Berkeley Lab Logo

Berkeley Lab Currents

May 15, 1998


Peering Through Steel: Lab Scientist Develops New Testing Technique

By Lynn Yarris

Forty-niner wide receiver Jerry Rice, like other exceptionally durable athletes, has been called an "iron man." Through 12 NFL seasons he never missed a game because of injury. Last year, however, injuries prematurely ended his season, demonstrating that even men of steel have their limits.

Steel, the material, has limits, too. Through repeated use, the metal can eventually fail. Although steel products can be tested for structural integrity, by the time microcracks or other evidence of pending failure are detected it is usually too late. What is needed is an early, non-destructive means of evaluating steel and other metals.

J. William Morris, a metallurgist who heads high-performance metals research at Berkeley Lab's Center for Advanced Materials, may have a solution. He and his group, working in collaboration with the research groups of John Clarke and Kannan Krishnan of the Materials Sciences Division (MSD), are investigating a technique whereby changes in the magnetic properties of a steel sample that resulted from thermal or mechanical stress are correlated to changes in its microstructure.

"We know that changes in the microstructure of a sample of steel can be detected through subtle changes in its magnetic properties, but the trick is to be able to detect those subtle magnetic changes and associate them with a microstructural change," says Morris.

The Berkeley Lab collaborators are working to achieve this hat trick through the use of two unique microscopes--a high-Tc SQUID microscope, which permits samples to be studied at room temperature, and a transmission electron microscope that can be used to characterize magnetic materials.

"A SQUID-based microscope is enormously sensitive to changes in magnetic fields, and this one can be transported for in-situ [on-site] inspections," says Morris. "The electron microscope allows us to evaluate the microstructure at high resolutions."

A potentially serious problem in the aerospace and automotive industries is the sale or inadvertent use of previously used parts, parts that are labeled as new but may actually be only a relatively few (as in a million or so) cyclic loads from fatigue failure.

Metallurgists will tell you that it is not at all unusual to find fatigued steel parts in the critical components of bridges, buildings, highway overpasses, airplane wings, turbine blades, and even nuclear reactors.

"It is enormously difficult to distinguish new from old metal unless there are obvious nucleated cracks," says Morris. "Right now, there is no way to test the lifetime of a metal in a practical manner. A buyer must accept a seller's word that the product is new."

Even though metallurgists have been aware that the magnetic properties of steel can change over time as the material undergoes various forms of stress, these changes were thought to be too small to have an engineering effect. What was really missing was a device that was sensitive enough to detect these subtle changes, yet practical to use.

Enter the new a high-Tc SQUID microscope developed by Clarke and his group. SQUIDs (Superconducting QUantum Interference Devices) are tiny detectors about the size of the period at the end of this sentence. Used to measure magnetic fields, they are among the most sensitive detectors known to science.

Whereas other SQUID microscopes use metallic SQUIDs that operate at near absolute-zero temperatures, meaning they must be chilled with liquid helium, Clarke's new microscope employs a high-Tc SQUID (for high-critical temperature) fashioned from a ceramic oxide material that operates at liquid nitrogen temperatures.

The use of liquid nitrogen as the coolant is the key to this microscope's unique ability to measure samples at room temperatures. Inside a vacuum chamber, a high-Tc SQUID is mounted atop a can of liquid nitrogen. Separat-ing the SQUID from the world outside the vacuum chamber is a window of silicon nitride. Samples can be placed on the outside surface of this window or scanned across it to produce a magnetic image. In either mode, the sample is at all times outside the vacuum chamber.

In addition to a relatively large scanning area--approximately 2500 square millimeters (four square inches)--this new microscope is also equipped with a miniature tensile stage that is capable of applying stress to the sample while the high-Tc SQUID measures the sample's magnetic properties.

As Tim Shaw, a member of the Clarke research group working on the microscope explains, "Our aim is to improve on previous studies by recording two-dimensional magnetic images of steel with a spatial resolution of approximately 100 microns as the material is being stressed."

The characterization work is being done at the National Center for Electron Microscopy on the new Philips CM200. This TEM is specially equipped for "Lorentz imaging," a microscopy technique that allows scientists to do nanometer-scale resolution studies of magnetized samples.

"The combination of a highly coherent field emission source, lens editing software, and an image filter with digital-image capturing capabilities creates a state-of-the-art instrument for static and dynamic magnetic observations," says Krishnan, who oversees operations on the CM200.

In a proof-of-principle experiment, the researchers used heat to deliberately deform a known sample of 1040 steel. The deformed sample was then magnetized, scanned with the high-Tc SQUID microscope, then characterized with the CM200.

Says Morris: "Preliminary measurements indicate that the magnetization of steels depends strongly on their thermal and mechanical treatment, and that the microstructure responsible for the magnetization can be characterized on the surface by a magnetic etching technique and high-resolution Lorentz imaging."

In addition to shedding light on the underlying physics of magnetic behavior, Morris and his collaborators would like to eventually create a topology of magnetic signatures for various types of steel that could be used to predict likely structural failure long before the appearance of any microcracks.

Photo: Jin Chan (left), Bill Morris and Seung-Hyuk Kang of Material Sciences are correlating structural changes in steel to subtle changes in its magnetic properties. (XBD9805-01253) Photo by Don Fike

Photo: The non-invasive technology being developed by Bill Morris and his colleagues is designed to test the integrity of steel and other metals. (bridge.pict)


National Report Predicts Optics Revolution

By Ron Kolb

Harnessing the properties of light will lead to a technology revolution that could have a pervasive impact on life in the next century, according to a new report by a committee of the National Research Council.

This dramatic vision, together with recommendations to help the nation's research community maximize the potential of optical science and engineering, were presented during the Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics and the International Quantum Electronics Conference, held at the Lab on May 6.

Director Charles Shank, chair of the Research Council's Committee on Optical Science and Engineering--a group of academic and industry leaders which spent three years conducting a comprehensive assessment of the field of optics--summarized the progress made in the field over the last decade and presented a vision of its future. The result of their efforts: "Harnessing Light: Optical Science and Engineering for the 21st Century."

Since the development of the first laser in 1960, optical science has impacted the global economy in countless ways--in fiber-optic communications, manufacturing, and imaging. Shank said optics promises to revolutionize the fields of communications, medicine, energy efficiency, defense, manufacturing, and the frontiers of science into the next century.

"There are about 5,000 optics-related companies with a financial impact of more than $50 billion annually," he said. "But that number is insignificant compared to what optics has spawned as an enabler. An investment of a few hundred million dollars in optical-fiber technology has leveraged a trillion-dollar worldwide communications revolution."

And that is only the beginning. The report envisions major advances in telecommunications, in disease diagnosis and therapy, in electric lighting efficiency, in semiconductor manufacturing, and in defense surveillance and guidance systems.

But realizing this vision will take a reordering of research priorities, better coordination among agencies and industries engaged in optical science, and federal leadership in focusing the efforts of the research community. Some of the key areas identified by the report for particular focus of optics research in the coming years include:

The report recommends that multiple agencies support optics as a cross-cutting initiative, similar to recent efforts in high-performance computing, and that the National Science Foundation develop an agency-wide initiative to support multidisciplinary research and education in optics.

"We expect the field of optics to become a discipline, as computer science has over the past few decades," the report concludes, "and to become recognized as such in educational institutions around the world."

The study was funded by the Department of Defense, the National Science Foundation, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology. Copies can be ordered from the National Academy Press at 800-624-6242.

Photo: lens.tiff


Health Survey Draws National Audience Online

By Jeffery Kahn

Life Sciences researcher Paul Williams is attempting to transform epidemiology by wedding it to the Internet. Williams, who runs several large national health studies, has launched what he hopes will be the first epidemiological mega-survey on the Internet.

The National Health Survey, which can be found on the web at, was initiated in order to identify foods, dietary supplements, exercises, and medical practices (traditional and alternative) that could increase life expectancy and reduce chronic diseases.

Williams says the study is based on the premise that everyone is engaged in a personal experiment in which their choice of foods, vitamins, medical treatment, and lifestyle affects their health. His hope is that the collection of all these individual experiments into one nationwide study might lead to improved guidelines and recommendations for diet, lifestyle and medical treatments.

Says Williams, "The study could identify which drugs and medical treatments are most effective, as well as drugs that have heretofore unrecognized effects, both beneficial and detrimental. It will provide both a national health status report and possibly an early warning system for drugs or dietary supplements that have serious side effects."

Williams notes that vitamins and sundry dietary supplements are widely consumed yet there is a scarcity of scientific information about how they affect health. For instance, the benefits of aspirin in reducing heart disease have been recognized only in recent years. To gain a better understanding of the effects of supplements, the National Health Survey includes a range of questions about dietary supplements.

The survey provides immediate benefits to those who sign up. Participants who enter their data through the Internet will receive an automatic on-the-spot analysis of their diet, physical activity, and weight. They will be re-contacted every three months for the opportunity to update their personal information and to report on their health status. At no charge, participants can choose to have their dietary analysis sent to their physicians, health counselors, or whomever they choose.

Williams says his goal is to give each person who enrolls in the study more information back than they put in. For example, individuals will learn how much exercise they are doing relative to others of their same age and sex, and also receive an evaluation about their weight and diet. These analyses will be provided without cost or without any obligation to join the study. Data from those participants who do choose to join will be used to test how exercise, diet, and dietary supplements affect disease risk. All information provided will be strictly confidential.

Over the previous six years, Williams has conducted the National Runners' Health Study, a national prospective epidemiological study of 56,000 runners.

The survey has played a prominent role in the ongoing national debate over recommendations on the desirable levels of physical activity. Williams also launched a companion study, the National Walkers' Health Study, which currently includes 5,000 walkers.

The researcher says the Internet could prove to be a boon to epidemiological science.

"Whereas these prior `pencil and paper' questionnaires are expensive to produce, distribute, and analyze, the new broader National Health Study on the Internet will cost only pennies per person and will allow two-way interaction," Williams said. "It is a statistical fact that the larger the study, the greater the precision for identifying links between lifestyles and health.

"The goal of the study is to recruit 20 million Americans into the first epidemiological mega-survey."

Photos: health.pict; running2.pict; salad2.pict


State of the Laboratory

Berkeley Lab Director Charles V. Shank will present his annual State of the Laboratory address on Friday, May 29, at noon in the Bldg. 50 auditorium. All employees are invited to listen to the talk there or via remote video link in the Bldg. 66 auditorium.

The Director will review Laboratory accomplishments and challenges over the past year and will include an update on Wash-ington issues, an institutional outlook for FY99, and research directions. The primary portion of his presentation will be devoted to scientific highlights from divisions and programs.

Questions from employees will be addressed as time permits.


Washington News

Many Q's, Few A's at AAAS Colloquium on R&D Budget

It would not be surprising if the scientific community were to suffer from a collective bipolar disorder as a result of what has been reported so far on R&D federal budget prospects for FY99. At the annual R&D colloquium sponsored by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, it was widely acknowledged that there is strong bipartisan support in Con-gress for basic research, which ought to bode well for the budget proposals highly favorable to science proposed by President Clinton.

And yet, Franklin Raines, outgoing director of the White House's Office of Management and Budget warned in a speech before the colloquium that federal R&D agencies, with the possible exception of NIH, face an uphill battle for funding. "It's going to be a very long struggle over domestic resources and it's not going to be pretty," said Raines.

What's going on? Budgetary prospects for domestic R&D spending in FY99 are being clouded by three major issues.

First is the tobacco legislation which the White House saw as a source of billions of dollars in new revenue that could be used to fund major increases in R&D funding over the next five years. No deal has been made as of yet and there is intense disagreement over how any resulting windfall might be spent.

The second issue is the Congres-sional measure that would boost highway spending to some $34 billion a year for the next six years. Where is that money going to come from? Kerri-Ann Jones, acting chief of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, told the colloquium that the highway measure could severely squeeze other domestic programs, especially science.

Third is a pending resolution by the House Budget Committee to slice $100 billion out of federal spending during the next five years. The colloquium was told that this resolution is unlikely to win broad support but it could still "poison the political atmosphere" against any increases in domestic spending.

Michael Lubell, director of public affairs for the American Physical Society, said in an interview that, "A lot of people are concerned that many of the spending increases called for in the budget, including those for DOE, violate the spirit of the balanced budget agreement of last summer."

President Clinton has proposed an $18-billion DOE budget in FY99, nearly 9 percent more than in FY98. But Lubell said there is wide disagreement within Congress over how much DOE should receive. "Many people do not realize that there is a scientific component to the department," Lubell said. "The department needs to do a better job of stating its mission."

--Lynn Yarris


Musical Interlude

Photo: UC Berkeley Jazz Ensemble's "Wednesday Band" brightened up employees' lunch break on Friday, April 24. The student band, directed by Dave LeFebvre, played on the stage in front of the cafeteria. (XBD9804-01070)


Two Stars Are Born at Berkeley Lab

This weekend will be the last chance for employees to catch the world premiere of the musical "Falling Through a Hole in the Air, The Incredible Journey of Stephen Hawking."

With book and lyrics by Judith Goldhaber, a long-time science writer (now retired) with the Lab's Public Information Department, and music by Carl Pennypacker, a Lab astrophysicist who founded the Hands On Universe educational program, this production got its start ten years ago on one of the Lab's shuttle buses. (More on this history in a future Currents profile).

The musical was well received by San Francisco Chronicle drama critic Steven Winn, who called it "inspired and inevitable" as well as "earnest, wayward, insanely ambitious and scruffily executed."

Performances at the Diego Rivera theater on the campus of San Franci-sco's City College begin at 8 p.m. on May 15 and 16, and at 2:00 p.m. on May 17. Admission is $10 general and $5 for students. For reservations and information call (415) 239-3100.


New York No City For the Stars

The consumer affairs commissioner of New York City, Jules Polonetsky, has issued a violation to a private company that was offering for a price to name a star after a loved one. This gambit apparently became a popular Mother's Day present for residents of the Big Apple until Polonetsky said enough was enough.

Those sons and daughters looking to make their mothers stars this weekend were simply throwing money into a black hole, the commissioner said. Private companies have no authority to "officially" name a star. The Inter-national Astronomical Union is the only recognized star-naming organization, and it does not sell names.

Polonetsky's agency has issued a violation against an Illinois star-naming company for engaging in a deceptive trade practice. The International Star Registry (ISR) faces fines of $3,500 or more.

"Consumers whose gifts have them reaching for the stars must remember to keep their feet on the ground," said Polonetsky. "The star names are nothing more than a listing in the company's own book."

ISR charges $50 to $100 for "new" star names which are listed in their own book entitled "Your Place in the Cosmos." Consumers who buy star names also receive a certificate declaring the "official" name of the star.

"Wishing upon their `own' star can't change the fact that consumers are getting nothing more than a piece of paper in a frame," said Polonetsky.

--Lynn Yarris


Lab Hosts ER Workshops on Public-Private Partnerships

Berkeley Lab's Technology Transfer Department recently hosted the first ER-Laboratory Technology Research (LTR) Program National Workshop. Periodic workshops were previously held in Washington, D.C. but are now rotating among the five participating laboratories--Argonne, Pacific Northwest, Brookhaven, Oak Ridge, and Berkeley. Representatives of the five labs gathered to review ER's public-private partnership program.

Also on the agenda was a presentation on the recently completed Industry Partner Survey, remarks by Berkeley Lab Director Shank on research partnerships, and a special interest presentation on marketing science by consultant Gary Lundquist.

Berkeley Lab led efforts to survey private industry regarding collaborative interactions with the five national laboratories and performed preliminary summary and analysis. A survey questionnaire was sent to over 200 industry partners, with a response rate of over 50 percent. The results will be used to help DOE and its laboratories understand industry's needs, perception, and future R&D goals. In turn, these results will be used to market the ER-LTR partnership program to industry, DOE senior management and Congress.

Director Shank talked to the group about his views on successful partnerships. In order to move public-private collaborative research and development forward, he said, our country must come to a consensus on a set of organizing principles that would form a basis for public-private partnerships, including:

1. Direct federal funding of research and development in industry that primarily benefits the stockholder is likely to be inappropriate.

2. Federal investments in public-private partnerships should have clear benefit for both government and industry.

3. Unique knowledge in a federally funded research facility can form the basis for a successful collaboration.

4. Unique facilities at a federally-funded laboratory can create opportunities for successful collaborations.

5. Public-private partnerships should be encouraged that create a public good as the outcome.

The next call for ER-LTR partnership proposals will be due in July or August. Additional information on the ER-LTR partnership can be found on the Internet at

For a copy of the survey or of Gary Lundquist's booklet, "Management Roles in Federal Laboratory Techno-logy Transfer," call Berkeley Lab's ER-LTR Program Manger Chris Kniel at X5566.

--Bruce Davies

Around the Lab


New Employees


Commuting to Berkeley Lab: A Triumph Over Gravity

By Kathryn Devereaux

Steve Greenberg, an energy management engineer and spokesperson for the LBNL Bicycle Coalition, has been biking from his home to the Lab every day for over fifteen years, rain or shine. He could get a Lab parking permit, but he doesn't want one. He points out with obvious pride that he uses less than one tank of gas in his car per month, and he'd like to keep it that way. It takes him 20 minutes to get to the Lab from North Oakland, and ten minutes to get back. "It's all downhill going home," he smiles. That's the thrill of Berkeley's hills--what goes up must come down, fast.

But if you are considering biking to work, keep in mind that even experienced riders with good equipment consider riding up Cyclotron Road a triumph over gravity. Biking to Berkeley Lab is still a challenge that only some 150 to 200 people undertake.

Their number is growing, however, and much of the credit can be claimed by pioneering activists like Greenberg, who have pressed for necessary amenities such as bike racks on buses and trains and safer bike routes through congested urban areas.

The LBNL Bicycle Coalition was formed nearly ten years ago, and through its efforts, there are now improved Lab shower facilities and more bike racks on Lab shuttles.

As a biking advocate, Greenberg cites personal fitness, the environment, cost savings, and convenience as reasons to bike to work. But, he adds, "The real reason to bike to work is because you want to do it. It's fun." As for the obvious difficulties--bridges, traffic, hilly terrain--he says, "For every problem there's a solution. If you're truly interested in biking to work, there's a way."

A quick check of the links on the nine-county Bay Area Regional Transit website finds an abundance of announcements about new bike racks for park-and-ride bike commuters and bus bike racks for those who hop-skip with their bike through the system. BART has eased restrictions and improved bike access in the past few years, but unless your bike folds, riders traveling in the commute direction with a bicycle must do so outside of peak commute hours (6:30-9 a.m. toward San Francisco and 3:30-6:30 p.m. leaving it.) Only 70 out of AC Transit's 700 coaches are equipped with bike racks, although there are plans to equip every bus during the next few years.

All of the Lab's shuttles are equipped with bike racks, but unless you catch the shuttle at the Berkeley BART station, you might have to wait for a shuttle with a free space.

Other issues notwithstanding, the Lab's bike commuters are a group of people with a sense of community who want to make a difference. Deborah Dixon, a technical writer at the Advanced Light Source, is an experienced and avid cyclist who opts to reduce car trips for a variety of personal and environmental reasons. Biking to the Lab is the fastest, most economical way for her to get here, but participating in a community effort to reduce air pollution is more important.

"I can look out over the Bay on a clear day and know that it's clear partly because of no smog from my car," she notes.

Dixon, a triathlete and veteran of the 575-miles-in-seven-days AIDS ride, stresses that knowing the rules of the road, hand signals and other safety techniques, and the rudiments of bike repair are fundamental to bike commuting.

Annette Greiner, Dixon's colleague at the ALS and one of her sponsors on the AIDS ride, also emphasizes that any biker has to be acutely aware of what is going on around them for safety reasons, but that the opposite side of the coin is a chance to connect in an elbow-to-elbow way with a place.

"Cars can have a way of distorting the world," she says. "They're world-proof, sound-proof boxes. When you're on a bike, you're really there."

A map showing safe bike routes in the East Bay is available for $4 from bike shops and the East Bay Bicycle Coalition, with the proceeds going to fund activities that promote biking.

The website maintained by RIDES for Bay Area Commuters ( also provides a helpful bicycle resource guide.

Photo: Kevin Royal of Start to Finish Bicycles of Berkeley provided free tune-up services to Lab employees during the Eco Fair held here last month. (XBD9804-00975) Photo by Roy Kaltschmidt


Biking Resources

Biking to Work Week -- May 18-22


The Seven Bunnies Commute

By D.E. Gilbert

I have been liberated from the most oppressive human ritual--the morning commute. I used to share this affliction with thousands of other maniacs who crowd the I-80 corridor between Richmond and Berkeley five mornings a week. Now my quality of life has experienced a dramatic improvement--and it has nothing to do with all the money being spent to add lanes to the freeway.

I now arrive to work invigorated, feeling that I have already accomplished something. I don't listen to traffic reports or inspirational hymns. No CDs, tapes, or talk radio. I don't wield a mini Motorola, shave or apply make-up, munch scones or sip lattes. I don't even car-pool or telecommute, yet I take glowing pride in sparing the air.

I often wondered why I dreaded the morning. The real hub of my aggravation was not being at work but getting there. I only have eight miles to travel, but traversing those eight miles in a car is an odyssey that can take anywhere between 20 minutes and two hours.

Finally fed up with the constant confrontations behind the wheel, I headed for the hills. Instead of going for a $35,000 four-wheel drive sport utility vehicle, I resorted to primitive one-wheel drive. I hopped on my little red mountain bike and pointed it toward a dirt trail that leads up into another world.

When I'm pedaling the half-dozen miles of dirt that separate my home from work I achieve a sense of selflessness. I become an organic detector for the sights, smells, and sounds of the natural environment: cotton-tailed bunnies hopping off the trail; dry straw and coyote brush refreshed by morning dew; the screech of red tail hawk circling overhead.

I'm your typical prime-time baby-boomer, 20 pounds overweight with a family history of heart disease and cancer. If I can do this, almost anyone can. However, there are a couple 60 degree inclines that do prove a bit demoralizing, but it makes it that much better when you crest the summit and are treated to an exhilarating downhill.

The first time is deceptively easy, although extra planning is involved. There's the backpack with the work clothes in it. Try to remember the minutiae like socks, underwear, belts and towels. When dawn breaks, you just slip on the riding togs, pump-up the long neglected tires, and hit the road. Your colleagues will appreciate it if a shower awaits you at work.

There are still the intersections that separate home from trailhead, so be prepared to be regarded as nothing more than a speed bump, or worse--invisible--by passing motorists.

After the initial ascent, the trail sweeps through stretches of dried thistle with heads still neon blue and stands of sun-steeped fennel before plunging into a grove of aromatic eucalyptus. On the shores of a fog-shrouded shallow bog the trail detours around bird watchers, depositing me momentumless at the base of a grueling asphalt slope up and out of tranquillity, back into the fray.

The second day is harder physically than the first. The body hasn't recovered from the trauma of the maiden voyage and remembers the arduous task that lies ahead. But champions persevere.

By the third day, landmarks become familiar. I began to predict where bunnies would lunge out from the underbrush and more often than not spin on their hindquarters and dive back in at the sight of me. I took to counting bunnies. The earlier in the morning I rise, the more bunnies I see. Three one day, five the next, and even 12 one monumental morning when I got up and out so early that the stars were still shimmering.

In the evening, on the way home, the fauna changes. As the early autumn darkness settles in, I attach a battery-powered halogen lamp on my helmet. This proves handy not only for illuminating the hazards along the trail, but also for staring down cars that threaten me at every cross street as I climb out of the city and descend into the sanctuary of my secret canyon.

Skunks are always the first set of beady eyes to reflect back at me as I enter the park. Then come the deer, in pairs and trios, some with healthy racks. Raccoons watch me pass disdainfully, and occasionally an unidentified set of eyes slink across my path and turn defiantly before disappearing. Would these belong to the cats for which the canyon is named?

If the commuting world only knew how pleasant a way this was to start and finish the day, they would clamber to take advantage of this healthy alternative.

As I work my way out of the canyon back into civilization, the seventh bunny of the morning crossed my path. I know that it could be much worse. I am a long way from the commute from hell.

Photo: D. Gilbert


Bike to Work Day

May 19 is Bike to Work Day and everyone is encouraged to sign up to participate in this annual event. Forms are available in the cafeteria lobby. Participants in the event, which is sponsored by RIDES, will bike either to work or to public transit on May 19. Prizes will be awarded. For more information contact Marylynn Wilkinson at X8605.


Eco Fair: Towards a Gentler Earth

By Jacqueline Noble

The weather, the crowd and the exhibitors all played a major role in the success of this year's Eco Fair, held outside the Lab cafeteria on April 14. From demonstrations of clean air vehicles and bike tune-ups, to tips on recycling and home composting--there was something for everyone at the fair.

Transportation, however, was the theme of the event, and car buffs had plenty to keep them busy during lunchtime.

The clean air vehicle built by Heinz Lackner, whose wife Ginny Lackner works at EH&S, was a big draw. The Honda Civic that Lackner converted is now powered by 15 marine batteries and can travel up to 60 MPH for at least one hour on fully charged batteries. It takes 12 hours to fully charge the car, which Lackner converted for $4,000.

PG&E also showed off its clean air vehicles powered by natural gas. As of now, Honda, Ford and General Motors are the only manufacturers of these vehicles.

Also on hand were representatives from the Tripmobile, a commute store on wheels, which sells AC Transit passes, BART tickets, Muni passes and tokens, tickets for Golden Gate Tran-sit, ferry tickets, and more. Funded by the City of Berkeley, Cal Trans and UC Berkeley, the Tripmobile is at the Lab every Thursday in the cafeteria parking lot from 11:30 a.m. to 12:40 p.m.

The LBNL Bicycle Coalition organized a bike tune-up booth, which offered riders basic tune-ups for their bikes, including general diagnosing, derailer adjustments and brakes. The services were provided by Start to Finish Bicycles of Berkeley.

Erik Page of Environmental Energy Technologies Division (EETD) was on hand to show off the new torchiere lamp developed by researchers in the EETD's Lighting Group. A cooler and more energy-efficient alternative to halogen lamps, the lamp uses compact fluorescent lighting and does not pose the fire hazard associated with high temperature halogens lamps.

Recycling advocates showed how separating cans, bottles and plastics from garbage can save the environment and reduce monthly bills. And representatives from the Alameda County Home Composting Education Program went one step further by introducing Eco Fair participants to the concept composting wet garbage. Composting saves consumers money and provides richer soil for house plants and gardening. Home composting is a project of the Alameda County Waste Management Authority. Alameda County residents can rent a free home composting video or attend one of their many free composting classes.

Approximately 350 people attended the Eco Fair, according to an estimate by Shelley Worsham of the Environment Health and Safety Division, who coordinated the event.

Photo: Eco Fair events and exhibits included (from top): EETD's energy-efficient torchiere lamp, a demonstration of how to build a straw bale structure, a battery-powered car converted by Heinz Lackner, and an information booth set up by RIDES (XBD9804-00979; XBD9804-01074, XBD9805-01255, XBD9805-01191)


Lab Life

It's a Girl!

Thomas Earnest of the Physical Biosciences Division and Susan Hubl are the proud new parents of a 9 lb, 14 oz girl, Carson Marie Earnest, future astronomer/volleyball-player/diplomat, born on Saturday, May 9. Congratulations to mom, dad and Carson Marie.

Retirement Fete

A BBQ retirement party honoring Don Foster will be held on Wednesday, May 27, on the deck of Bldg. 71-J. The cost is $12, which covers food and gift. RSVP by May 20 by calling Carol Earls at X5060.


Skin Cancer Screening Clinic

On Friday, May 22, Health Services will offer a free skin screening clinic for Lab employees from 8 a.m. to noon. Berkeley dermatologist Elizabeth Ringrose will conduct the screening for the tenth consecutive year.

Exposure to sunight is the most significant risk factor for skin cancer, especially in fair-skinned people. Any unusual sore, blemish or other skin marking or change in the way an area of the skin looks or feels may be a sign of cancer and should be examined. Employees with symptoms or high risk factors are encouraged to participate in the screening. Brochures and guides to other resources will be available.

To arrange an appointment, call Health Services at X6266.


PERS Board Election

Laboratory employees who belong to the California Public Employees' Retirement System (PERS) will elect a new board member this fall. Nomi-nations are due by June 8. Notices containing election schedule are posted on the Hill. For more information, contact the Benefits Office at X6403.


E-Mail Flyers at the Cafeteria

Three flyers explaining how to transfer from your current e-mail system to the new IMAP4 e-mail ("Migration Notes") have been published by Computer Infrastructure Support and are available in the cafeteria lobby. The flyers are color coded-- blue for VMS mail, pink for QuickMail, and gold for cc:Mail.


Whale of a Day

A new exhibit on "Whales: Giants of the Deep" is opening at the Lawrence Hall of Science on May 17 with a full festival of family activities, including songs of the sea, touch tank, adopt-a-whale program, hands-on activities, and much more. The exhibit features life-like whale robots. For information call 642-5132 or visit the LHS website at


Lunchtime Delectables

New "Upper Crust" sandwiches are available now at the cafeteria. They are made on a fresh-baked baguette, filled with ingredients such as turkey and smoked gouda, roast beef/cheddar cheese/tomato, and roasted veggies/ spinach/feta cheese.


Wall Chart Available for Purchase

Photo: The Nuclear Wall Chart, developed by the Lab's Nuclear Science Division in collaboration with the Contemporary Physics Education Project, can now be ordered from Science Kit, 777 East Park Drive, Tonawanda, NY 14150, tel (800) 828-777. The colorful chart comes in three sizes: 28 x 42 cm, 53 x 75 cm, and 107 x 150 cm. To find out more about the chart, look it up on the web at (chart.tiff)


Procurement Premiers New Web Ordering Program

Following successful pilot testing, Procurement is proceeding with labwide implementation of its new program for ordering low-value office supplies, laboratory supplies, and chemicals over the web.

Users with a valid employee and project number can now order directly from the websites of the Lab's system contract vendors: Boise Cascade Office Products for office supplies (including copier paper soon to be discontinued from Stores), and VWR Scientific Products for laboratory supplies and chemicals. Boise Cascade users will need to obtain a login from Procurement (X5460) before placing an order. VWR users can create their own user profiles on the vendor's website. The current methods for ordering supplies from these vendors will be discontinued. Other items, including electrical, plumbing, and janitorial supplies and hand tools, are expected to be added to the Lab's System Contract Program.

Ordering instructions can be found on the Procurement website ( under "Systems Contracts." For more information regarding system contracts, contact David Chen at X4506. For order-related questions, contact Lorenza Espejo at X5460.


Transportation Provides New Courier Service On and Off-site

The Facilities Department is announcing the implementation of a new, rush courier service serving the entire Laboratory community. The service offers a wide range of pick up and delivery options, including rush service, to and from the Lab as well as on-site. Transportation can deliver up to 2,000 pounds anywhere in the Bay Area or in central or northern California. There is no minimum weight requirement.

For on-site door-to-door service, materials will be delivered within one hour. For off-site service, a driver is available during normal business hours for same-day pick up and delivery, with rush service depending on destination. Off hour pick-ups and deliveries are referred to IDS Courier Service.

For further information regarding on-site courier service or to request a pick up, call Peggy Patterson at X5404.


SIMC-X Conference

The Tenth International Conference on Semiconducting and Insulating Materials (SIMC-X) will be held June 1 through June 5 at the Berkeley Marina Radisson hotel (formerly the Berkeley Marina Marriott). This is the tenth in a series of biannual conferences. About 100 participants from 25 countries are expected to attend and present papers on topics ranging from basic semiconductor physics to device applications. For more information visit the conference website at or contact conference chair Zuzanna Liliental-Weber at X6276.


Workshop on the Detection of Radio-isotopes in Steel

A call for participation has been issued for the "Workshop on Detection of Radioisotopes in Steel Scrap," to be held on June 8 and 9 in Dallas, TX. The event is sponsored by the Depart-ment of Energy's Office of Industrial Technologies and is being coordinated by Berkeley Lab, which will also prepare the workshop report.

The workshop will focus on the challenges presented by the presence of radioactive sources in steel and on the development of improved monitoring techniques and instrumentation.

For further information contact Jacques Millaud at X4169 or Karen Paris at X5115, or visit the workshop website


Web Publishers Group

The Berkeley Lab Web Publishers Group will meet on Thursday, May 28, at 1:30 p.m. in the Bldg. 50A-5132 conference room. The session will focus on the publication of databases on the web.


Prop 226 Discussion

A special meeting organized by All Building Trades and the CUE and UPTE unions, will be held on Wednesday, May 20, at noon in the Bldg. 50 auditorium. All employees are invited to participate in the discussion.


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


MAY 1998

General Interest

19 Tuesday

Bike to Work Day
Sponsored by RIDES for Bay Area Commuters

Green Team
Quarterly meeting, noon, lower cafeteria

20 Wednesday

Prop. 226 Discussion
Noon, Bldg. 50 auditorium

22 Friday

Skin Cancer Screening Clinic
Sponsored by Health Services 8 a.m. to noon. Call X6266 for appointment.

27 Wednesday

The Future of Computing: A High Energy/Nuclear Physics Viewpoint
Talk by Richard Mount of SLAC

28 Thursday

7:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.., Bldg. 54 parking lot

Web Publishers Group
Session on database publication 1:30 p.m., Bldg. 50A-5132 conference room

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 May 29 issue is 5 p.m. Monday, May 25.


Seminars & Lectures

MAY 18, Monday

ALS/CXRO Seminar
"Electronic Structure and Physics of Colossal Magnetoresistive Oxides" will be presented by Dan Dessau of the University of Colorado.
3:30 p.m., Bldg. 2-100B

UCB Physics Department Colloquium
"Research in High Magnetic Fields" will be presented by Gerard Martinez of Grenoble High Magnetic Field Laboratory.
4:30 p.m., 1 Le Conte. Tea at 4 p.m. in 375 Le Conte

MAY 20, Wednesday

LabVIEW User Group Meeting
"LabVIEW and the Internet: Networking Aspects of LabVIEW Applications" will be presented by Stepan Riha of National Instruments and Steve MacLaren of AFRD.
2 p.m., Bldg. 50 auditorium. Sign-in at 1:45 p.m.

MAY 21, Thursday

Environmental Energy Technologies Division
"Energy Efficiency Activities in the City of Oakland Facilities" will be presented by Scott Wentworth of the City of Oakland.
Noon, Bldg. 90-3148

MAY 22, Friday

Center For Beam Physics
"Non-destructive Electron-Beam Diagnosis with a Microwiggler: Experiments on Fluctuation-based Bunch Length Monitor and Other Techniques" will be presented by Palma Catravas of the Center for Beam Physics.
10:30 a.m., Bldg. 71 conference room

MAY 26, Tuesday

Life Sciences Division Seminar
"Transforming Growth Factor Betas & Mammary Epithelial Cell Biology" will be presented by Carlos Arteaga of Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.
4 .m., Bldg. 66-316 Refreshments will be served.

Center for Environmental Biotechnology Seminar
"Imprinted Polymers for the Selective Sequestering and Sensing of Heavy Metal Ions" will be presented by George Murray of the University of Maryland.
Noon, 50A-5132

MAY 29, Friday

Center for Beam Physics Seminar
"Why We Simulate in Accelerators" will be presented by Etienne Forest of KEK.
10:30 a.m., Bldg. 71 conference room

Earth Sciences Seminar
"Colloids and Sampling Strategies" will be presented by Carol Creasey of UC Santa Cruz.
11 a.m., Bldg. 90-2063




Flea Market

Autos / Supplies

`84 BUICK Riviera, V8/51, at, am/fm/cass, 131K mi, rebuilt transmission, runs great, $920/b.o., Robert, X6002, 284-5380 eve

`84 VOLVO, 240 GL Sedan 40, at, ac, stereo, cass, 166K mi, very good cond, must sell by 5/25, $29/b.o., Jehuda, X6072, 528-7206

`91 CAPRICE, burgundy, immaculate interior, loaded, good body, $4280, Helen, X5746, 522-4164

`92 NISSAN Sentra SE-R, 5 spd, ac, cruise control, power steering, power mirrors, cass, new battery, tires, muffler, 65K mi, $7000/b.o., X5652, 233-4599

`96 TOYOTA Tercel, 11K mi, a/t, a/c, one owner, like new, $9,500, Manfredi, X5017, 548-8294

`96 GEO Metro Sedan, 4D, 4 cyl, 1.3 liter, automatic trans, power steering, frt wheel drive, dual air bags, am/fm stereo, exc cond, ABS brakes (4-wheel), 23,000K mi, $7,450, Fabiana or Esteban, X6893

TRAILER, 2 Wheel, 4x6, w/lights for hauling, $400, Helen, X5746, 522-4146


ALBANY, furn rm w/tv, full kitchen privileges, one block from Solano, nr 43 bus to campus shuttle, ideal for visiting scholar, short or long term, $485/mo, util incl, Sonja or Erol, 527-0605

BERKELEY, 3 bdrm, 2 bth apt, modern furn kitchen, w/w carpet, livingrm w/frplc and vaulted ceilings, master bdrm w/frplc and master bath w/Jacuzzi tub, wash/dry, deck, off street parking, nr downtown, $1,955/mo, David, 525-4470

EL CERRITO, 3 bdrm, 2 bth house w/yard, fully furn, hot tub, residential neighborhood, 20 min by car to LBNL, avail July-Sept., $1250/mo incl util, no smokers, Art, 237-4654

BERKELEY, sublet, 1 bdrm in 2 bdrm apt on Milvia, June-Sept., close to campus & LBNL shuttle, nice deck w/garden & great views, quiet, non-smoker, $350/mo + util, Lisa, 849-9737

BERKELEY HILLS, studio apt, edge of Tilden Park, views, decks, parking, semi-furn, w/w carpet, modern kitchen, dishwasher, large bthrm, very quiet neighborhood, private entrance, storage, alarm, nr 65 & 67 bus lines, no smokers, no pets, one person only, $750/mo + electricity, other util incl, avail 7/1, Evan, X6784, 525-7655

MORAGA, 3 bdrm partially furn house, beautiful setting, 30 minutes scenic drive to LBNL, prefer nonsmoker, visiting scholar & spouse, avail 6/5-8/20, $1500/mo + deposit, Jahan, X4905, 376-4126

OAKLAND, studio, across from Children's Fairyland, close to BART, $540/mo, avail, 6/1, Jin, X7531, 452-1264

SOUTH BERKELEY, 2 bdrm apt, split-level, refurbished, skylights, fruit trees, roses, 10 min walk to UCB, nr bus & shops, all utils incl, quiet 4 unit brown shingle, $1050/mo furn, Kathy, 482-1777

WALNUT CREEK, lg 1 bdrm apt, carport, aek, pool, located nr No Main St on Alvarado Ave, avail, 6/1, $650/mo, Bob, 376-2211


COFFEE TABLE, Stohans Redwood burl glass, unique, $500, Lisa, X5314, (925) 906-9687

DRESSER, wood, 6 drawers, $40; set of four chairs w/soft cushions, $15; vase lamp, $5, Jia, 845-5154

ENTERTAINMENT CENTER, blk painted wood, 66Hx49Wx14.5D w/23HX28W tv hole, glass doors on top shelf, pretty good cond, $50, you pick up before 5/28 (in Martinez), Marc, 229-2592

FAX MACHINE, Panasonic, 2 yr old, $100/b.o., Jia, X4516

LAPTOP, Compaq Armada 1530T, 150MHz Intel Pentium, processor w/MMX technology, 256KB level 2 cache, 16MD standard HD, 2.1GB, 12.1 inch active-matrix display, 16-bit, color at 1024 X 768 res, 2MB EDO DRAM standard, 1.44MB floppy disk drive, integrated 16-bit stereo sound, CD-ROM 20x, PCI 33.6K bps data/fax modem card, PC card slots: two Type II or one Type III, lithium ion battery, 3 hrs battery life, internal ac adapter, all the software you want, 3 yrs warranty, 2 mos of life, $1420, Matteo, X5604, eve 548-9829

MACINTOSH PERFORMA 6115CD, OS 8.1, 601 PPC processor w/clock upgrade @75Mhz, 24 MB RAM, 350Mb int./1G ext. HD + IOMEGA zip drive, 15" Apple color monitor, keyboard & mouse incl, very popular programming, graphics, Internet, & animation programs installed, $700, Martin, X7600

MOVING SALE, luxury items like new, queen size mattress w/box spr., TV 20" Mitsubishi combo w/VCR, Denon mini system stereo, halogen lamp, other items, North Berkeley, Manfredi, X5017, 548-8294

MOVING SALE, very comfortable sofa bed, 20' color TV w/remote control, queen size mattress w/frame, 2 halogen torchieres, small desk, Esteban, X6893, 547-5278

PC, HP Pavilion 8275, Pentium II 300, 48 SD RAM, 8 G, DVD, $1600/b.o., George, 526-5370

POWER PC 6100/60, 24 MB RAM, 256k cache, 140 MB & 830 MB internal hard drives, floppy; 15" Apple Trinitron monitor, 14.4K modem, keyboard, mouse, manuals, selected software incl Microsoft Office & Quicken, $550/b.o., Barbara, 642-3990, 652-6696

PRECORD 515E SKI MACHINE, great cond, exc aerobic machine, $150, Rick, X5882

SOFA, $35; Area Rug, $8; AT&T 2-line remote answer system, $10;

PIONEER CAR SPEARKERS (Pair) $30; GE Rangetop Microwave, $200, Yunian or Ching, 841-2140

SOFA & LOVESEAT, Victorian, carved, oak frame, embroidery up-holstery; $1100; coffee table, oak, carved, $200; entert. center, 5 pcs, solid oak, lots of storage space, hideaway TV & VCR, brass handles, beveled glass double doors, $1900; hat/coat/umbrella rack, oak, mirrored, antique look, brass hooks, 7'Hx2'Wx1'D, $250; country style rug, 3 colors, $60; mountain bike, Trek 850, 14.5" frame, 26" wheels, great condition, $250; photos, Susana, 548-9315

SOFABED, 2 yrs old, very good cond, $120, Peter, X8641, 758-1597

STEREO AMPLIFIERS, PS audio 4.6 preamp ($850 list price), $250; PS Audio 100C 120w power amp ($1200 list), $350, mint w/box & papers, Dave, X4506

STOVE, Garland, professional range, 6 burners w/two full sized ovens & exhaust hood, $550, Mike, X6022

KIMBALL Syntheswinger organ, mint condition; 3 3-cushion sofas, taupe w/two recliners built-in, $150 ea; 7' bottle green, carmel Naugahyde, $50; king bed, $125; 2 single beds, $35 ea or $50 for both; 2 gold upholstered recliners; 2-24" girls bikes, $15 ea or $ $25 for both; 6' coffee table w/lower shelf, $15; regulation pool table, 1" slate; 2 double chests of drawers w/ mirrors, $75 ea, Helen, X5746, 522-4146

STEREO CABINET, light-colored wood, 2'Wx4'H, 3 adj shelves, $50, Steve, X6941

TRAVEL TRAILER, 13 ft, `70's Cardinal, good gas stove & refrigerator, queen-sized bed/dinette, + fold-down bunk, separate enclosed toilet, $1,000, Phila, 848-9156

TRECK, `97, 800 Sport/22.5 in (57cem) modified for upright cycling, bought in Oct., used 12 times, $225, Rebecca, 527-2275

TV STAND, walnut, tape storage, $20; Arrow heavy duty staple gun, like new, $6, Sherry, X6972

ZOOM LENS, Vivitar for Nikon Camera, 100-300mm, F5, 62mm skylight filter, case, $100, Nobu, X4585

Real Estate

GROVELAND, nr Yosemite, Pine Mtn Lake, 3 bdrm, 2 bth house, forest & mtn, views, central heat & air, nearby pool, lake, airport, and golf, $123,000, Guy, X4703 or Kathy, 482-1777


APT, 2 bdrm for visiting scientist from Germany + family, 8/13 for 3-4 weeks, preferably nr BART, Clemens, X7249

APT, 1-bdrm, for visiting scientist & wife. 5/15 to 8/15, Albany

or El Cerrito area preferred, Miguel X6443 or 526-5291

CHILD CARE, in central Berkeley home for 6-mo-old, 3 days a week, willing to share, Rich, X6192, 848-2321

COMPOUND SLIDING MITRE SAW, 10" blade, Helen, X5746, 522-4164

COED SOCCER team looking for several new players, need experienced goalie and two female players, must be 30 years or older, games on Sunday am, Howard, X5031, 540-6719

HOUSING for visiting scholar from New York University, Berkeley area, 2 bdrm apt or small house from 6/27 to 7/19, Dr. Massimo Porrati, email:

HOUSING, studio/cottage/in-law to rent, safe location in Berkeley, Oak-land, Albany, El Cerrito or Emery-ville, begin 6/1, exc refs, up to $600/mo, Rebecca, X4329, 530-5196

SLIDE PROJECTOR, in good cond, will purchase, Tim X5304

CHILD'S CAR SEAT, needed by 5/20, for visiting 1 yr old, Sharon, X5461

SOFABED, queen or king, good quality mattress; folding chairs (4), Christa, 653-5863


FIREWOOD, Grazyna, X7128, 524-8373

GUPPIES, fan-tailed, to already established aquarium, Janet, X4450

FLEA MARKET items may be e-mailed to fleamarket@, faxed to X6641, or mailed to Bldg. 65B. The deadline for the May 29 issue is Friday, May 22.


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


Search | Home | Questions