|May 3, 2002|
By Ron Kolb
They came 200 strong for a long weekend and left with a few slices of science on celluloid to take back with them to Hollywood.
Cast and crew for the comic-book action film “The Hulk” spent April 19-22 camped out at Berkeley Lab, bringing with them tons of lights and cameras and cabling and construction cranes. They arrived Friday night, huge semitrailers and star-housing-on-wheels following directional signs labeled “Green” (for Big Green Productions) and pointing to basecamp in Blackberry Canyon or to the set up the hill.
Then Saturday, beginning at daybreak and continuing far into the wee hours of Sunday morning, the Universal Studios contingent worked. By Monday night, they had spent roughly 80 hours on site and probably ended up with only 2-3 minutes that will appear in next summer’s expected blockbuster movie.
Ah, but what minutes — the grandeur of the Advanced Light Source inside and out, the breathtaking panorama of the San Francisco cityscape from the hills, and the … Oops. That’s about as far as we can go. Staff were warned not to talk about what they saw, photography on the set was banned, and the details of the script involving a transformed man-monster who fights the forces of evil were locked up tighter than Fort Knox.
Not that visitors to the shoot would have gleaned anything valuable. The roughly eight scenes filmed here took more than two hours each to set up and shoot. Over and over and over — a dozen or more takes per 20-second shot. Jennifer Connelly (Oscar winner for “A Beautiful Mind”) walked in the ALS front door and over to the elevator again and again while a camera on a mini-track recorded her movements. Poor Eric Bana, relatively unknown star of the picture, had to ride a bicycle over the hills, up the ALS driveway and back up the Lawrence Road grade repeatedly, as if training for an Iron Man competition.
The meticulous nature of movie-making was never more evident than in a scene involving Lou Ferrigno, the original TV “Hulk” who has been given a cameo as a guard in the 2003 version. With his wife and son watching from a balcony above, the muscular actor spent an hour in the ALS lobby exchanging two or three brief lines with Bana, then another hour doing it again for close-ups.
After each take, Director Ang Lee (“Sense and Sensibility,” “The Ice Storm,” “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”) and cinematographer Fred Elms (“Blue Velvet”, “Ice Storm”) agonized over lighting, camera angles, actor motion and emotion. And then they’d shoot it again.
Star-gazers also saw glimpses of Nick Nolte and Sam Elliott hanging around the ALS, although their Monday appearance was limited to a brief rehearsal at the Light Source’s inner ring. Two other actors — obviously younger versions of the Nolte-Elliott characters — did most of the action sequences there.
The Gammasphere, a Berkeley Lab creation housed in the 88-inch Cyclotron, also has a role in the film, but it will be introduced virtually via computer graphics — just as the Hulk himself will be among the effects developed by George Lucas’ Industrial Light and Magic.
Through it all, Berkeley Lab staff became virtual crew members, assisting with electrical hook-ups, adjusting lighting in buildings, and providing access to facilities. Eurest food service at the cafeteria prepared meals on Saturday and Monday.
In the end, the Hulk crew — many of them wearing “Berkeley Lab” hats — departed with great appreciation for their gracious hosts and this facility, which Elliott termed “awesome.” The recognition that the Laboratory gains from the publicity surrounding this megamovie will undoubtedly be worth the brief inconveniences of parking and access that may have been experienced.
Look for “Filmed on location at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory” in the endless stream of movie credits for “The Hulk” next year.
By Lynn Yarris
Of all the stories to be told by Berkeley Lab staffers who worked with the Hollywood crew that shot scenes for what promises to be the biggest film of summer 2003, The Incredible Hulk, none was more heartwarming than that of Georgeanna Perdue, the safety coordinator for the Advanced Light Source (ALS). On Saturday evening, April 20, her son Chuck, a 33-year-old autistic, got to meet his hero of many years, Lou Ferrigno, the body-builder/actor who portrayed the Hulk on the successful television show that ran from 1978-1982.
“Meeting Lou Ferrigno was one of the happiest moments of Chuck’s life — he’s still talking about it,” Geor-geanna said. “Chuck has been a big fan of Lou Ferrigno since he began watching the Hulk on TV when he was 10 years old.”
Chuck Perdue is tall and athletic, has won 76 gold medals competing in the Special Olympics and plays on basketball, softball and volleyball teams. He holds a job with Excel Linens and has his own apartment which he shares with a roommate. He has an engaging effervescence and an infectious grin, but his autism puts his mental abilities equivalent to those of typical a six-year-old, according to his mother. He’s had his share of disappointments but perhaps none more keenly felt by him than a failed attempt to meet Ferrigno a few years earlier.
“We were in Charleston, South Carolina, when Lou was scheduled to make a public appearance,” said Georgeanna, “but Lou became ill and had to cancel. We caught up with him at the airport but he was already about to board the plane. He did see Chuck and winked at him and flexed his muscles from a distance, but that was it.”
Georgeanna was thrilled to learn that Ferrigno would be at the Lab to shoot a scene in which he, playing a security guard, has a brief conversation in front of the ALS with Eric Bana, the actor playing Bruce Banner, the scientist whose exposure to gamma radiation transforms him into the Hulk. She brought Chuck here on Saturday afternoon but was told of a scheduling change and that Ferrigno had already left. Again it looked as if Chuck’s dream would be thwarted. But later that evening, while attending a social event with Chuck, Georgeanna got a call from Hulk location manager Laura Sode-Matteson that Ferrigno had returned to the Lab to shoot the scene.
“Chuck got to watch Lou and Eric shoot their scene in the ALS lobby; then Lou’s wife Carla brought Lou over to meet Chuck and she took photos of them together,” Georgeanna said. “Later, many members of the crew told me how inspirational it was to watch Chuck and Lou interact.”
Summer movies when done right are all about magic. In the case of The Incredible Hulk, the magic has already begun.
By Paul Preuss
A way to acquire chemical information with magnetic fields a million times weaker than those used in typical nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy has been developed by a team led by John Clarke and Alexander Pines. Clarke is a professor of physics and Pines a professor of chemistry at UC Berkeley, and both are members of Berkeley Lab’s Materials Sciences Division.
NMR and its near relative, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), are essential tools of scientific research and medical diagnosis. Yet NMR is often limited to samples that can be placed inside the bore of a big, high-field magnet. Because very strong magnetic fields must be exquisitely adjusted to reduce variations in intensity, NMR apparatus is expensive and cumbersome.
The secret of low-field success, says Robert McDermott, a graduate student in Clarke’s laboratory, is to use a superconducting quantum interference device, or SQUID, the most sensitive magnetic field detector ever devised, along with a technique called prepolarization that aligns spinning nuclei.
Although the SQUID itself — a tiny loop of superconductor interrupted at two points by weak links, called Josephson junctions — operates in a bath of liquid helium, the Clarke-Pines team analyzed liquids at room temperature by heating samples in an insulated chamber surrounded by the SQUID’s pick-up coils. Their measurement field was a small fraction of the Earth’s magnetic field strength.
All NMR depends on the fact that some kinds of spinning nuclei generate their own magnetic fields. These can be lined up by an external magnetic field, then knocked off axis by a burst of radio waves. The rate at which each kind “wobbles” (precesses) is unique, and a detector can pinpoint the type of element by tuning to its precession frequency.
Lines in an NMR spectrum reveal more than just different elements. Nearby electrons can alter precession frequency, causing a “chemical shift” — moving the signal or splitting it into separate lines in an NMR spectrum. Chemical shifts point to particular compounds, as in the arrangement of hydrogen and carbon atoms in alcohols.
“Chemical shift grows linearly with field strength,” says Andreas Trabesinger, a postgraduate fellow in the Pines laboratory, explaining another reason why most NMR uses strong magnets. “The higher the field, the stronger the signal.”
SQUIDs can directly sense the magnetic field generated by even a slowly precessing nucleus, however. The resulting signal is weak but extremely sharp: the lower the magnetic field, the narrower the NMR line, yielding a signal-to-noise ratio far superior to that of high-field NMR.
To detect NMR signals at all there must be net polarization, an overall magnetization resulting from the existence of a few more “spin-up” nuclei than “spin down” nuclei. The weaker the magnetic field, the weaker the polarization.
The experimenters met the challenge by using two fields. One, roughly a tenth of the Earth’s magnetic field strength, prepolarizes the sample then is quickly shut off. The measurement field, a thousand times weaker, is applied at right angles.
Unfortunately, although the signal-to-noise ratio is far better than in high-field NMR, chemical shifts vanish in minute magnetic fields. But a different kind of nuclear signature, imposed by the quantum states of shared electrons in chemical bonds, persists. This scalar coupling is intrinsic; because it doesn’t depend on the external magnetic field, it doesn’t change in a low field.
Scalar coupling opens the door to chemical sampling even when magnetic signals vary, as in living organisms or the fluid-filled porous rocks measured in oil-well logging.
The low-field SQUID technique holds great promise for MRI. Since the precession rate of spinning nuclei depends on the strength of the external magnetic field, their spatial distribution can be plotted to create an image. MRI typically has depended on strong magnetic fields that fall off rapidly; in medical diagnosis machinery, this has meant housing the magnet in a large torus, into which the patient is slid on a table.
Not only are the big machines expensive and immobile, their high fields are dangerous to patients with pacemakers or metal prosthetic inserts. Moreover, Trabesinger remarks, “it’s not easy to convince everybody to get into these monsters. Some get a sudden attack of claustrophobia.”
A low-field detector, on the other hand, could achieve high resolution with a small field gradient, and the detector’s portable small coil could be moved over the patient.
One application that excites both McDermott and Trabesinger is the possibility of studying the brain by combining MRI with direct detection of chemical bonds, yielding a unique way to investigate the mysteries of brain chemistry. “It would not be easy,” says McDermott, “but the new low-field SQUID detector may make this possible.”
“Liquid-state NMR and scalar couplings in microtesla magnetic fields,” by Robert McDermott, Andreas H. Trabesinger, Michael Mück, Erwin L. Hahn, Alexander Pines, and John Clarke, appeared in the March 22, 2002 issue of Science.
Pure science, like art, transcends cultural or linguistic barriers. But selling it to others does not. And in today’s scientific environment just doing science is not enough. Communicating clearly and compellingly is crucial to successful collaboration, professional success — even the ability to attract funding.
Effective communication can be a difficult task to master under the best of circumstances, but for those for whom English is not their native language — a large segment of the Laboratory’s workforce — the task can often be daunting. One division director here decided to do something about it.
“It became evident that many members of our staff would benefit from improving their verbal communication skills,” said Gudmundur “Bo” Bodvarsson, head of the Earth Sciences Division (ESD), where almost half the staff is comprised of non-native speakers of English, most of them from Asian countries. “Such an improvement would enhance their ability to make effective presentations in front of important boards and funding agencies, and put them in a better position to become our future leaders.”
With this goal in mind, Bodvarsson set out to implement a unique pilot program last year, funded through his division. ESD’s Verbal Communication Program is based on the premise that most of the participants are already proficient in the basics of English vocabulary and grammar, but have not yet mastered the art of making themselves easily understood.
Donald Nodora of ESD’s Nuclear Waste Program helped Bodvarsson with the logistics — from finding a qualified instructor, to procuring the equipment and writing the contract. “It was such a new concenpt, we even had to find a way to categorize how to pay for it,” Nordora said.
From start to finish, the process took only six months. After a brief search, ESD hired Phyllis Benowitz, a language specialist who currently teaches at Mills College in Oakland. And last December, 18 staff members in Earth Sciences were selected to enroll in the program, which consists of an hour-and-a-half class per week.
Benowitz points out that this workshop is not to be confused with the more common English as a Second Language (ESL) program. “This is much more specialized,” she says. “The students here are very mature and experienced. Bo told me they are at an advanced level, and that speech was the issue. So the course is designed to introduce students to the elements of clear speech. I teach them to reproduce the natural rhythm of the English language.”
The program was carefully tailored to the needs of the students. Benowitz started out by conducting in-depth assessments of each individual, videotaped everyone, and created detailed pronunciation guide that pointed out each person’s strengths and weaknesses.
Such understanding is extremely important for students like Jiamin Wan, a hydrologist and geochemist who immigrated from China in 1986. She came to Berkeley Lab as a postdoc in 1993, earned a Ph.D., and went on to be promoted to scientist and now staff scientist since 1997. Her English is fluent, but because of pronunciation problems, Wan lacked the confidence to express herself effectively. At times, she says, she tended to speak so softly, she could barely be understood by her colleagues.
“The class has given me awareness of what my problem is, what advantages and shortcomings I have, where to focus efforts,” she says. “I need to know what the problem is before I can improve. For instance, I had problems with the ‘th’ sound, and the course taught me where to put my tongue to get the sound right.”
While correct pronunciation is emphasized in each class, so are many other elements of language and good communication that most of us take for granted. How often do we stop to think where to pause, which word to stress, even how to nod our head to make our listeners comfortable?
“Intonations and pauses signal change,” Benowitz explains in class. “Listeners use these elements as roadmaps. Miss one roadmap or two and it’s OK, but after a few, the listener stops listening.”
She then proceeded to read a quote from E. M. Forster’s “A Passage to India,” posted up on the wall as a potent reminder of the power of language both to convey meaning and to mislead.
“A pause in the wrong place, an intonation misunderstood, and a whole conversation went awry.”
Bringing together such complex and diverse elements of language takes time. Benowitz emphasizes that one class a week for six months is not going to fundamentally alter the speech patterns of students, even in the case of extremely motivated and enthusiastic scientists. But it is a start.
“Improving communication skills is something I meant to do for years,” said Wan. “But because of the intensity of my work I never had the time. When I heard Bo arranged for this program, I thought it was great opportunity.”
So did a few dozen of her colleagues, but in its pilot stage, the program could not accommodate even half of them. To narrow the field, the program enrolled only those who needed it the most, as determined by the initial assessment. “It was difficult to decide,” Nodora says. “If we continue, we’ll give them all the opportunity to participate.”
Bodvarsson says he will evaluate the program when the pilot phase ends later this month. “Given the feedback I have gotten from the students to date, this seems extremely useful and is probably needed for years to come,” he says. Moreover, he hopes other divisions will consider offering similar programs. “I think it is absolutely essential for divisions that have a large number of people for whom English is a second language.”
Meanwhile, Nodora says he already sees change in the morale of the group. “Verbal communication reflects highly not just on the person involved but on the division and ultimately on the Laboratory as a whole. You make employees happy, and everyone wins all around.”
Office of Science Goes to the Web for Grants and Contracts
Effective June 1, DOE’s Office of Science (SC) will shift to a web-based system for its grants and contracts, the department announced in the April 18 edition of the Federal Register.
“The Industry Interactive Procurement System, or IIPS, will become the way our office receives financial assistance applications,” the DOE announcement said.
Under this new system, funding applications will be submitted through IIPS using Adobe PDF software. To allow time for applicants to register and make the transition to the new system, however, SC will continue to accept printed applications until Sept. 30 of this year.
“IIPS provides for the posting of solicitations, receipt of applications, and conducting of clarifications or discussions in a paperless environment via the Internet,” the announcement stated.
IIPS is being adopted by all DOE offices that offer grants and contracts in response to Public Law 106-107, which directs the federal government to streamline its financial assistance operations. It is also a response to concerns about anthrax-contaminated mail which delayed the processing of proposals for several months after September 11.
House Staffer Says Science Must Tighten Its Belt
Scott Lilly, minority staff director for the House Appropriations Committee, told members of the American Association for the Advancement of Science that the terrorist attacks of September 11, combined with shifting federal priorities and tax cuts, have created a fiscal environment in which nondefense science programs at DOE and other federal agencies are competing for increasingly scarce dollars with other national needs.
“It’s hard to comprehend how much has changed since our meeting last year,” Lilly said in a presentation to AAAS’ annual Colloquium on Science and Technology Policy in Washington. “We face a decline in resources at the exact same time we face increasing demands for resources. There are new and very expensive challenges thrust upon us.”
Among the challenges Lilly listed were the rising costs of heightened security, including call-ups of National Guard and Reserve troops, and the Bush administration tax cut, which has already cost the Treasury more than $100 million. Although the Bush FY 2003 budget initially appeared science friendly, Lilly said most of the spending increases went to NIH, adding hundreds of new investigators who “ordinarily wouldn’t have received funding.”
Lilly urged scientists to “look to the private sector” for additional resources. — Lynn Yarris
Mina Bissell of the Life Sciences Division has been named a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Carlos Bustamante of the Physical Biosciences Division (PBD), Charles Harris of the Chemistry Division, and Saul Perlmutter of the Physics Division have been named Fellows of the National Academy of Sciences; Jennifer Doudna, soon to join PBD, has also been named a Fellow.
Bissell was one of 177 Fellows and 30 Foreign Honorary Members announced by the AAAS on April 29. In a stellar group that includes actress Anjelica Huston, Senator Edward Kennedy, violinist Itzhak Perlman, and physician and author Oliver Sacks, Bissell was elected to the medical sciences section in biology. She is well known for her research into the role of the extracellular matrix in regulating gene expression and other cellular processes, with a particular emphasis on breast cancer.
The National Academy of Sciences announced 72 new fellows and 15 foreign members on April 30, after elections were held earlier in the day. Of the four fellows affiliated with Berkeley Lab, PBD’s Carlos Bustamante is renowned for his use of novel technologies like laser “tweezers” to study the folding of biological molecules, including viral DNA. Bustamante is a professor of molecular and cell biology and of physics at UC Berkeley, and is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator.
Chemist Charles Harris is noted for his optical studies of chemical reactions on the femtosecond time scale, with a particular interest in the dynamics of chemical reactions in liquids and the electronic properties of surfaces and interfaces. He is a professor of chemistry at UC Berkeley.
Astrophysicist Saul Perlmutter is best known as the leader of the Supernova Cosmology Project, one of two groups credited with the revolutionary discovery that the expansion of the universe is accelerating. Perlmutter is also coprincipal investigator for the SuperNova/Acceleration Probe (SNAP), a proposed orbiting telescope to study the high-resolution spectra and light curves of thousands of supernovae.
Jennifer Doudna, currently at Yale University, studies the structure of RNA. She is vice chair of the Advanced Light Source’s Users’ Executive Committee and will join the Lab’s Physical Biosciences Division. Next January she will become a professor at UC Berkeley.
Founded in 1780 and headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the AAAS is an international learned society composed of the world’s leading scientists, scholars, artists, business people, and public leaders.
The National Academy of Sciences is a private organization of scientists and engineers established in 1863 by a congressional act of incorporation signed by Abraham Lincoln. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the Academy acts as an official adviser to the federal government in matters of science or technology. — Paul Preuss
Graham Fleming, director of Berkeley Lab’s Physical Biosciences Division and a professor of chemistry at UC Berkeley, has been named the first Melvin Calvin Distinguished Professor in the Department of Chemistry. His appointment extends through June 2006.
The Calvin professorship was created to honor scientists of exceptional caliber who have made major contributions to chemical biodynamics or related fields — qualities exemplified by Melvin Calvin himself. Beginning his academic career at Berkeley in 1937 as an instructor, Calvin went on to win the Nobel Prize in 1961 for his research in photosynthesis, in which he employed the radioactive isotope carbon-14 discovered in Ernest Lawrence’s cyclotron. He continued to serve on the faculty until his death in 1997.
Photosynthesis is also a particular focus of Fleming’s research, employing femtosecond spectroscopy as a major experimental tool. Fleming and his group study dynamic processes in a range of complex systems, including proteins.
UC President Richard C. Atkinson announced this week that Ray Juzaitis withdrew his name from consideration as a candidate for director of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory as a result of the recent controversy regarding Juzaitis’ directing of the division in which Wen Ho Lee worked.
“Dr. Juzaitis is a brilliant scientist,” Atkinson said in a written response. “He is highly respected in Washington for his contributions to national security and defense.”
A 20-year veteran of Los Alamos National Laboratory, Juzaitis was director of the Applied Theoretical and Computational Physics Division (the so-called "X" Division) at Los Alamos for a six-year period during which Lee also served in the division.
“The University had reviewed documents relevant to the Lee matter,” Atkinson said. “The documents reveal nothing that would change our evaluation of Dr. Juzaitis as an excellent candidate.”
Published twice a month by the Communications Department for the employees and retirees of Ernest Orlando Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Ron Kolb, Communications Department head.
EDITOR: Monica Friedlander, (510) 495-2248, email@example.com
STAFF WRITERS: Lisa Gonzales, 486-4698; Dan Krotz, 486-4109, Paul Preuss, 486-6249; Lynn Yarris, 486-5375
CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Jon Bashor, X5849; Allan Chen, X4210
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Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory,
Berkeley Lab is managed by the University of California for the U.S. Department of Energy.
By Lynn Yarris
The mystery of the missing solar neutrinos has been solved; case closed. Second year results from the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory (SNO), provide “unambiguous evidence” that most solar neutrinos undergo a change of identity on their way here from the sun. These results, which were reported at the recent Joint American Physical Society/American Astronomical Society meetings in Albuquerque, New Mexico were shared with Berkeley Lab employees in the Bldg. 50 auditorium on April 22, by Kevin Lesko, a physicist who leads the Neutrino Astrophysics Group for the Nuclear Science Division (NSD).
“Because these results are derived from a single experiment, they do not involve the complications of combining other experiment’s results,” Lesko said. “As a consequence, our evidence is so very strong that it is 99.999 percent certain that SNO has seen a flavor change in neutrinos.”
Last June, Lesko stood in the same auditorium and reported results from SNO’s first year of operations that, in combination with experimental data from the Super-Kamiokande neutrino detector in Japan, indicated with greater than 99 percent certainty that neutrinos can change type or, as physicists say, “flavor.”
Combining results from two different experiments, however, can be tricky. These new results, exclusively from SNO, shut the door on any doubts about what happens to neutrinos during their 93 million mile journey from the sun to the Earth. Emitted as the result of thermonuclear reactions in the sun’s core, these elementary particles with no electric charge and little mass have now been shown capable of changing from the common electron-type neutrinos to the more rare muon or tau neutrinos.
In the SNO press release announcing these results, Art McDonald of Queen’s University, the director of the SNO project, a collaboration of close to 100 scientists at 11 universities and national laboratories in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom, stated:
“Our new results show in a clear, simple and accurate way that solar neutrinos change their type. The total number of neutrinos we observe is also in excellent agreement with calculations of the nuclear reactions powering the sun.”
SNO is the first neutrino observatory sensitive enough to simultaneously measure all three neutrino flavors. While the number of electron-neutrinos SNO detected this past year was only about a third the number expected, the total number of the three types of neutrinos was exactly what it was supposed to be.
For more than 30 years previously, scientists had been baffled by what was perceived as a solar neutrino deficit. To change flavors, neutrinos must be able to oscillate in flight — which means they must have mass, a fact that runs contrary to Standard Model predictions.
Said Lesko, “The Standard Model will need to be expanded to embrace neutrino mass and mixing. This is a challenge and one that will take some time.”
In addition to Lesko, members of the Neutrino Astrophysics Group who contributed to the latest SNO results include physicists Bob Stokstad, Eric Norman, Yuen-dat Chan and Alan Poon, plus postdocs Colin Okada and Xin Chen, graduate students Alysia Marino, of UC Berkeley and Sarah Rosendahl from Sweden, and undergraduate students Kathy Opachich, UC Berkeley, and Noah Oblath from Cornell University. To run their data analysis, the SNO collaboration made extensive use of the supercomputing facilities at NERSC.
By Paul Preuss and Jon Bashor
The startling announcement in 1998 that the universe is expanding at an accelerating rate — followed not long after by evidence that a mysterious “dark energy” filling the universe is responsible for this acceleration — was based on comparing the redshifts and magnitudes of numerous Type Ia supernovae, exploding stars of extreme and remarkably uniform brightness.
The quality and quantity of data on these and other types of supernovae, both at high and low redshifts, will increase exponentially in the next few years because of two experiments based at Berkeley Lab: the well known Supernova Cosmology Project and a newer program, the Nearby Supernova Factory. Their goal is to determine the underlying physics behind these catastrophic events, so that they can be used to understand dark energy and other cosmological questions.
“The only way to fully exploit the power of the amazing data now being collected will be to make an equally dramatic improvement in computational studies of supernovae,” says Peter Nugent, an astrophysicist in the Scientific Computing Group at the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC). “Unfortunately, current computational resources only allow us to fully model supernova atmospheres in the spherically symmetric regime.”
Researchers have done their calculations as if supernovae explode spherically — that is, the same way in every direction — in order to simplify computer modeling. Recently, however, Nugent was awarded a three-year, $500,000 grant by NASA’s Astrophysics Theory Program to help expand supernova modeling to the third dimension.
“The more we look at supernovae,” he says, “the more we realize that assuming they are 1-D explosion events is a horrible oversimplification, which might lead us down some very wrong paths concerning the nature of their progenitors and their explosion mechanisms.”
Nugent will take advantage of coming increases in the computational power of NERSC’s massively parallel supercomputers, as well as improvements in the algorithms used to calculate supernova hydrodynamics and processes like radiative transport.
“We’ll be able to put tight constraints on the characteristics of supernova progenitor stars, including their luminosities, explosion mechanisms, and nucleosynthesis products, once we can compare computed spectra based on different progenitor models with high-quality observations from the Supernova Cosmology Project and Nearby Supernova Factory,” Nugent says.
Type Ia supernovae in particular are complex events. They begin as white dwarf stars made of carbon and oxygen, accreting a companion star’s material. Eventually they accumulate a critical mass, 1.4 times the mass of the sun: deep within the white dwarf, carbon fuses, setting off a runaway thermonuclear explosion. Despite whatever differences there may be among progenitor systems, the critical mass is the same in all cases, so Type Ia supernovae have very similar spectra and rising and falling light curves.
A Type Ia ejects material at velocities approaching 20 percent of the speed of light and, unlike other types of supernova, produces a great many elements of intermediate mass between carbon and nickel, which are created at different densities. To account for this, different models invoke scenarios of explosions involving different rates at which a relatively slow-burning deflagration front makes the transition to a supersonic detonation wave.
An important new source of information that could provide insight into these processes is the supernova polarization data taken by Lifan Wang and Andy Howell of the Lab’s Physics Division. Different regions of an exploding star’s atmosphere may be moving at different rates or in different directions; some regions may be richer or poorer in various elements; viewed from a particular angle, the remnants of a companion star or an accretion disk surrounding the progenitor may block or filter some of the supernova’s light. These details leave their mark as different orientations of the polarized light in different spectral lines of the exploding star.
“One of our basic goals is to start making models in 3-D that exploit the new polarization data,” Nugent says. “Polarization allows you to probe the geometry of the event.”
While polarization data show that the geometries of other kinds of supernovae vary more than Type Ia supernovae and that their differences persist longer, a Type Ia can still reveal much about itself through polarization if it is caught early. Despite their apparent similarity, Type Ia’s are not identical.
Already Nugent and graduate student Daniel Kasen have begun constructing models that use polarization to explore supernova geometries, including determining the angle at which these ancient cataclysms have been observed.
“For the first time we are learning details about supernova progenitors from the data,” Nugent says. “If what we’re seeing proves out, it may even create shockwaves right here in the supernova community.”
Everything you ever wanted to know about dark energy it’s not — if only because figuring out just what dark energy is will keep physicists and astronomers busy for decades to come.
But for a neat compendium of what we’d really like to know about the mysterious energy that’s causing the universe to expand at an accelerating pace, a handy place to start is the “Resource Book on Dark Energy,” a compilation of working papers on the subject gathered from last summer’s Snowmass conference on the future of particle physics.
Section 1, “The Puzzle and Nature of Dark Energy,” includes descriptions of what dark energy must be and can’t be (namely the energy of the vacuum as traditionally understood) from luminaries like Steven Weinberg, Frank Wilczek, Edward Witten, Michael Turner, and Berkeley Lab’s own Saul Perlmutter and Jim Siegrist.
Other sections address the study of dark energy by using Type Ia supernovae, with the proposed SuperNova/ Acceleration Probe satellite, or by other experimental options. Many past and present members of the Berkeley-Lab-based Supernova Cosmology Project and SNAP partnership, including Greg Aldering, Alex Kim, Jodi Lamoureux, Michael Levi, Eric Linder, and Peter Nugent, are among the three dozen contributors.
Edited by the Physics Division’s Eric Linder, the electronic book is available on the web at http://supernova.lbl.gov/~evlinder/sci.html, or as a nifty mini-CD that slips into a shirt pocket.
“We’ve got about a thousand of these mini-CDs, and we’ve been giving them out at conferences, where they’re very popular,” Linder says. “Anyone at the Lab who’s interested in having one can get in touch with me.” Linder can be reached at X5568 or firstname.lastname@example.org. — Paul Preuss
Daughters and Sons Enjoy A Fun Filled Day at Work
For the ninth consecutive year, Berkeley Lab hosted children of Lab employees for Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day on April 25. "It’s YOUR Universe" was the theme, and 135 children participated in workshops throughout the day.
Demonstrations took place all over the Lab. The young scientists got to learn how to blow glass, see inside the body using laser light and ultrasound, and drive an electron microscope. Others visited the ALS and had some fun at the Lab’s Fire Department. And they all ended the day of fun and science with an old fashioned ice cream social.
For more pictures and a downloadable version of the opening lecture by Mhairi Donahoe on protein crystallography, see http://www.lbl.gov/ Education/CSEE/dstw/dstw_2002.html
Photos: 00204-00163-16; XBD200204-00163-42; XBD20004-00163-25; XBD200204-00163-87. Photos by Roy Kaltschmidt
Postal Rates to Go Up Again
Starting June 30, it will cost us more to do business with the Postal Service. The USPS Board of Governors approved a proposal that increases the price of a first-class stamp by 3 cents (from 34 to 37 cents), for postcards by 2 cents (to 23 cents) and for the 1 lb. Priority Mail by 35 cents (to $3.85).
CREA Colloquium on Healthful Aging
The Center for Research and Education on Aging (CREA) is presenting a colloquium and fair entitled “Nutrition and Exercise in Healthful Aging” on Saturday, May 11 on the UC Berkeley campus.
The event — cosponsored by UC Berkeley, Berkeley Lab, the Buck Institute for Age Research, Biotime, Inc., UCB’s Center for Weight and Health, and the Alameda County Area Agency on Aging — will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in 155 Dwinelle Hall.
Judith Campisi of Berkeley Lab’s Life Sciences Division will open the colloquium with introductory remarks.
Admission is $5. Space is limited, and preregistration is encouraged. To sign up, send an e-mail to email@example.com.
It’s duck-cover-and-hold time again — Berkeley Lab's annual earthquake drill, scheduled for Wednesday, May 16, at 10 a.m. A public address announcement will initiate the drill, asking all employees to simulate the proper response to an earthquake: duck, cover and hold. After that, all employees will evacuate their buildings to assigned assembly areas until instructed by their building emergency team members to return to work.
The time required to conduct this drill should not exceed 10 minutes — but the excercise offers employees an excellent opportunity to practice potentially life-saving techniques.
For more information call Valerie Quigley, EP program manager, at X7032.
Deadline for One-Time Service Credit Allocation
The deadline to submit an application for a one-time service credit allocation is July 31. To ensure that HR/Benefits is able to help employees procure all supporting documents in time, applicants are urged to contact the service credit specialist at X7873 immediately.
For more information about program eligibility, see the UC Bencom website at http://www.ucop.edu/bencom/rs/ucrpservcredprog.html or call Angela Dawn at X7873.
Spring Blood Drive
Your next opportunity to help save a life through a blood donation will be May 15 and May 16, as the American Red Cross Blood Services and Berkeley Lab partner for a two-day Spring Blood Drive. The hours are 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Wednesday and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Thursday. Both sessions will be held in Building 70A, Room 3377. Donors are encouraged to schedule appointments on the BeADonor website (http://www.beadonor.com) using company/group code “LBL.”
To donate blood, donors must be in good health, at least 17 years of age, weigh at least 110 pounds, and not have donated blood in the last 56 days. Please note that some of the eligibility criteria have changed recently, especially regarding travel to Europe. For more information see the BeADonor website, which also includes moving stories of some of the people whose lives were touched by the generosity of donors like you.
For additional information contact Charlotte Bochra at X4268.
Rechargeable Batteries Available at Stores
Rechargeable batteries are a new item in Stores. While the initial cost may seem high compared to regular batteries, over time rechargeable batteries are more economical as they are used and recharged repeatedly. The high-capacity cells provide exceptional power per charge and up to 1,000 recharges.
Moreover, switching from disposable to rechargeable batteries will also reduce the amount of hazardous waste generated at LBNL.
Energizer® Rechargeable™ NiMH cylindrical cell batteries are available in all sizes, including AA, AAA, C, D and 9 Volt, and come with a lifetime limited warranty. They are ideal for the most advanced, high-drain devices such as digital cameras, personal digital assistants (PDAs), pagers, flashlights, portable CD players and palmtop computers.
NiMH batteries contain no cadmium and are safer for the environment. They may be disposed in the green battery buckets located in every building.
For more information on Energizer® products call customer service at 1(800) 383-7323, or log onto http://www.energizer.com/products/rechargeables.asp. For information related to Lab use and purchase of rechargeable batteries, contact Don Prestella at X4224.
Mac User Meeting
The May meeting of the LBNL Macintosh Users Group will be held on Wednesday, May 8 from 11 a.m. to noon in the Building 90-3075. The featured speaker will be Johan Michelsen of Gigawiz Ltd., who will demonstrate Aabel™, a new data management, processing, and charting application for Mac OS X and Mac OS 9. More information about Aabel™ can be found here: http://www.gigawiz.com/Aabel.html.
Student Present Their Work Today
Today is the second day of presentations for students enrolled in the Energy Research Undergraduate Laboratory Fellowship (ERULF). The 20-minute talks are held from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. in Building 2, Room 100. The students have been working at the Lab since mid-January and will complete their semesters on May 10.
MAY 3, Friday
STUDENT INTERN PRESENTATION (ERULF PROGRAM)
MAY 8, Wednesday
MACUSERS GROUP MEETING
MAY 9, Thursday
MAY 14, Tuesday
NEW EMPLOYEE ORIENTATION
MAY 15, Wednesday
SPRING BLOOD DRIVE
MAY 16, Thursday
SPRING BLOOD DRIVE
ANNUAL EARTHQUAKE DRILL
Send us your announcements
Announcements for the General Calendar and Bulletin Board page may be sent to MSFriedlander@lbl.gov. Seminar & Lectures items may be mailed to currents_ calendar@ lbl.gov. You may also fax items to X6641 or mail them to Bldg. 65B. The deadline for the Jan. 25 issue is 5 p.m. Monday, Jan. 21.
Seminars & Lectures
MAY 6, Monday
DEPARTMENT OF PHYSICS COLLOQUIUM
COMPUTER PROTECTION BROWN BAG SERIES
MAY 8, Wednesday
BERKELEY SPECTROSCOPY CLUB SEMINAR
MAY 9, Thursday
ENVIRONMENTAL ENERGY TECHNOLOGIES DIVISION SEMINAR
GLENN T. SEABORG CENTER SEMINAR
PHYSICS DIVISION RESEARCH PROGRESS MEETING
MAY 13, Monday
DEPARTMENT OF PHYSICS COLLOQUIUM
MAY 15, Wednesday
NUCLEAR SCIENCE DIVISION COLLOQUIA
* Includes EHS 392/405, followed by the orientation. Please arrive at 8:15 for sign-in.
To enroll, contact Valarie Espinoza at VMEspinoza@lbl.gov or enroll via the web at https:// hris.lbl.gov/self_service/training/. Preregistration is required for all courses except EHS 10. For a full, updated schedule, see http://www-ia1.lbl.gov/schedule/.
CompUSA provides onsite PC computer courses to Lab employees. All courses are $145 and are held in Building 51L from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m..
Class descriptions and registration procedure are available online at the Employee Self Service website, https://hris.lbl.gov/. For more information, to request a class, or to provide feedback about the program, contact Heather Pinto at firstname.lastname@example.org.
AUTOS / SUPPLIES
‘00 HYUNDAI ACCENT L Hatchback 2D, blue, model 2000, 4-cyl 1.5 L, 5 spd, 24k mi, pwr steer, am/fm/ cass, dual front airbags, exc warranties, very gd cond, $5,000, proofs of service, Lydie, X5550, 234-9561
‘98 HONDA ACCORD COUPE EX, blk on blk, ac, sunrf, upgraded cd/stereo/ speakers, recently serviced, new tires, very clean, 55K mi, $14,000/bo, Susan, X5429, 964-0007
‘97 PONTIAC GRAND PRIX GTP Coupe, spec ed gold logos, orig owner, 240 hp, supercharged, at, white ext/graphite leather int, 50K mi, exc cond, $10,100, Regine, X5897
‘96 VW JETTA, blk 5-spd, 4 dr, 72K mi, fun car, very gd cond, ac, pwr steer/ locks, radio, tape deck, $7,000, Norman, X5961, (415) 747-2297 eve
‘95 CHEVROLET CORSICA, drk blue, 4 cyl, 2.2 L, at, ac, pwr steer/locks, am/fm, 128K mi, exc cond, bought from dealer in Sept + big serv 4 mos ago, smog check ok, runs great, $3,200, Marilyne or Igor, 849-8583
‘91 VOLVO 240, 4 dr sedan, at, ac, 126K mi., exc cond, $7,100/bo, Kathy, 524315
‘91 TOYOTA COROLLA LE, 4 dr, at, ac, 151K mi, blue, exc cond, 1 owner, $2,775, Charlie, X6134, (707) 746-1349
‘91 MAZDA 626, 4 dr, manual, exc cond, $3,200, Fred, X4892, 841-3552
‘90 PONTIAC GRAND AM LE Coupe 2D, 113K mi, clean, needs work, $500, Sven, X4053, 548-4484
‘85 HONDA CIVIC hatch, 5 spd, 199K mi, red, am/ fm/cass, runs well, looks ok, 30 mpg, $800, Kathy, X6594, 530-1210
TWO ‘83 MERCEDES, 300D turbo diesels, (1) brn w/ 260K mi; (1) gold w/ 240K mi; both good cond, $3,000/ea or bo, X4055, 528-4694
‘80 HONDA CIVIC converted to electric car (batteries removed), electric propulsion parts also avail, body is free, price neg on parts, Ginny or Heinz, X7413, 834-6584
‘63 Galaxy convertible, at, pwr steer, red/red, white top, $18,000 or trade, Shelley, X6123/, Al, 715-4217
‘99 SUZUKI SV650X V-Twin, exc cond, all stock, blue, new Avon tires, approx 21K mi, $4,300/bo, Rich, X7031, (925) 689-1714 after 5 pm
ALBANY, lge, elegant & comfortable furn 2 bdrm/ 2 bth condo, avail by week or mo, Geoffrey, 848-1830, email@example.com
BERKELEY apt, Claremont/ Elmwood area, avail 5/15, furn, util, spacious, garden view, use of patio, close to lab/pub trans/shops, no smoking/pets, 1 person only, $845/mo, Winnie, 848-4487, firstname.lastname@example.org
BERKELEY HILLS, fully furn room w/ sep entry, full kitchen privil, w/d, quiet neighborhd, lovely backyrd, near bus, avail 8/02, $890/ mo incl util, Jacob, 524-3851, Labartists@aol.com
BERKELEY, comfortable furn bdrm in lge flat overlooking garden, great location near hills/Claremont Hotel/cafes/restaurants, 3 mi from Lab, full access to kitchen & bth, $700/mo incl util, ideal for short term vis schol, cable/ comp access, friendly canine flatmate, Ros, 548-4202, email@example.com
EL CERRITO 3 bdrm/2 bth house for July & Aug, Sept neg, 20 mins from Lab, $1,500/mo incl util, A. Tressler, 237-4654
LAFAYETTE, furn 4 bdrm./ 2 bth house, nice quiet neighborhd, close to the freeway, shopping & BART, great yard, off street parking, no smoking/pets, avail 7/3-12/3, $2500/ month, firstname.lastname@example.org
MONTCLAIR, Spanish revival 3 bdrm/2 bth house w/ play rm, study, lge deck, spacious garden in quiet neighborhd, fully furn & equipped, 5 min walk to village, 4 mi to campus, $2,800/mo + util, avail 7/1 for 1 yr, Regine, X5897, R_Goth-Goldstein@lbl.gov
NORTH BERKELEY HILLS, student or scholar for rent & p/t companion to Owen Chamberlain 3 hrs on 3 late afternoons w/ pay, furn rm w/ bth, priv entr, access to kitch, w&d, sunny garden porch, easy bus/bike to Lab, no smoking, congenial household, $450 w/ util, Senta, 524-4654
NORTH BERKELEY lge 2 story 3-4 bdrm house just north of 1000 Oaks, nice yrd, great view of bay, liv & din rms, den, lge modern kitchen, fully furn, 1-car garage, basement, 2 phone lines, seek faculty/ prof renters long term from Sept or Jan ’03, $3,500/mo, neg, Agneta, 527-5821, email@example.com
NORTH BERKELEY, furn lge sunny 1 bdrm apt, 3 blks to campus & shuttle, many amenities, all comfort, priv garden, gated `carport, avail after 7/1, Geoffrey, 848-1830
NORTH OAKLAND, furn 1200 sq ft 2 bdrm upper flat in duplex w/ yard, walk to Rockridge/Piedmont shops and UC/LBL shuttle, July-Dec, $1,000/mo, Tom/Josie 601-0574
OAKLAND, Crocker Highlands, 3 bdrm furn home, 2 cats, avail 7/5-8/6, $1,200 + cat care, neg, Kathy, X4385, kastriebel@ lbl.gov
OAKLAND, Lake Meritt 2 bdrm apt, fireplace, central heat, hardwd flrs, near BART, avail 5/1, $1,695/mo + $1,900 dep, no smoking/ pets, Jin, X7531, 531-6379
SAN FRANCISCO Nob Hill apt avail 5/29 – 08/28, ideal for vis scholar or prof, gorgeous, spacious, fully furn, conv to BART, $1,800/mo or $5,000 for all 3 mos, 2 mo min, Anna, (415) 441-9234
WALNUT CREEK, 1601 Alvarado Ave, lge 1 bdrm apt on ground flr of 4plex, patio, carport, pool, AEK, avail after 5/15, $850/mo, Bob, (925) 376-2211
VISITING SCHOLAR and family from Germany seek house in Berkeley/Albany area 6/13 – 7/27, house/pet sitting arrangements pref, non-smokers, Lille, mke@ dmu.dk
VISITING SCIENTIST seeks 2 bdrm apt starting 6/1 for 1 mo rental neg to 2 mos if needed, Eric, X7944, EPEssman@lbl.gov
MISC FOR SALE
EPSON PHOTO 700 color printer w/ extra ink cartridges, 8-pin round serial connector, $50; child's Mongoose bike, exc cond, $75/bo, Fred, X4892
MAPLE BUTCHER-BLOCK round breakfast room table, 54" diam/2" thick, recently refinished, center wooden pedestal, $275, Art, 527-1060
MOVING SALE: refrigerator, 20 cf, side-by-side, almond, $200; washer $100; dryer $50; ext 32’ alum ladder, $100; violin, $100; 2 deck chaise lounges/ table/umbrella, $80; twin and queen bed sets, $50 and $90; qn headbrd w/ storage, microwave, tent, storage cabinet, more, photos avail, Ming, X5616, 530-0462
MOVING SALE: TV, $100; stereos, $60 & $100; answ machine, $5; printer, $20; printer Epson blue 770, $40; zip drive, $50; mtn bike red, $80; wht IKEA table for 4-6, $50; 2 futons, $50/ea, toaster oven, toaster, coffee maker, blk floor lamp, elec heater, shelves, asst kitchen items, prices neg, Lydie, X5550, 234-9561
MULTI-COLOR RUG, lge, $100; 2 cherry wood side tables, $30/ea; 2 swivel rocker chairs, $50/ea, cherry wood computer desk, 205-4883
OUTBOARD MOTOR, lightweight (16#), air-cooled, 2.7 HP, cruise & carry, 2 cycle outboard, great cond, $250/bo, Bob, (925) 376-2211
VACUUM CLEANER, Kenmore, upright w/ accessories & bags, $100, C.C., X2710, 235-3983
COMMUTE BIKE, Weilun, X4079
KIHEI, MAUI, 1 bdrm condo, across the street from Kam 2 beach, fully equipd, view ocean & Haleakela, $400 + 12% Hawaii hotel tax ($450/wk), Fred/ Shar 981-2073, 523-4150 eves
PARIS, FRANCE, near Eiffel Tower, furn elegant sunny 2bdrm/1ba apt, avail for sabbatical and/or vacation, all year round by wk/mo, Geoffrey, 848-1830
LOST & FOUND
FOUND: Calculator in Lab shuttle, please describe to claim, Marjorie, mbison@ lbl.gov
Ads are accepted only from LBNL employees, retirees, and onsite DOE personnel. Only items of your own personal property may be offered for sale.
Submissions must include name, affiliation, extension, and home phone number. Ads must be submitted in writing (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: X6641).
Ads run one week only unless resubmitted, and are repeated only as space permits. Once submitted for publication, ads may not be retracted.
The deadline for the May 17 issue is Thursday, May 9.