an annual increase of 2.5 percent above inflation for the next 12 years.

Frist's legislation, which is said to enjoy strong backing from the research community, would not obligate Congress to spend more on R&D, and it requests slightly less than a plan proposed last fall by Senators Phil Gramm (R-Tex) and Joe Lieberman (D-Conn) which called for a doubling of R&D in a decade. However, supporters say the bill would raise the profile of science and technology among politicians. The bill, entitled the Federal Research Investment Act, would also require the National Academy of Sciences to study criteria for determining the success or failure of government R&D efforts.

National labs should get back to basics, report says

The country would be better served if DOE's national laboratories reduced the number of partnerships they have with the private sector and focused more on basic research, according to a recent report released by the Committee for Economic Development, a Washington-based nonprofit group that conducts research on economic and social issues. Entitled, "America's Basic Research: Prosperity Through Diversity," the CED report is an effort to "encourage lawmakers to create a national policy that emphasizes basic research at federal agencies, including DOE."

The CED report praised the labs for their "considerable resources in the form of human and physical capital," but said the facilities should not be used to conduct R&D that would otherwise be undertaken by companies. Although it does not call for the elimination of all R&D partnerships involving DOE and the private sector, the report found that "subsidizing civilian technology for national competitive purposes is not a justifiable federal mission and it should not be allowed to displace federal investments in basic research."

Many of the conclusions in the CED report were on the same page as the recommendations of the Galvin Report, the 1995 report written by a panel chaired by former Motorola chairman Robert Galvin. The CED report endorsed the recommendations of the Galvin report.

Although DOE officials had not responded to the CED study at the time of this report, Under Secretary Ernest Moniz has been making his own calls for increased peer review of DOE research projects since he took office last November.

--Lynn Yarris


General Sciences Come Together

Photo: William Barletta, James Siegrist and Lee Schroeder, division directors of AFRD, Physics, and Nuclear Science, respectively, show off the General Sciences' "Great Unification" cake during an open house held on Thursday, July 9. This is the first time that all three divisions are housed at the same location on the fourth floor of Bldg. 50. Photo by Roy Kaltschmidt (XBD9807-01746.tif)


News From Other Labs

Record-shattering first light at Jefferson Lab

Researchers at Jefferson Lab (formerly known as CEBAF) delivered 155 watts of light from their Free Electron Laser (FEL). This light, the first generated by the FEL, is 150,000 times more powerful than a supermarket scanner--15 times the power of existing FELs. Jefferson Lab pioneered superconducting technology for accelerating electrons to high energy in efficient, cost-effective accelerators.

This technology offers two cost advantages for FELs: the laser can stay on 100 percent of the time, and 99 percent of the energy not converted to light can be recycled. The FEL could potentially produce light at a cost useful for industrial processing in addition to providing a unique tool for basic research in materials.

Ames studies tiny magnetic particles

A unique attempt is underway at the Ames Laboratory to alter the tiny particles of a magnetic material in order to make magnets that retain their power at higher operating temperatures. If successful, the new magnets could become an efficient power source for deep-space probes, cars, electronics, computers, and power tools.

Bill McCallum and Alan Russell want to alter the structure of neodymium-iron-boron particles to gradually blend two different compositions--one at the outer edge, to resist demagnetization, and another at the core, to retain magnetic properties at higher temperatures. NASA hopes to use the magnets as a power source for deep-space probes.

ORNL Technology Removes Napalm

Scientists at Oak Ridge National Laboratory have developed, and American Technologies, Inc. has licensed, a bacterial technology that can dispose of napalm and other explosives. Resear-chers have developed special bacteria that produce chemical-degrading enzymes; so far the process has been used to render the hazardous chemicals richloroethylene and trinitrotoluene harmless, but ORNL resear-chers plan to use the method for disposing of unexploded ordnance.

Infrastructural integrity focus of new ANL center

Assuring the safety, reliability and continuity of telecommunications, energy supply systems, and transportation networks is the focus of the new Infrastructure Assurance Center at Argonne National Laboratory. ANL created the center in response to a presidential directive calling for "a national effort to assure the security of increasingly vulnerable and interconnected infrastructures." Critical infrastructures are those systems essential to the minimum operations of the economy and government. A breakdown in any one system has the potential to significantly disrupt the economy and national security.

"Argonne's expertise in the disciplines required for understanding infrastructure assurance makes the lab well-equipped to address this increasingly important national issue," said Paula Scalingi, director of the new center.


Berkeley Lab in the News

Morning commuters listening to KQED-FM radio on July 14 were treated to a lengthy story on the Environmental Energy Technologies Division's work to develop technologies for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Reporter Kevin Boyd interviewed EETD's Dariush Arasteh, Francis Rubenstein and Eric Page, as well as outside experts, about progress in making buildings more energy efficient.

And earlier this month, the BBC sent producer Doug Jones, whose science program for children is very popular in England, to tape Michel Van Hove of the Material Sciences Division for a story about why ice is slippery.


Words of Praise for Lab Science Writer

Wired magazine recently interviewed renowned scientist and author Freeman Dyson. Asked which science fiction writers he reads, Dyson named his three favorites: Bob Forward, Charles Sheffield, and Paul Preuss. Preuss is a science writer in the Laboratory's Public Information Department and a regular contributor to Currents. His 13th work of fiction, "Secret Passages" was published in hardcover last summer.


Around the Lab


Using Lab E-Mail and Resources to Lobby Violates Lab Policy

Recent e-mail messages to Washington policy makers from a Berkeley Lab computer have raised concerns about the appropriate uses of federal resources, especially Laboratory equipment.

Reid Edwards, the Laboratory's manager of Government Relations, reminds all employees that it is a violation of Laboratory policy, as well as an unallowable cost, to use Laboratory resources to engage in lobbying or similar behavior.

"With the federal budget process heating up along with the temperatures in Washington, e-mail messages are flying fast and furious with information about the federal budget and recommendation actions," Edwards said.

"We were recently made aware that one of our scientists forwarded a message encouraging a lobbying campaign using his work computer. Even forwarding e-mail like this is against Lab policy."

The caution applies to all Lab resources, from computers to stationery, whether during normal business hours or not.

Edwards did note, however, the value of expressing opinions to legislators about funding priorities as long as the effort is made outside the Laboratory and with personal resources.

The subject is addressed in the Laboratory's Regulations and Procedures Manual (RPM 5.01.D6, "Contacts with State and Federal Officials," RPM 6.02.A2, "Use of Lab Properties and Supplies").

For further questions contact Reid Edwards at X6601 or


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Access to Information Will Soar with "China Clipper"

By Jon Bashor

A newly funded computer research program at Berkeley Lab could revolutionize the way scientific instruments, computers and humans work together to gather, analyze and use data. Funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, the program will build on efforts made over the past 10 years to gather and store information and make it available over computer networks. The program is called "China Clipper" in reference to the 1930s commercial air service which spanned the Pacific Ocean and opened the door to today's global air service.

"I believe that our China Clipper project epitomizes the research environment we will see in the future," says Bill Johnston, leader of the Lab's Imaging and Distributed Computing Group. "It will provide an excellent model for online scientific instrumentation. Data are fundamental to analytical science, and one of my professional goals is to greatly improve the routine access to scientific data--especially very large datasets--by widely distributed collaborators, and to facilitate its routine computer analysis."

The idea behind China Clipper, like the pioneering air service, is to bring diverse resources closer together. In this case, scientific instruments such as electron microscopes and accelerators would be linked by networks to data storage "caches" and computers. China Clipper will provide the "middleware" to allow these separate components, often located hundreds or thousands of miles apart, to function as a single system. Johnston is scheduled to discuss the Lab's work in this area next week at an IEEE symposium on High Performance Distributed Computing.

Data intensive computing

Modern scientific computing involves organizing, moving, visualizing, and analyzing massive amounts of data from around the world, as well as employing large-scale computation. The distributed systems that solve large-scale problems involve aggregating and scheduling many resources. For example, data must be located and staged, and cache and network capacity must be available at the same time as computing capacity.

Every aspect of such a system is dynamic: locating and scheduling resources, adapting running application systems to availability and congestion in the middleware and infrastructure, and responding to human interaction. The technologies, services and architectures used to build useful high-speed, wide area distributed systems constitute the field of data intensive computing.

Enhancing data intensive computing will make research facilities and instruments at various DOE sites available to a wider group of users. Berkeley Lab scientists are developing China Clipper in collaboration with their counterparts at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center, Argonne National Laboratory. and DOE's Energy Sciences Network, or ESnet.

"This will lead to a substantial increase in the capabilities of experimental facilities," predicts Johnston.

Faster turnaround of information

As an example of benefits, Johnston cites a project called "WALDO" (Wide Area Large Data Object) which makes it possible for physicians to have immediate access to patients' medical images. Johnston's group--together with Pacific Bell, Livermore's NTON optical network testbed project and others--worked with Kaiser Permanente to produce a prototype online, distributed, high-data-rate medical imaging system. The project allowed cardio-angiography data to be collected directly from a scanner in a San Francisco hospital. The system was connected to a high-speed Bay Area network, allowing data to be collected, processed, and stored at Berkeley Lab and accessed by cardiologists at the Kaiser Oakland hospital. Currently such images are processed and kept at a central office, and it can take weeks for doctors to see one or two images. With the WALDO real-time acquisition and cataloguing approach, they had access in a few hours.

Better research

This work is guided by the vision that faster access to data will allow scientists to conduct their work more efficiently and gain new insights. Research often starts out with a scientific model. Scientists then conduct an experiment and compare the actual results with what was expected. Understanding the resulting differences is where the real science happens, Johnston says. China Clipper is expected to lead to better utilization of instrumentation for experiments and fast comparisons of actual experiments and computational models. Streamlining the test-and-compare process could significantly increase the rate of scientific discovery.

Evolution of an idea

China Clipper is the culmination of a decade of research and development of high-speed, wide area, data intensive computing. The first demonstration of the project's potential, Johnston said, came during 1989 hearings held by then-Senator Al Gore on his High Performance Computing and Communications legislation. Because the Senate room had no network connections at the time, a simulated transmission of images over a network at various speeds was put together. The successful effort introduced legislators to the implications of network bandwidth.

Johnston's group continued its work, evolving from scientific visualization to the idea of operating scienti-fic instruments on line. This work is led by Bahram Parvin in collaboration with the Lab's Material Sciences and Life Sciences Divisions. Last year, several group members patented their system which provides automatic computerized control of microscopic experiments. The system collects video data, analyzes it and then sends a signal to the instruments to carry out such delicate tasks as cleaving DNA molecules and controlling the shape of growing microcrystals.

One key aspect of successful data-intensive computing--accessing data cached at various sites--was developed by Berkeley Lab. Called Distributed-Parallel Storage System, or DPSS, this technology successfully provided an economical, high performance and highly scalable design for caching large amounts of data for use by many different users. Brian Tierney continues this project with his team in NERSC's Future Technologies Group.

In May, a team from Berkeley Lab and SLAC conducted an experiment using DPSS to support high energy physics data analysis. The team achieved a sustained data transfer rate of 57 MBytes per second, demonstrating that high-speed data storage systems could use distributed caches to make data available to systems running analysis codes.

Overcoming hurdles

With the development of various components necessary for data intensive computing, the number of obstacles has dwindled. One of the last remaining issues--scheduling and allocating resources over networks--is being addressed by "differentiated services." This technology, resulting from work by Van Jacobson's Network Research Group, marks some data packets for priority service as they move across networks. A demonstration by Berkeley Lab in April showed that priority-marked packets arrived at eight times the speed of regular packets when sent through congested network connections. Differentiated services would ensure that designated projects could be conducted by reserving sufficient resources.

The next big step, says Johnston, is to integrate the various components and technologies into a cohesive and reliable package--a set of "middleware services" that allows applications to easily use these new capabilities.

"We see China Clipper not so much as a system, but as a coordinated collection of services that may be flexibly used for a variety of applications," says Johnston. "Once it takes off, we see it opening new routes and opportunities for scientific discovery."

For more information see,, and (for papers)

Photo: Above: The China Clipper program was named after the commercial air service which spanned the Pacific Ocean in the 1930s, revolutionizing air travel. clipper.tiff


Pines and Krauss Wind Up Summer Lecture Series

Talks to focus on magnetic imaging and on genetic factors in heart disease

"Some Magnetic Moments: Images from Within" will be the topic for the July 29 summer lecture with Alex Pines of Material Sciences.

Pines is a prominent researcher in the area of nuclear magnetic resonance, now one of the most valuable diagnostic tools in medicine. His recent breakthrough studies demonstrated that xenon gas can be specially treated to amplify the volume of MRI signals.

Ronald Krauss, the head of Molecular Medicine in the Life Sciences Division, will conclude the Summer Lecture Series on Tuesday, Aug. 4, with a talk on "Diet, Genes and Heart Disease: One Size Doesn't Fit All."

Ronald Krauss made national news recently by announcing new evidence that genes play a complex and important role in heart disease, and that diet and lifestyle are not always enough to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

The lectures will be held at noon in the Bldg. 50 auditorium. The lecture series is sponsored by the Lab's Public Information Department.

Photo: Alex Pines Pines.tif

Photo: Ronald Krauss XBD9802-00203.tif


Highlights Wins Bay Area Bests Award

Photo: The International Association of Business Communicators has awarded its prestigious Bay Area Bests Excellence Award in the "Special Communication" category to Berkeley Lab Highlights magazine. Editor Pamela Patterson accepted the award at a ceremony held at San Jose Repertory Theater on July 20. Pictured above are science writer Paul Preuss, Pamela Patterson, designer Niza Hanany, and science writer Lynn Yarris. The judging is based on content, design and other factors. Last year's award in the same category went to Pacific Bell. Also contributing to the publication were photographer Roy Kalt-schmidt, illustrator Flavio Robles and writer Jon Bashor. Photo by Jeffery Kahn XBD9807-01787.tif


Construction on Electrical Ducts Runs Through October

Facilities has announced that construction of underground electrical ducts and manholes for the new Blackberry Canyon Switching Station has begun on July 20. Trenches will be excavated and filled in ten increments, starting at Road S, adjacent to the Grizzly Substation, and proceeding along McMillan Road to Cyclotron, Chamberlain and Alvarez Roads.

Complete road closures are not expected, but motorists will encounter areas of one-lane traffic control with flaggers. Work at critical intersections (Road S and McMillan, the Bevatron Circle) will be carried out on weekends to minimize inconvenience to Lab employees. In addition, the project will make use of the parking strip on McMillan Road near Bldg. 71B until the end of the year. Trenching work and associated traffic impacts will continue until late October.

Scheduled for completion in early fiscal year 2000, Blackberry Canyon Switching Station is the final phase in a long-range program to upgrade Berkeley Lab's 12kV electrical distribution system. The upgraded system is expected to meet the Laboratory's electrical needs into the next century.

For questions regarding the Blackberry Canyon project, contact project manager Chuck Taberski at X6076.

Photo: Map drawing: Roads that may be affected by construction over the next few months are marked by dotted lines. No road closures are anticipated. BBC-map-detail


Bulletin Board


Blood Drive to Be Held July 29 & 30

The next blood drive at Berkeley Lab is scheduled for Wednesday, July 29, and Thursday, July 30, from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Please note that the drive is being held at a new location--Bldg. 2, Conference Room 100B.

Donors are urged to make an appointment as soon as possible by calling X4009 in order to help organizers plan the event. T-shirts will be offered to all donors.

The blood drive will benefit the Blood Bank of Alameda-Contra Costa Counties.

For more information or to register, contact Helane Carpenter at X4009 or mhcarpenter@


Hall of Science Offers Free Summer Admission to UC Staff

University of California staff can visit the Lawrence Hall of Science free through Aug. 30 in honor of the Hall's thirtieth anniversary.

Events range from the ongoing whales exhibit, which runs through Aug. 30, to special classes and "Summer Science Fundays." Museum programs also feature a biology lab, a weekend computer lab, and the Holt Planetarium, which has shows scheduled every day throughout the summer.

For more information, contact LHS at 642-5132.


Safety Slogan Contest

The Environment, Health and Safety Division is conducting a labwide contest to come up with safety slogans for the Lab's health and safety campaign, to be conducted during the month of September.

The contest is open to all Lab employees, and entries will be accepted from both individuals and groups.

Topics may include safety issues such as:

To be considered, slogan entries must be 15 words or less, and must be received before 5 p.m on Friday, Aug. 14. To enter, mail your slogan to Nancy Sallee, Safety Slogan Contest, EH&S Training, M.S. 90-0026.

Winning slogans will be selected by members of the EH&S Safety Campaign Committee.

A variety of prizes will be offered. In addition, the winners will be featured on a poster using their own slogans.

For more information contact Nancy Sallee at X5914.


Juneteenth Festival Display Attracts Visitors

Photo: Information about Berkeley Lab programs and employment opportunities was on hand during a special Lab display at last month's Juneteenth Festival. The event, which highlights African American culture, is a joint effort of city officials, corporations, community groups, media representatives, educators, and artists.

The Lab exhibit was sponsored by the Workforce Diversity Office and the Human Resources Department. Photo by Roy Kaltschmidt XBD9807-01726.tif


Computer Training Available Regularly

Berkeley Lab, in conjunction with AIM Computer Training, Inc., is providing regular on-site computer classes (PC-based). The following classes are offered to Lab employees:

A new class on LBNL Netscape Scheduling/Calendar will start in September.

Please note that this fall the Laboratory will bring into production a new Netscape-based scheduling/calendar system, which will replace the existing Meeting Maker. Employees are encouraged to enroll in the Scheduling/Calendar classes in order to take full advantage of the system's more advanced capabilities.

Class information, including schedules and online registration, is available on the Employee Development and training website at For questions, contact the computer Help Desk at 486-HELP, Kati Markowitz at X5211, or AIM Computer Training at (925) 988-0128.


Ergonomic Fair and Presentation

Berkeley Lab will host its annual Ergonomics Fair from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 3, and Tuesday, Aug. 4, in Perseverance Hall (cafeteria annex). Computer workstation furniture and accessories, such as keyboards, pointing devices, keyboard trays, chairs, foot rests, document holders, and glare screens will be on display. Ergonomically designed hand tools and laboratory equipment (including pipetting and microscopy accessories) will also be exhibited. Vendors will be on hand to answer questions.

On Wednesday, Aug. 5, a special presentation will be given by Ira Janowitz, an ergonomics researcher at the University of California at San Francisco. He will talk about ergonomic considerations for laboratory and work station design, installation and use. The presentation will be held at noon in the Bldg. 50 auditorium.

For more information contact Larry McLouth at X5286.


Cafeteria Menu Not Available

We are sorry that we are unable to publish the cafeteria menus for the next two weeks because the information was not available to us at press time.

Weekly menus are available at the cafeteria, as are daily listings on the board at the dining room entrance.

We hope to be able to publish the menus again in the next issue.


Outdoor Club Fishing Derby

One of the most prominent events of Berkeley Lab's Outdoor Club, the Fishing Derby will be held on Saturday, Aug. 8, at the San Pablo Reservoir Recreation Area. Fishing prizes will include a grand prize for the biggest trout. Weigh-in time is at 3:30 at the South End Boat Ramp. Tickets are $1 per person. For more information contact Al Salazar at X5908 (al_salazar@ or Ed Tully at X5907.


Currents Online

The full text and photographs of Currents are also published on the World Wide Web. You can find a link to Currents on the Lab's home page (http:// under the heading "Publications." The site allows users to do searches of past articles. To set up your computer to access the web, call the Mac and PC Support Group at X6858.


Calendar of Events at Berkeley Lab


The Berkeley Lab Calendar is published biweekly here on the World Wide Web and in Currents by the Public Information Department. Employees can list a meeting, class, or event in the Calendar by using this submission form. The deadline for submissions is 5 p.m. on Monday in the week that Currents is published.

In addition to the events listed below, Berkeley Lab's Washington, D.C. Projects office is hosting a Science and Technology Seminars series. 

Scientific Conferences


July 24 - August 7


Weight Watchers
Noon, Bldg. 26-109


Summer Lecture Series
Alex Pines on magnetic resonance
Noon, Bldg. 50 auditorium

Blood Drive
7 a.m. - 1 p.m., Bldg. 2-100B


Blood Drive
7 a.m. - 1 p.m., Bldg. 2-100B


Sid Drell Symposium
9 a.m., Stanford (SLAC auditorium)


Ergonomics Fair
10 a.m. - 2 p.m., Perseverance Hall (Bldg. 54 addition)


Ergonomics Fair
10 a.m. - 2 p.m., Perseverance Hall (Bldg. 54 addition)

Summer Lecture Series
Ronald Krauss on diet, genes and heart disease Noon, Bldg. 50 auditorium

Weight Watchers
Noon, Bldg. 26-109


Ergonomics Presentation
Noon, Bldg. 50 auditorium

Items for the calendars may be sent via e-mail to currents_calendar@, faxed to X6641 or mailed to Bldg. 65B. The deadline for the Aug. 7 issue is 5 p.m. Monday, Aug. 3.


August EH&S Class Schedule

Pre-registration is required for all courses except Introduction to Environment, Health & Safety. To pre-register, send name, employee ID number, extension, course title, EH&S course code, and date of course to EH&S: via the web (, e-mail (, mail (EH&S Training, 90-0026, room 16C), fax (X4805) or phone (X7366).


Sports Happenings

Golf Club

In a hard-fought match, the LBNL Golf Club lost the annual competition against the UC Golf Club on July 11 by a score of 24 to 17. The matches were held at the Mountain Shadows Golf Course in Petaluma.

The competition also included a two-player, better-ball tournament within the LBNL Golf Club. The champions were Judy and John Lee who combined to shoot a net 58--the best round of the day for either team.

1. John Lee, Judy Lee

2. John Bowers, Robert Patton

3. Gary Morrison, Gary Lavagnino

4. Ronnie Nelson, Gary Nelson



Henry Lancaster Retires After 41 Years

Henry Lancaster, a former head of the accelerator electronics engineering department and leader of the ALS electronics group, retired on July 10 after more that 41 years of continuous service to the Laboratory. He is shown here with his wife Mary during a luncheon held in his honor that day at the UC Berkeley Men's Faculty Club.

A large number of friends and associates attended to celebrate and remember Lancaster's long career in accelerator electrical engineering.

While at Berkeley Lab Lancaster worked on the Bevatron resonant beam extraction system, the 200 BeV accelerator design, and the electron ring accelerator. He was electrical engineering group leader for the SuperHilac Uranium beam project, and most recently, electrical engineering group leader for the ALS construction. While at the SuperHilac Lancaster was awarded a patent on radio frequency quadrupole vane coupling rings.

Former ALS director Brian Kincaid thanked Lancaster at the luncheon for playing an important role in the success of the ALS.

Lancaster and his wife plan to enjoy their retirement traveling and playing tennis.

Photo: Henry Lancaster lancaster.tif


Flea Market

Autos / Supplies

`73 CHEVY Nova, new maroon paint w/ beige interior, 30K mi on new engine, exc cond, original owner, have all records, Kevin, X4319, (925) 833-1668

`79 TOYOTA Celica, 5 spd, ac, sun roof, exc tires, well maintained, recent tune-up, new clutch, all records, very reliable, registered through 1/99, 156K mi, $1,000, call between 7/25-7/30, Eric, X6308, 527-2823

`82 VOLVO wagon, w/ 3rd seat, runs great, low miles, $2,000/b.o., Dan, 528-4935 after 5:30 pm

`86 AUDI 4000, 120K mi, power steering, windows, doorlocks, sunroof, ac/ am/fm/cass, cruise control, int good, new tires, alt, battery, brake pads, runs great, avail 8/23, $2,200, Sophie, X4125

`88 SUBARU GL, 4 wd, wagon, 5 spd, 118K mi, 200 W stereo w/ subwoofer, well maintained, new cooling system, recent tune-up, registered through 1/99, $2,800, call between 7/25-7/30, Eric, X6308, 527-2823

`90 NISSAN Stanza, 4 dr, at/ac/cc, power everything, tilt, ABS, am/fm stereo tape and more, 119K (mostly freeway), exc cond, clean outside/inside, white w/ gray interior, new belts, register to 5/24/99, blue book, $5,775, asking $4,000/b.o., Jingsong, X5315, 845-9079

`91 ACURA Integra RS, 62K mi, ac am/fm exc cond, $8,900/b.o., Becky, 643-3073, 526-8889

`91 FORD F150 XLT, 4x4, extra cab, 302 V8, shell, liner, at, ac, 82K mi, $9,900, Dennis, (925) 825-1636

`93 HYUNDAI Excel, 3 dr hatchback, auto, ac, am/fm/cass, newly rebuilt transmission, new tires & brakes, 57K mi, very good condition, $2,225, Jian, X4082

`95 JEEP Cherokee Sport, red, exc cond, 4 dr, 5 spd manual, ac, driver airbag, am/fm/cassette, power/ tilt steering, roof rack, tinted windows, 75K mi (mostly freeway), $12,000, Edith, X5553, 222-6385

`96 PLYMOUTH Neon, 4 dr, white, a/t, a/c, 25K mi, stereo, factory guarantee, $8,500, Jacob, X4413, 644-1739

`97 Yamaha 650 Seca II, 2k mi, great cond, all services, $4,900, Silvia, X5223, 223-4766 evenings

`98 JEEP Cherokee Sport, 4 dr, 4 wd, 4.0L, white, 13K mi, ac, pow windows & door lock, tilt wheel cruise control, privacy glass, am/fm, cassette, dual airbags, roof rack, towing pkg, alloy wheels, security, 3 yr, 36K mi warranty, $21,000, Yasuhisa, X6645


BERKELEY Hills, beautiful, spacious 2 bdrm in-law apt, fully furn, recently remodeled, marble bthrm, private patio, non smoker, $895 + util, Helga, 524-8308

EL CERRITO, semi-furn, in-law studio, separate entrance, kitchen & bath, util include, $450, Kimberly, X5419525-7329

ELMWOOD share, lg bdrm w/ dressing rm sized closet, elegant, 11 rm, 2.5 bth house (hardwood floors, sauna, fireplace, fish pond, yellow Lab), w/ three nonsmoking professionals over 30, $595/mo, + deposit, shared expenses, Tony, 841-4480

ROCKRIDGE, North Oakland, room in 2 bdrm spacious condo, heated pool, spa, gym, sauna, nr shopping center, bus, Bart, LBNL shuttle, non smoker, female, avail 8/98, $425, Lili, 655-6855


BACKPACK, Dana Designs Bomb pack, size small, only used once, perfect for short overnight backpacking or skill trips, $115, Julie, X2420

BED, single, mattress set & frame, essentially new, $70; table & 6 chairs, formica top, solid wood w/ yellow paint, cane backs, $50/b.o., Rick, 2233, 848-3662

BICYCLE, Mtb, 15 gears w/ lights, pump, lock, tools, $50, Nelson, X6628

BIKE, Mtn, kid's 15", 5 spd Schwinn Enduro, as new, $90/b.o., John, 642-3069, 527-0684

COMPUTER, 486I DX-100, great for beginners or student applications where only moderate computer power is required, CD-ROM & 33.6K modem, can be used to control experiments or to access the Internet, $350, Bob, 845-3753

COMPUTER TABLE, 55.5"Hx28"W, particle board, dark grain, $50/b.o., Adele, X5803

DISHWASHER, portable, white w/ brown top, GE, extremely dependable, $50, Sherry, X6972, 799-8414

END TABLES (white wash), $20 ea; 96 CD revolving/black holder, $7; black love seat/sleeper, $150; 20" box fan (very strong fan), $10; dash cover (brown) fits 89-92 Honda Prelude, $10, Grace, X5061 (925) 229-8268 evenings

MAC POWER BOOK 400cs, 117 MHz, has 183MHz newer CPU upgrade 128K L2, 44MB RAM, 8-bit video out, 2 batteries, Ethernet card, CD-ROM, external 33.6 modem, external zip, OS 8 + software, asking $1,400, Henry, X5569

MODEM, external 33.6Kbs, fax w/ voice, speaker & mic jacks, cost $80 in 8/97, sell for $40/b.o., Art 4785

MOVING SALE, kitchen table w/ 4 chairs, $95/b.o.; bookshelf, $35/b.o.; coffee table, $95/b.o.; sofa, $290/b.o., mtn bike Cannondale, $290/b.o., Becky, 643-3073, 526-8889

MOVING SALE, 25" RCA color TV console, cable + VCR connectors, remote control, indoor antenna, $150; Philips Magnavox VCR, 6 mos old, recently cleaned, $150; Single futon + wood frame, $60; double futon + metal frame, $100; full size deluxe futon + teak frame, $200; queen futon + wood frame, $225; oak table + 4 oak chairs, $150; oak coffee table, $50; Microwave, $50; vacuum cleaner, $40; 37" dwarf potted pine tree, $75, call between 7/25-7/30, Eric, X6308, 527-2823

TABLE, glass top, round, 42" diam, black fanned legs, w/ 2 black (slightly damaged) chairs, $60; Rowing machine, Avita, needs cleaning but works very well, $25. Monica, 601-5757 (eve)

TILES, Italian Rose Marble, 30 pieces, 12"x12", $225/b.o., Dan 245-9038


HAWAII, 20 mi below Hilo on Big Island, convenient to Univ of Hawaii campus, unfurn, 2 bdrm, 2 bth house for rent by week ($150) or by month, ($450); $55,000 to buy, nr schools, shopping, rec ctr, 1 mi to ocean bluff, Marlene, X6005

BAHAMAS CONDO, 1 bdrm in Taino Beach Resort, sleeps up to 4, every amenity, on beautiful beach, pool/tennis, maid service, $500/week, Marlene, X6005

TAHOE KEYS at South Lake Tahoe, 3 bdrm house, 2.5 bth, on the water, fenced yard, quiet area, close to many attractions, great view of water & mtns, $150/night (2 night min), Bob, (925) 376-2211


HOUSING, Berkeley area, summer sublet for visiting scientist for 2-4 weeks beg 8/1/98, preferably in two-bdrm apt or house, Xin, X5239

HOUSING, 2+ bdrm house/condo in nice area nr LBNL for visiting scientist and wife, 11/1/98 to 4/30/99, Bill, X5910, WJFish@

HOUSING for visiting scientist, 3 bdrms from 9/98 to 5/99, near Berkeley, Craig (804) 982-5364 or

HOUSING, cottage/studio/in-law apt for clean, quiet, responsible tenant w/ exc references, in Montclair, Alameda, San Leandro, or other safe East Bay neighborhood, starting ASAP, Andrea, 843-5100

MUSIC STAND, any type, usable condition, cheap, Sherry, X6972, 799-8414

NECKTIES AND BOW TIES, donate your old unwanted ties for a school project, mail them to Vickie @ Bldg 88, X7826

Flea Market Policy

Flea Market items may be e-mailed to fleamarket@, faxed to X6641, or mailed to Bldg. 65B.

The deadline for the Aug. 7 issue is 5 p.m. Friday, July 31. Ads will not be accepted after that date.


Flea Market ad policy

Due to the large volume of ads received each week, ads are accepted only from LBNL employees, retirees, and on-site DOE personnel. No other ads will be accepted. We encourage past contributors to the Flea Market to use other local services, such as LBNL's online housing listing (call X6198 for information), and the UC Housing Office.

Please note also:


Currents/The View and the Communications Department Staff

Published once a month by the Communications Department for the employees and retirees of Berkeley Lab.

Reid Edwards, Public Affairs Department head
Ron Kolb, Communications Department head

Pamela Patterson, 486-4045,
Associate editor
Lyn Hunter, 486-4698,

Dan Krotz, 486-4019
Paul Preuss, 486-6249
Lynn Yarris, 486-5375

Ucilia Wang, 495-2402
Allan Chen, 486-4210
David Gilbert, (925) 296-5643

Caitlin Youngquist, 486-4020
Creative Services Office

Berkeley Lab
Communications Department
MS 65, One Cyclotron Road, Berkeley CA 94720
(510) 486-5771
Fax: (510) 486-6641

Berkeley Lab is managed by the University of California for the U.S. Department of Energy.

Flea Market is now online at


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