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Friday, Feb. 19, 2010


STAR Detector at RHIC Points to Asymmetry in the Early Universe

Brookhaven's Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) collides gold ions at high energies to create a hot, dense state like the quark-gluon plasma that existed a few millionths of a second after the big bang. Now RHIC's STAR detector may have found hints of symmetry breaking inside the hot soup. "We have observed a correlation among emitted charged particles," says Nu Xu of Berkeley Lab's Nuclear Science Division, STAR's spokesperson, "with the degree of directional preference increasing as the collisions vary from head-on to more grazing." When collisions are off-center, positive particles prefer moving parallel to the plasma's magnetic field while negative particles move in the opposite direction, which violates parity. More>

CC2.0: Information on Energy Challenge Buildings Now Posted Online

cc2.0 logoAs part of the Carbon Cycle 2.0 (CC2.0) initiative, Director Paul Alivisatos has launched an energy challenge for Lab buildings and complexes, to see which occupants can save the most energy. To assist those participating in that contest, a list of Challenge buildings, along with a history of their energy use from November 2007 to January 2010, has now been posted. Renovations in progress and in the planning stages for rapid implementation at Challenge Buildings are also listed. Contestants can use this information to help develop reduction strategies. Other useful tips are available on the sustainLBL website.

surveyUC Update: Staff Invited to Take Survey on Retirement Benefits

It's not too late to share your views about UC pension and retiree health benefits by taking a short, confidential, online survey. Just go to the Future of UC Retirement Benefits website before March 1 at 5 p.m. and select the survey button. The survey takes less than 10 minutes to complete and all answers are confidential. Participation is voluntary. Your responses will help the President's Task Force on Post-Employment Benefits better understand employee preferences about financially sustainable options for future retirement benefits.

Health Services: Reimbursement for Weight Watchers at JGI

The Lab's Health Services group is hosting an informational meeting for Weight Watchers at the Joint Genome Institute on Monday at 12:30 p.m. in Building 100-149A. Those interested in participating will need to provide $186 via cash, credit card, or check. Staff who attend at least 14 of the 17 meetings in the session will have the cost reimbursed by the Lab.

UC Update: Applications for Staff Advisor to Regents Now Accepted

The University of California Office of the President has announced the opening of the application period for the next staff advisor-designate to the Regents. The position's term runs July 2010 through June 2012. The staff advisor program, now in its fifth year, allows for two staff and/or non-Senate academic employees to participate in open sessions of designated committees of the board. The staff advisors bring the voice and perspective of staff and non-Senate academic employees to board deliberations. Lab employees are invited to apply before the March 1 deadline. More>

Facilities: Maintenance Work Will Cause Noise Near Building 88 Today

Occupants in and around Building 88 should be aware that work today on a nearby rainwater drainage system will create noise and diesel exhaust fumes, generated by a tanker trunk that will be pumping water out and cleaning the system.

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