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Berkeley Lab Currents

May 7, 1999


Sky's the Limit for Lab Photographer

By Monica Friedlander

For six grueling hours he sat flat on a wooden platform in the back of a helicopter, half in, half out, strapped to a harness, legs braced against the landing poles, staring down thousands of feet through the viewfinder as the chopper swung in the wind, circled canyons, and rose to 3,000 feet only to dive back to tree-top level soon thereafter. The thrill-seeker was no stunt man, however, but Lab photographer Roy Kaltschmidt, taking aerial shots of the Laboratory and surrounding areas to record changes in topography, document the foliage program, and update the photo record of the Laboratory's changing landscape.

"This was truly a joyride," he laughs. "I was shooting like mad, taking it all in and appreciating being there."

This is hardly the first time the veteran photographer has tackled lofty assignments. Previous photo shoots have taken him from the top of the Golden Gate Bridge, to plane rides over the Sacramento Delta, to dangling inside the cavernous acrylic vessel of the neutrino SNO experiment in Canada. Each of these shoots presented its own thrill, and this latest one -- soaring over the Bay Area -- rated near the very top, Kaltschmidt says.

"Taking pictures from a plane is not nearly as exciting. With a copter you can go so much lower, almost to the treetops, or come to a stationary point. It's a real treat."

The shots were commissioned by the Lab's Facilities Department. The last aerial shoot was done in 1994, and much has changed over the past five years. New buildings and parking lots have been added, old ones underwent face lifts, and the vegetation patterns have come and gone with the seasons.

To meet the varying demands of this assignment, Kaltschmidt focused as much on detail -- sides of buildings and foliage in small canyons, for instance -- as on the big picture: depicting Berkeley Lab's position within the Bay Area. The result: a stunning collection of photographs, one of which will soon hang outside the Director's office.

"This was the first time aerials were shot in the spring, when the hills are all green," says Kaltschmidt. "In the past they did the shooting during the summer, when the hills were scorched."

Armed with two cameras and 40 rolls of film, Kaltschmidt and his team took off from a private hangar at the Oakland Airport on a gorgeous day at the end of March, ready to tackle three two-hour-long shooting sessions. Getting to that point, however, was no easy task.

The Lab had contracted with a helicopter firm in San Jose long before, with the shooting originally planned for the second week in February. But the weather would not cooperate.

Such a complex shooting session is contingent on many factors, not the least of which is a clear, sunny and relatively windless day. In addition, the helicopter has to be available on short notice once the weather conditions are in place, and Kaltschmidt had requested one specific helicopter with removable doors for this assignment. Finally, the pilot needed to be ready to take off at that time as well.

Even on a clear day, however, the adventuresome Lab shooter was still subject to nature's whims. "The wind in the canyons can be tricky," he says. "If you don't get the shot right away, you need to do a circle and come back. We often had to do a couple of passes to get a specific shot."

All along he had to keep track of where each shot was taken, picking markers to get his bearing and visually locking in on various spots while circling around.

While the assignment had specific documentary purposes, Kaltschmidt never lost track of the shoot's artistic potential, always looking for visually innovative perspectives and playing with angles, shadows and different lenses to put his personal imprint on the job.

"Previously they shot 'bombardier photos,' he laughs. "All looking down to the top of the buildings. And most of them are pretty ugly on top! We went down to lower elevations, looking into buildings, getting a sense of the shape and look, as opposed to a rooftop view. I always try to think of new things or new ways to show things, whether I deal with science or landscape or people. It has to be visually stimulating for audiences both inside and outside the Lab."

The photo shoot was so successful that Kaltschmidt plans to put together what he calls "a virtual reality tour into Berkeley Lab" -- a Quicktime picture series that would take the viewer all the way from the Golden Gate Bridge, across the Bay Area and Berkeley Lab, down to the rooftop of the ALS. The only short-term impediment to the project is reducing the file size of the pictures down enough for the movie to be manageable online.

For all the fun in the skies, Kaltschmidt admits his "joyride" took just about everything out of him.

"I was mentally wiped out by the end of the day," he says. "And physically, too. My legs were sore from bracing. I felt like a vegetable the next day."

That being said, Kaltschmidt cannot wait for the next assignment -- the more adventuresome, it seems, the better. It is indeed difficult to imagine what's left to challenge Kaltschmidt. After all, he has taken his camera all the way from the bowels of the earth in a mine shaft, to balloon, plane and helicopter rides. So what's left?

"Well, I've never been in outer space!" he jokes. Or does he?

To see some of Kaltschmidt's aerial shots, point your browser to and enjoy the view from the top.

Photo: Aerial Shots.1 (XBD9904-00688)

Photo: Aerial Shots.2 (XBD9904-00711; XBD9905-00909-01)

Photo: Aerial Shots.3 (XBD9904-00679; XBD9904-00698)

Photo: Aerial Shots.4 (XBD9904-00693; XBD9904-00702)

Aerial photos by Roy Kaltschmidt


NERSC Picks IBM System for Next-Generation Supercomputer

By Jon Bashor

The National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) has selected an IBM RS/6000 SP system as the center's next-generation supercomputer. When fully installed, the new machine will have a peak capacity of three trillion calculations per second.

The IBM system was chosen based on its ability to handle actual scientific codes and tests designed to ensure the computer's capability as a full-production computing system in NERSC.

When fully installed the system will provide four to five times the total current computational power of NERSC, already one of the most powerful supercomputing sites in the world. This agreement -- a fixed-price, five-year contract for $33 million -- is the largest single procurement in the 68-year history of Berkeley Lab.

"Although some computing centers describe their system's performance in terms of theoretical peak computing, we look at our systems in terms of how much they can enhance our clients' ability to solve large-scale scientific problems," said Bill Kramer, head of NERSC's High Performance Computing Department and leader of the procurement effort. "That's the real measure of performance in our view."

The new system, which will incorporate IBM's newest processor and interconnect technology, will be installed in two phases. Phase I, scheduled to begin this June, will consist of an RS/6000 SP with 304 of the 2-CPU POWER3 SMP nodes, with two processors per node. In all, Phase I will have 512 processors for computing and a peak performance of 410 gigaflops, or 410 billion calculations per second. Phase II, scheduled to be implemented by December 2000, will consist of 152 16-processor nodes. The entire system will have 2,048 processors dedicated to large-scale scientific computing and a peak performance capability of more than three teraflops, or three trillion calculations per second.

As part of the purchasing contract, NERSC will work with IBM to develop means to assess and improve the effectiveness of the system in a production environment. While the theoretical peak performance of supercomputers can be extraordinary, it does not always represent real-world performance. "Theoretical computer speed is comparable to the top end of a car's speed-ometer, " Kramer said. "And while your car might be able to do 150 mph on the open road, you're really more interested in how it will carry out your day-to-day driving chores."

To ensure that the new NERSC system is well-suited to its anticipated work load, NERSC and IBM have agreed to develop and test a "SUPER" (System Utilization Performance Effectiveness Rating) benchmark measurement for the new computer.

"While we anticipate that most of our users will appreciate the new machine's high speed capability," Kramer added, "our main concern is that they have the computing resources they need, when they need it. This contract ensures the system will live up to NERSC's standards for performance and reliability."

The SP is a highly scalable system made up of building blocks called SMP nodes. This architecture will allow NERSC users to increase the size of their computations and make the results more meaningful.

"The continuing partnership between IBM and the Department of Energy is further testimony to what can be accomplished when two leaders in the field of computational science push the boundaries of conventional thinking," said Rodney Adkins, general manager of IBM RS/6000. "I can't think of anything more noble than being a part of making lives better, whether it's through helping design cleaner engines or increasing life-saving knowledge about our environment through climate modeling."

The new system will also allow NERSC to run a variety of different-sized computations simultaneously, thereby providing faster turnaround of results for users across the country.

NERSC provides high-performance scientific computing and data storage resources to about 2,500 researchers at national labs, universities and industry across the nation who are working on DOE-funded programs such as combustion, climate modeling, fusion energy, materials science, and computational biology. NERSC's seven supercomputers, the largest of which is a 640-processor Cray T3E-900, are utilized 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and are running more than 95 percent of the time, therefore needing highly reliable, high-speed computeres.


Lab Helps Create First Thermally Insulated Car

By Allan Chen / Monica Friedlander

Auto air conditioners can make all the difference in the world on a sweltering summer day. But all of us who first have to step into a burning-hot car, braving the suffocating heat wave while trying to keep our hands off the sizzling steering wheel, know we still have a long way to go in controlling our comfort level -- not to mention the ensuing energy use.

A research collaboration involving Berkeley Lab's Engineering and Environmental Energy Technologies Divisions, however, may have come up with a cool solution: the world's first thermally insulated car. What's more, with Lab-developed insulation inside the body panels and insulated window units, the car can get better gas mileage than a regular car while staying cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.

"This is the first time that a car manufacturer is studying thermal insulation to reduce heating and cooling loads," says Deb Hopkins of the Engineering Division. "No one has ever looked at it before in the auto industry."

The Thermal Management Project is a collaboration between the Lab and Ford Visteon, an enterprise of the Ford Motor Company, which is also funding the project. It is also associated with the Partnership for Next Generation Vehicles, which brings together researchers from the US government and a private consortium, the United States Council for Automotive Research, funded by General Motors, Ford and Daimler-Chrysler.

In February Ford Visteon sent a factory-new Ford Taurus to the Lab. The car was stripped down to sheet metal in just two hours by a technician from Roush Industries, who flew out from Detroit. Its doors, windows, and other parts were retrofitted here with Lab-developed insulation before they were taken back and reassembled in another car in Detroit.

Ford Visteon chose Berkeley Lab's patented gas-filled panel (GFP) insulation over other competitors because of the panel's high performance-to-weight ratio. "In adding two to five centimeters of insulation we only increased the weight of the car door by 120 grams," says Daniel Türler of the Engineering Division. The weight savings achieved by GFPs over other insulation options allowed the installation of double pane windows necessary for thermal performance.

In addition, a spectrally-selective solar-control film was applied to the inner surface of the windshield, and double-pane insulated glazing units were used for the side and back windows. The solar control film serves to create a filter that rejects ultra-violet and infrared wavelengths, resulting in significantly reduced heat gain into the interior of the car and degradation of interior surfaces.

GFPs use thin polymer-film cellular baffles and low-conductivity gas to create a lightweight device with extraordinary thermal insulation properties. These hermetic plastic bags can take on a variety of shapes and sizes and can be up to three times as effective as conventional foam insulation.

"The aim of this project," says Hopkins, "is to develop technology that helps reduce a car's total weight by 40 percent. This will raise the gas mileage of a Ford Taurus to 80 miles per gallon without a loss of performance or decreased occupant comfort. Adding insulation to the car allows its air conditioning unit to be smaller, which gives you a weight reduction that improves mileage."

The team of researchers and technicians had only three weeks to install insulated gas-filled panels in the doors and the rest of the car's body and to replace the side and back windows with the insulated glazing units. Hopkins, Türler, Phil Rizzo, and EETD's Brent Griffith and Howdy Goudey, along with technicians in five of the Lab's shops, worked around the clock to retrofit the car by the March deadline. Goudey and Rizzo manufactured gas-filled panels in EETD's infrared-thermography lab, a facility designed for developing and testing insulation and window technology. With Türler they installed the panels in the car body. Meanwhile, Paul LaBerge of EETD designed boxes to securely pack the odd shaped parts for shipment to Detroit.

Everyone involved went the extra mile to ensure that the project was completed on time. Never before have so many panels of the experimental insulation been assembled. Jim O'Neill and Bill Gath of the Technical Services Department were instrumental in providing technical support. The plastics shop made the contoured interior pane of the dual-pane glazing systems that were installed on the car's back and side windows.

The coating shop manufactured customized plastic parts with aluminum coatings. The refrigeration shop drained and tuned the car's air-conditioner on short notice. And the carpentry shop made shipping crates to deliver the modified parts to Detroit.

Their work completed on time, Hopkins, Türler and Goudey went to Detroit in March, taking along the windows, insulated doors and other parts they developed. At Roush Industries they reinstalled the parts in another Taurus.

Said Türler, "A Ford team began testing the thermal characteristics of the refit Taurus in an environmental chamber under hot and cold conditions, as well as under driving conditions. The car is also undergoing wind tunnel testing in a facility in Canada. Their testing should be complete later this year."

Although the first phase of Berkeley Lab's work is complete, the team would like to do some additional testing and evaluation of the car, as well as to work with Ford on refining and improving the design of the insulation.

Photo: This Ford Taurus contains windows, doors and other parts reinstalled and retrofitted by Lab scientists with thermal insulation developed at Berkeley Lab.

Photo: Berkeley Lab researchers developed insulated gas-filled panels that were installed in the doors of a Ford Taurus, later to be reassembled in Detroit.


News Digest


Washington Report

Richardson Overhauls DOE Management

Energy Secretary Bill Richardson has stepped up his efforts to overhaul DOE management by ordering most of the department's operations and field offices to begin reporting to one of three headquarters program offices this month. These changes are intended to eliminate multiple reporting channels and improve lines of communications, direction and accountability.

Under the new structure, the operations offices in Oakland, Chicago and Oak Ridge will report to the Office of Science; the Albuquerque and Nevada offices will report to Defense Programs; and the Idaho, Savannah River and Richland operations offices, along with the Ohio and Rocky Flats field offices and the Office of River Protection in Richland, will report to Environmental Management.

A Field Management Council chaired by Deputy Secretary T. J. Glauthier will be established to assure "consistent implementation of DOE policy" in areas such as environment, safety and health, safeguards and security, and business management.

Until now, DOE's field offices have administratively reported to a single office in headquarters, as well as to various program offices.

DOE Says Labs Don't Seek to Compete Against Private Sector

A report from DOE assures Congress that adequate safeguards are in place to prevent science at the national laboratories from competing with the private sector in the development of commercial technology. The report was ordered by Congress last year as an alternative to legislation that sought to place limits on collaborations between DOE labs and the private sector.

Prepared by DOE's Office of General Counsel, the report focused on CRADAs (cooperative research and development agreements). A CRADA allows a lab to provide personnel, facilities, equipment or other resources to the private sector towards the conduct of specific research that addresses DOE missions.

Technology transfer is a DOE mission that creates public benefits, the report said, but disputes can arise when a licensed lab technology displaces existing products in the marketplace. DOE seeks to head off these problems by having its field offices review and approve CRADAs. The Office of Inspector General also routinely audits selected elements of tech-transfer programs.-- Lynn Yarris


Pollution Prevention Champions Honored

Photo: Four Berkeley Lab employees received Pollution Prevention Awards from the Department of Energy's Oakland Site Office on April 22. Holding their trophies are (left to right) Don Fike of the Lab's Photography and Digital Imaging Services, Dick Johnson of Technical Services, Shelley Worsham of Environment, Health & Safety, and Ken Woolfe of Engineering. The presentations were held at the Oakland City Hall Plaza and were part of the Environmental Expo `99. (XBD9904-00632-32)


Tritium Issues Work Group Update

Lab pledges $100,000 for independent sampling

In the wake of the unexpected departure of four community members from the Tritium Issues Work Group, the group's co-chairs and its remaining members vowed to move ahead on developing a tritium sampling plan for areas at and around Berkeley Lab's National Tritium Labeling Facility (NTLF).

The Work Group was established more than two years ago as an inter-agency and community forum to assess, through environmental testing, the public effect of small amounts of tritium emitted at the NTLF. It has been co-chaired by representatives of the Environmental Protection Agency and the state's Department of Health Services.

With an independent sampling program as its ultimate goal, the Work Group has had difficulty gaining consensus on its scope of work. At its monthly meeting on April 21, Work Group members affiliated with the Committee to Minimize Toxic Waste and the Community Environmental Advisory Commission walked out in frustration. Their prepared statement cited disagreements over Work Group priorities, accusations that the Department of Energy and Berkeley Lab have withheld data, and their desire for an "independent" consultant to do a scoping study.

In a prepared statement, the Laboratory called the withdrawal "unfortunate" and restated its commitment to support independent sampling as the best way to resolve questions involving public safety. This view was shared by the Work Group's leadership, who scheduled a final review of the sampling plan for the next meeting in May.

"We also pledge to involve the community and continue dialogue with all interested parties, the City of Berkeley, and our regulators as the process continues," the Laboratory statement said.

The Lab reiterated its view that operations at the NTLF are safe and pose no public health hazard. "Annual emissions from the facility are less than three percent of the federal public health standard," the statement said.

Independent sampling will be supported by $100,000 in Laboratory funds pledged by Director Charles Shank.

The Laboratory has repeatedly denied accusations that it has been refusing to release information relevant to the process. A pending request by the Committee to Minimize Toxic Waste for historic data, which the Laboratory has stated will involve more than $40,000 in staff time to collect, has been submitted as a Freedom of Information Act request to the Department of Energy. A community plea to waive those collection costs has thus far been denied.

"With the exception of one broad, labor-intensive demand for information," the Lab statement said, "the Laboratory has willingly and responsibly responded to all reasonable requests for information. The pending...request is costly and not needed to perform the Work Group's primary charge."

Director Shank met last week with Berkeley City Mayor Shirley Dean, City Manager James Keene, and CEAC chairman John Selawsky in an effort to resolve differences and move the process forward. They agreed to continue to seek common ground in the coming weeks.-- Ron Kolb


Berkeley Lab Chemist Elected To NAS

Richard Saykally, a chemist with Berkeley Lab's Chemical Sciences Division and a professor with UC Berkeley's Chemistry Department, has been elected as one of 60 new members of the National Academy of Sciences. Election to membership in the Academy is considered one of the highest honors that can be accorded a U.S. scientist or engineer.

Saykally is an expert in laser and molecular spectroscopy and specializes in the ultrasensitive detection of trace species. He and his research group are perhaps best known for recent discoveries into the detailed nature of water cluster structure and their investigation of the role of carbon in interstellar dust. Saykally also led the development of the Cavity Ringdown direct laser absorption spectrometer.

This year's NAS election brings the total number of active Academy members to 1,825.


Berkeley Lab Currents

Published twice a month by the Public Information Department for the employees and retirees of Ernest Orlando Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Ron Kolb, PID department head.

EDITOR: Monica Friedlander, (510) 495-2248,

STAFF WRITERS: Jeffery Kahn, 486-4019; Paul Preuss, 486-6249; Lynn Yarris, 486-5375

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Jon Bashor, 486-5849; Allan Chen, 486-4210

FLEA MARKET / CALENDAR: Jacqueline Noble, 486-5771 /

Public Information Department, Berkeley Lab, MS 65A
One Cyclotron Road, Berkeley CA 94720
Tel: 510/486-5771 Fax: 510/486-6641

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


Science News


Getting a Handle on Dangerous Diesel Exhaust

New device measures light scattering to identify dangerous but invisible exhaust particles

By Paul Preuss

"You see a lot less diesel smoke these days," says Arlon Hunt of the Environmental Energy Technologies Division, "because the manufacturers have done a good job of getting rid of most of the large exhaust particles -- the ones that are easy to see. The challenge is to measure what's not so easy to see -- and these particles may be the most dangerous of all."

Hunt and his colleagues, Mary Quinby-Hunt and Ian Shepherd, have recently tested a prototype optical instrument that can measure diesel exhaust accurately and completely within a few seconds, while the engine is running. So far their "scatterometer" has been used only in the laboratory, but with simple modifications similar devices could be used to measure individual vehicle emissions or to sample environmental air quality in the field.

"Light scattering gives the most complete possible information you can get without interfering with a system," says Hunt, who for over 30 years has been using combined theoretical and instrumental approaches to light scattering to study all sorts of systems, including the interstellar medium, the sickling of hemoglobin in human blood, transparent aerogel ceramics, and even octopus sperm.

Recently, because of interest in the environmental hazards of small particles, Hunt and his colleagues have turned their attention to measuring particle size and composition in diesel exhaust.

"When you are looking at elastic scattering of light -- that is, systems where the light that comes out is the same wavelength as the light that went in -- the easiest thing to do is to measure opacity," says Hunt. "And until recently, `how black is it?' was about the only question asked about diesel soot. But diesel exhaust isn't black anymore. Opacity measurements tell you very little."

The technique devised by Hunt and his colleagues measures linear and circular polarization as well as intensity. These variables are arranged in a matrix representing the scattering of the light at all angles. Only four of a possible 16 elements are needed to convey all the information about light intensity and polarization states that can be gleaned from a suspension of spherical aerosol particles.

Hunt's group first ran the exhaust from a one-cylinder diesel engine through a gadget with a jawbreaking name: the Angle-Scanning Polarization-Modulation Nephelometer, or POLNEPH.

Several features suited the POLNEPH to its task of identifying the nature, size and density of exhaust particles. The linear and circular polarization of a laser beam is modulated 50 thousand times a second. There is no glass or plastic window where the beam passes through the sample -- only an open gap in the pipe that brings the exhaust through the center of the device.

Around this central point, a long arm with a photomultiplier tube at its end rotates through 180 degrees, recording the total intensity and polarization states of the light at each scattering angle. A computer traces out curves as the values change with the angle of measurement, generating four distinctive graphs.

"Unfortunately, there is no good theory that can tell us how to get from this data back to the kind of particles that produced it," says Hunt. "However, if the particles are spherical, or nearly so, we can calculate a large number of alternative models based on simple Mie calculations, using different kinds and sizes of particles in different mixtures. We compare the real data with these models, and where all four curves fit simultaneously we can be sure we know what we're looking at."

Particles in the exhaust of modern diesels are in fact nearly spherical under all running conditions. "Under no-load conditions, the particles are very small," Hunt says, "and their refractive index suggests that they are primarily water droplets or dilute sulfuric acid. Under full load conditions, the particles are larger and darker, although they don't fit the model of pure soot. The particles we observe under engine loading are probably combinations of water and soot."

Using POLNEPH, Hunt and his colleagues determined that approximations based on the refractive index for dry soot give completely erroneous results -- as does the Rayleigh theory, even though Rayleigh equations are often used to describe scattering from diesel engines.

While even the largest particles in the exhaust from a modern engine tend to be spherical, older diesel engines may produce much larger, nonspherical particles for which simple calculations are inadequate. Their presence is revealed by measuring a matrix element other than the four used in the aerosol calculation.

With POLNEPH, Hunt's group analyzed emissions from older engines by applying a program developed by Mary Quinby-Hunt under a grant from the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC).

An elaboration of the "coupled dipole approximation" first suggested by Berkeley Lab astrophysicist Carl Pennypacker to model particles in the interstellar medium, the program generates model particles of arbitrary size by adding spherical nanoparticles in a random-walk pattern. Using NERSC's Cray T3E supercomputer, Quinby-Hunt is building up a library of scattering signals from likely particulate shapes, for determination of emission constituents.

Conventional methods of measuring diesel exhaust are unable to rapidly track changes in particle emissions under changing conditions such as acceleration under load. The POLNEPH setup has proved itself capable of accurate particle-size determination under slowly changing conditions.

But because better measurement speed and portability are needed, Hunt and his colleagues designed and built a smaller, more rugged device dubbed the Diesel Particle Scatterometer.

"The Scatterometer uses the same method of modulating the polarization of the laser beam, and the same open viewing of the sample," explains Ian Shepherd, "but instead of a rotating arm, it uses 12 different photomultiplier tubes that measure different scattering angles simultaneously."

The data from the photomultipliers is converted from analogue to digital form and processed using a dedicated personal computer. Continuous measurements can be made as often as one to ten times a second.

"To proceed with an instrument capable of analyzing diesel exhaust from the smallest spherical particles to the largest non-spherical particles, in real time, right where the engine is," says Arlon Hunt, "all we need now is the funding." The Scatterometer is the prototype of a device that can go into the garage, to the loading dock, or on the highway to yield accurate measurements of diesel exhaust particles.

Photo: Arlon Hunt and Ian Shepherd of the Environmental Energy Technologies Division measure particles in exhaust from a diesel-powered electrical generator (under hood at left) running under various loads. They developed the Diesel Particle Scatterometer with their colleague Mary Quinby-Hunt. Photo by Roy Kaltschmidt (XBD9905-00919)

Someday "scatterometers" will be taken into the garage, to the loading dock, or onto the highway to analyze particles in diesel exhaust emitted by engines such as the ones powering this truck.


Currents Online

The full text as well as color photographs of each edition of Currents are published online at

You may find a link to Currents on the Lab's home page under the heading "Publications." The site allows users to do searches of past articles going back to 1994.


Be Part of Currents

Do you have an interesting story or anecdote to tell?

Did you or one of your colleagues accomplish something that you think others would like to hear about?

Are you working on some interesting research?

Do you have a picture you would like published in Currents?

If so, please send your suggestions to msfriedlander@ We cannot publish every item submitted, but we will consider all your suggestions.


Bulletin Board

Daughters and Sons See Science in Action

Photo: Hundreds of children of Lab employees joined their parents on April 22 for a day of learning and fun. This is the sixth consecutive year that Berkeley Lab observed "Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day" by organizing a host of activities for youngsters aged 9 to 15. Main attractions included computer demonstrations, activities at the firehouse, the Advanced Light Source and the glassblowing shop, and workshops on virtual reality techniques and the Hands on Universe project. Photo by Roy Kaltschmidt (XBD9904-00817-20)

Systems Contract for Ordering Computer Supplies

Procurement has contracted with G C Micro to offer Lab employees a more convenient and efficient way to order computer equipment, supplies and software. Lab requesters will be able to bypass the normal purchase order or procurement card method and place orders either online or by fax. Computers may not be ordered through this procedure.

Most items are delivered within 24 to 72 hours. An online catalog is also available.

For more information on the Lab's system contract with G C Micro, see Questions may be directed to Zelma Richardson at X4216.


Tripmobile Back to Old Location

Due to popular demand, the Berkeley Tripmobile, which sells AC Transit and BART tickets, will park its store on wheels back in the cafeteria parking lot on the first Thursday of every month.

Its next visit is scheduled for June 3 from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.


Elsevier Journals Available Online On a Trial Basis

The Lab Library has obtained a 60-day free trial to the full text of all 1,100 Elsevier Publishing journal titles from the Los Alamos library server (http://sciserver. Only onsite Lab personnel have access to this service.

The Library staff encourages employees to look over the selection and send them feedback (ttp:// After the 60-day trial Berkeley Lab will decide whether to subscribe to the service.

Currently Lab employees have access to the last nine months of about 30 Elsevier titles to which the Lab subscribes. These can be accessed through the Library's website at


Free Admission to Hall of Science

UC staff and faculty, including Berkeley Lab employees, are being offered free admission to the Lawrence Hall of Science from May 1 through June 6 -- just in time to catch the "Backyard Monsters" insects exhibit before it closes on June 6. Faculty and staff will also receive a 10 percent discount on all T-shirts and caps at the Hall's Discovery Corner Store.

The LHS is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Weekend programs also include planetarium shows, live animals, a computer lab, and hands-on family activities. For more information call (510) 642-5132 or look up the Hall of Science's website at


Skin Cancer Screening Clinic

Berkeley dermatologist Elizabeth Ringrose will be onsite again this year on Friday, May 21, to conduct a free skin cancer screening for Lab employees from 8 a.m. till 12 p.m.

Exposure to sunlight -- even on a cloudy day -- is the most significant risk factor for skin cancer, especially in fair-skinned people. (Up to 80 percent of the sun's rays can penetrate light clouds, mist and fog.) 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.

All employees who believe they may be at risk are encouraged to participate in the screening. To make an appointment call Health Services at X6266.


FY 1999 Furniture Orders Deadline

To assure that new furniture is received and installed by the close of Fiscal Year 1999, requests must be submitted to the Facilities Work Request Center by 3 p.m. on June 7. Orders placed after this date may end up posting in FY 2000.

To find out more about the Steelcase "Turnkey Procurement System" or to order new furniture, see online instructions on the Procurement website at, or search the Lab's main website index under "furniture procurement."

For more information contact Nick Peterson of Facilities at X6314.


Courier Services

The Facilities Department is providing the Lab with rush courier service, with pick-up and delivery both on- and off-site. Transportation can deliver up to 2,000 pounds anywhere in the Bay Area or in central or northern California. Onsite materials will be delivered within one hour. For offsite service, a driver is available during normal business hours for same-day pick up and delivery. To request a pick-up, call Peggy Patterson at X5404.

Courier service (two-hour, four-hour, same day, and rush service) is also available from IDS Courier, which operates 24 hours a day and provides pick-up and delivery anywhere in the Bay Area and in portions of northern and central California.

For information call Linda Wright at 548-3263.


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 7 - 21, 1999

General Interest

WED., MAY 12

Noon, lower cafeteria

WED., MAY 19

Bldg. 70A conference room


7:30 - 3:30, cafeteria parking lot

FRI., MAY 21

8:00 - 12:00, Bldg. 26 Call X6266 for appointment.

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 21 issue is 5 p.m. Monday, May 17.

Seminars & Lectures


"The Distribution Company of the Future: Is it all Plain Vanilla, or 31 Flavors, Sprinkles, and Waffle Cones?" will be presented by Matthew Lecar of PG&E's Service Analysis Department.
Noon, Bldg. 90-3148

MAY 13, Thursday

"PNGV Vehicle Project" will be presented by Daniel Türler of the Engineering Division.
Noon, Bldg. 90-3148


"The Many Faces of Rational Enzyme Redesign in Advancing Environmental Biotechnology" will be presented by Rick Ornstein of Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.
Noon, 338 Koshland, UCB campus


"Determining the Structure of Liquid Surfaces Using Ion Beams" will be presented by Philip Watson of Oregon State University.
1:30 p.m., Bldg. 66 auditorium

"Comfort and California Ducts" will be presented by Jeff Siegel of EETD.
Noon, Bldg. 90-3148

"The Endoplasmic Reticulum as an Intermediate for Golgi and Nuclear Membrane Dissolution and Formation During Mitosis" will be presented by Jennifer Lippincott-Schwartz of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and the National Institutes of Health
4 p.m., Bldg. 66-316

FRI., MAY 21

"The LLNL Vadose Zone Observatory: Tracking Contaminant Migration" will be presented by Charles Carrigan of Livermore.
11 a.m., Bldg. 90-2063


New Employees: April 1999


Flea Market

Autos / Supplies

`82 TOYOTA Celica Hatchback, white, 150K mi, rebuilt engine, $1K/b.o., Dick, X4850, Mike, 237-5330

`83 VOLVO DL wagon, good cond, runs well, $1,700, R. Cahn, X4481, (925) 938-2995

`84 HONDA Accord, 194K mi, exc cond, runs perfect, very reliable, second owner, well maintained, records avail, 5 spd, pwr steering and brake, fm/am/cass, good body, $1,800/b.o., must go, San Yu, X4927, 527-8688

`86 TOYOTA Camry sedan, 89K mi, 5 spd manual, pwr steering and brakes, tilt wheel, am/fm, clean, runs good, $1,805, Mike, X4477, 524-6001

`86 TOYOTA 4Runner, 5 spd, 130K mi, red, exc mech cond, one owner, ac, am/fm/CD, factory alum mags, well maintained, $5,600/b.o., Travis, 558-0670

`86 NISSAN 200SX, 97K mi, new transm, new tires, runs great, ac, at, pwr windows, red, $ 3,300/ b.o., David, X4828, 558-0104

`88 XJ6 JAGUAR, black, custom gold trim, sun roof, pwr factory tinted windows, maroon leather int (good cond), am/fm/cass, cell phone hook-up, custom hub caps, new trans (l yr old), new tires, new fan, clutch, new back shocks, low mileage, well maintained, $12,000/b.o., Barbara, X5831, Carl, 436-7307

`89 FORD Tempo GS, 4 dr, auto, ac, cruise control, 69K mi, $2,800/b.o., Victor, 643-3118 (day), 665-5676 (eve)

`91 CAMRY V6, 2.5 L, 4 dr, white, fully loaded, like new, only 75K, new tires, second owner, $7,700, Olli, X6205, 655-0967

`95 MERCURY Sable GS 4 dr auto, green, 3.0 L V6, dual airbags, antilock brakes, ac, 84K mi, good cond, owner returning to Australia, avail late June (negotiable), $6,900, Peter, X4549, 524-5173

`96 BMW Z3, head turner, stunning blue convertible w/ black top, immaculate tan leather int, custom wheels, am/fm/cass, still under warranty, once you drive this Z3 you won't want to drive anything else, take over monthly payment of $548 or $26K, Claudia, (415) 499-6962


ALAMEDA, rm in 2 bdrm duplex unit on beautiful tree-lined street, High St and Central Ave, kitchen, dining rm, living rm, furn, one-car garage (storage), washer/dryer (free), bdrm furn negotiable, close to shopping and bus, plenty of parking, I have 1 cat, only $500/month plus 1/2 util, avail now, Evan, X7349, 523-3536 (eve)

BERKELEY/OAKLAND border, Alcatraz betw Telegraph and Shattuck, 3 blks south of Ashby, 1 bdrm/1 bth, living rm, kitchen, lots of closet space, landlord pays water, garbage, gas (kitchen has gas stove), tenant pays electricity and phone, third flr of apt bldg, great view of SF bay from all rms, close to shops, transp, UCB, Lab, $850/ mo, avail 6/1- 9/30 w/ option of staying longer, Michael or Saira, 652-6772

BERKELEY, sublet, June-Dec, 1 rm in 3 bdrm apt, $300/mo, close to UC campus, BART, LBNL shuttle stop, coin laundry, quiet, neighborhood, furn, carpet, water pd, Francisco and Shattuck, Toyoko, 665-5479, 843-3442

BERKELEY (WEST), charming 2 bdrm, 1 bath bungalow, easy access to freeway, bus, shopping, living and dining rms, huge kitchen, extra porch, rm, deck, large fenced yard, basement w/ laundry, pets considered, $1,850/ mo, lease, avail June 1, Jan, 843-3171

EL CERRITO, studio for grad student or visitor, quiet residential area, 4 mi to Cal, 19x11 rm w/ bed, sofa, bookshelf, desk, TV, private entry, laundry, free off-street parking, kitchen w/ new refrig, microwave, toaster oven, coffee maker, dining area, walk to BART, 1 blk to bus stop, 1 mi to I-80/580, 8 mi to Bay Bridge, close to shopping ctr, no smoking, no pets, $480/mo, deposit $600, lease for 1 yr or 6 mo, avail mid-May, Keller, 524-3780

KENSINGTON, furn, 3 bdrm house, large garden, cat, avail during summer, 6/10 to 8/21 (some flexibility) for visiting LBNL staff, $1,350 to $1,500/mo depending on family size, Ruth, 526-6730, 526-2007

KENSINGTON, furn, 3 bdrm house, avail short term, 7/15 to 8/18, 2 cats, $400/week, include util, Ruth, 526-2007, 526-6730

PINOLE, 1 bdrm, 1 bath for rent in home w/ working female, free-loading cats and small dog, non-smoker/drinker, full kitchen and laundry privileges, $600/mo incl cable tv and util except phone, possible carpool to Lab, avail May 15, Sue, X6661, 758-4164


BIKE, kid's, very good cond, $20; Fax "Murata", thermal paper, $25; kids wooden high chair, $20; car booster seat, $4; kids plastic drawing desk, $2, Alex, X6849, (925) 945-1131

DEHUMIDIFIER, used one season, $150; large microwave oven, $50, Steve, X7156

DISCOVERY TOYS, educational toys, books and software for children, Tracy, (925) 313-8920

DRYER, Whirlpool, supreme, heavy duty, extra large capacity, electric, 220v pwr supply, great cond, $250/b.o., Amarili, X5607

HOUSE SITTING, Lab scientist avail for housesitting in Berkeley area, mature, responsible, ref, can contribute toward rent/mortgage, 2 wk min, Steve, X6941

MOVING SALE, Technics components, 5 disk CD player, dbl deck cassette player, receiver, stand, speaker surround system, $400; Sharp 27" stereo TV, $225; Panasonic stereo VCR, $160, all 2-3 yrs old, as good as new; wooden futon frame w/ futon, $80, more miscellaneous furniture, David, X4828, 558-0104

PRINTER, Apple StyleWriter II ink jet (B&W), 4 yrs old, great cond, not used much, plus cartridge refill kit, $40/b.o., Jon, X5974

SEWING MACHINE, Viking 620, 17 stitches/patterns, buttonhole attachment, extra accessories, instruction book, exc cond, $350, Mary, X5270, (925) 938-9891

SERVICES, interior painting, free estimates, Rita, X5621, 465-3813

SOFA, very clean $95; 2 matching end tables, $10 each or all 3 for $100; 2 lamps, $5 each. Nanyang, X5814, 799-6617

TABLE, dining, light oak w/ one leaf, 6 chairs w/ cloth seats and back, have photo, $250/b.o., Jason, X5873

TURNTABLE, AR, w/ Denon 160 $195; Superphon Revelation Dual Mono $149; Rotel CD855 $175; Magneplanar 1.4, $395; Music Reference RM5mkII and RM9mkII, $1,595; Shure V15VXMR, $149, all items low use and mint cond, Dave, X4506


HOUSING in North Berkeley, Kensington, Albany, or El Cerrito area for visiting scholar and family (wife and toddler) for one yr starting in May, Othon, X6159

HOUSING, summer sublet or housesitting, 2 employees from Lab's DC office seek summer housing, together or separately, one approx 7/1 to 9/15, other from 7/10 to 8/15, will not have cars, so proximity to public transit a must, Phil or Satish, (202) 484-0880, or home, Phil (301) 588-3456, Satish (703) 575-8235

HOUSING for summer, 5/29 to 8/10, for RA leaving for grad school in August, Ed, X6594,

HOUSING for visiting postdocs from Argentina, 2 bdrm furn apt or house in Berkeley or Albany, nr public transp, 7/7 to 9/4, up to $1,400/mo, Dinah, X4368

HOUSING for visiting postdoc, 2 bdrm apt or house for at least 1 yr starting Oct 1, Valerie, X5369 (, Alina (

HOUSING for visiting professor, 2 or 3 bdrm furn apt or house, 7/1 to 10/15, Valerie, X5369 (, Raz (

HOUSING for visiting scientist & wife from Univ of Lund, Sweden, 6/1 to 8/1, John, X6329

HOUSING, shared apt in Berkeley for young UCSB undergraduate woman working at lab mid-June to mid-Aug, walk to LBNL shuttle preferred, Fred, X4892

HOUSING for visiting Indian prof, studio or small 1 bdrm apt near public transp, mid-May to end of June, sublet is fine, Katja, X5972

HOUSING for visiting German scientist, 2-3 bdrm house in Albany starting July 15, Malak, X4514,

HOUSING for Tunisian prof, 1 or 2 bdrm apt near public transp, May to end of Aug, sublet is fine, Alyssa, X5958, or email Nadia,


TAHOE KEYS at South Lake Tahoe, house, 3 bdrm, 2-1/2 bth, fenced yard, quiet area, close to many attractions, great views of water and mtns, call for details, $150/night (2 night min), Bob (925) 376-2211

Lost and Found

FOUND: gold necklace w/ lettered charm in parking lot across from Bldg. 51, please identify, Carol X6651

LOST: navy blue backpack and shopping bag at Bldg 88 parking lot, important documents inside, $100 reward, Kajiyama, X7856


Flea Market Ad Policy

Ads are accepted only from Lab employees, retirees and onsite DOE personnel; they must be submitted in writing (, fax X6641, Bldg. 65B). The deadline for the May 21 issue is 5 p.m. May 14.


Currents/The View and the Communications Department Staff

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

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

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

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

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

Caitlin Youngquist, 486-4020
Creative Services Office

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

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

Flea Market is now online at


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