December 7, 2001 Search the Currents Archive

Charting a New Vision of Excellence

Berkeley Lab Contributes to Anti-Terrorist Technologies

Kinkiness Revealed in High-Temp Superconductor
Washington Report
Berkeley Lamp Debuts at Berkeley City Council
“Superb Year” for Science and Management at the Labs
Green Power Growth: Markets or Marketing?
Lab Team Wins Bandwidth Challenge at SC2001
Focusing in on “BASIC” Research
A Clean Sweep at the IEEE
Bulletin Board
EH&S Class Schedule – December 2001
Useful Tips for a Safe & Happy Holiday
Flea Market
Flea Market Policy

Deputy Director’s Corner

Charting a New Vision of Excellence

By Sally Benson

On Oct. 25 and 26, the leaders of the Operations divisions and departments spent time charting future directions for Operations support at Berkeley Lab. We explored a range of issues, from developing a new vision for Operations to improving the flow of information and ideas around the Laboratory.

When I assumed my responsibilities as deputy director earlier this year, I inherited a strong and effective organization, comprised of hardworking and committed employees — the legacy of my predecessor, Klaus Berkner. Klaus’ successes have been well chronicled. Among his priorities was to provide the highest quality of support and service, with an increased focus on the customer at all operational levels. Our commitment is to build on this vision by assessing what has been accomplished and what still needs to be done.

From our conversations emerged a new vision for Operations, comprised of three components:

  1. Berkeley Lab will be the best place in the world to conduct scientific research.
  2. We will be part of a unified laboratory, where the full contribution of every individual is expected, respected and recognized.
  3. We will have constructive relationships with and be trusted by our sponsors, our neighbors, and our collaborators.

To realize this vision, we have mapped out an ambitious program of initiatives and activities this fiscal year. Paramount will be development of a new Operations strategic plan, which we are beginning with a disciplined analysis of performance and customer feedback.

Some specific initiatives also emerged from our discussions. The areas under study each relate in some way to achieving one or more of the three goals listed above. They include:

  •  Activity-based budgeting: We need a clearer way to evaluate what services we are providing and at what cost.

  •  The Performance Progress Review (P2R) process: We want to improve the process by providing more meaningful feedback while streamlining procedures and reducing perceived burdens in this important personnel evaluation system.

  • Job family compensation validation: We intend to complete the analysis of compensation in all job families so that our pay structures can be validated against the markets within which we compete. Many job families were evaluated last year, and this year’s effort will complete the process for the remaining job families at the Lab.

  • The recharge cost model: We will catalogue and reassess the cost model for pay-for-services activities at the Lab.

Another area of special importance to us is communications. A new approach to planning and managing in Operations means doing a better job of gathering feedback and being responsive to employee suggestions and concerns. It means ongoing multidirectional communications, so that many voices will be heard before decisions are made. And it means making sure that individual employees don’t feel lost or alienated, but that their voices are heard and their contributions acknowledged.

Ultimately, this is about continuing to make the Lab a better place for all of us. To do that will take commitment and participation from every one of us. I will keep you apprised of our progress and about how you can help us make a difference.

Sally Benson is Deputy Director for Operations at Berkeley Lab.

Berkeley Lab Contributes to
Anti-Terrorist Technologies

By Ron Kolb

Berkeley Lab researchers have offered their expertise and program experience to the nation’s leaders who are charged with strengthening homeland security and countering terrorist activities.

They recently took information on three projects to Department of Energy headquarters in Washington to brief Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham and Director of Homeland Security Tom Ridge. They were part of an exhibition of more than two dozen counter-terrorism technologies sponsored by the DOE.

"Department of Energy laboratories are making real contributions to the homeland defense of our country," Abraham said. "Our world-class scientific and engineering facilities and creative researchers have helped make our nation more secure for over 50 years. These same resources have been trained on the threats posed by terrorism for some time, and because of this foresight, technologies such as these are in deployment today."

Berkeley Lab Director Charles Shank agreed. "As an Office of Science laboratory, we’ve been involved in cutting-edge research in a variety of disciplines for many decades. In response to national needs, these special capabilities can be put to immediate and practical use while at the same time expanding the frontiers of science. The strength of our country depends upon our technical achievements."

Compact neutron source under development by scientists in Berkeley Lab's AFRD.

Berkeley demonstrations included:

The Compact Neutron Source

This portable device uses neutrons to noninvasively screen the contents of things like baggage, air cargo and mail. Unique in its speed and intensity, the neutron source is ideal for both spot checks and continuous scanning of large sizes and volumes of closed containers, to detect potentially dangerous contents such as explosives or fissionable materials. The power of this source — a thousand times greater than existing devices — will allow the detection of smaller objects, faster screening, and more accurate discrimination among materials.

Unlike radioactive sources used in existing devices, the compact neutron source uses electricity and can be switched on and off to tailor the neutron pulse to a particular application. The low-energy neutron beams strike objects or substances and, based upon the gamma rays and neutrons that are emitted from the atomic interactions, analysts can quickly determine the composition of the contents. Neutrons can penetrate walls yet leave the targeted objects undisturbed.

An initial prototype of the device will be completed within three months, and five to ten systems can be deployed in the field within a year. Accelerator physicist Ka-Ngo Leung is the principal investigator.

Building Occupant Protection Guide

Berkeley Lab’s Environmental Energy Technologies Division has applied its experience in indoor air quality and building ventilation research to a simple kit for use by occupants and first responders at a building site that may have been attacked using chemical and biological agents. The easy-to-use informational booklet, assembled by a team headed by environmental researchers Ashok Gadgil and Phil Price, explains how contamination spreads through office buildings, so that rescue workers can take steps to minimize the impact of the contamination and mitigate exposures.

The Building Occupant Protection Guide details how contaminants spread through a building’s ventilation systems and how to reduce exposure.

The data can help responders, building owners, managers and occupants determine at a glance where the greatest exposure is most likely to occur and where the contamination is likely to spread over time. This work resulted from both extensive simulations and experiments to verify the simulations. Additional work has been done on methods to quickly analyze and report sensor data to provide information on where such materials are released so that proper response actions can be taken.

A draft guide is complete and ready for focus group review. Production and deployment can follow rapidly.

Rapid DNA Sequencing of Microbial Pathogens

The DOE’s Joint Genome Institute in Walnut Creek — a collaboration directed by Berkeley Lab’s Trevor Hawkins and featuring scientists from the Berkeley, Livermore and Los Alamos labs — has been a leader in the international effort to interpret and understand the human genome. The expertise there can be applied to biothreat bacteria, so that detection, identification and treatment can be improved.

JGI’s special contribution has been rapid cost-effective sequencing, or decoding, of DNA — the genetic blueprint of organisms. This same principal has been applied to various microbes, which can be sequenced in one to three days. Developing a complete DNA sequence catalogue of potential microbial pathogens would provide key information to identify particular bacterial strains, differentiate between closely related infectious and noninfectious bacteria, identify unique “signature” genes for rapid detection, and aid in forensic identification of the strain and potential source of origin In addition, the understanding gained will be extremely valuable to researchers and agencies for use in developing medical treatments for illnesses caused by specific biothreat agents.

Sequencing and analysis of biothreat pathogens could begin within three weeks. The JGI has more than 90 advanced sequencing machines, robotic instrumentation, computational resources, and a staff of nearly 300, with 24-hour sequencing capability.

Kinkiness Revealed in High-Temp Superconductor

By Lynn Yarris

A study at Berkeley Lab’s Advanced Light Source (ALS) has revealed that, contrary to what many scientists have argued, the physics behind the high-temperature superconductivity of copper oxides may be every bit as kinky as that behind their low-temperature metal counterparts.

Working with undulator light from ALS Beamline 10.0, an international collaboration led by Stanford University physicist Zhi-Xun Shen has identified a “kink” in the energy spectrum of low-energy electrons in three different families of copper oxide high-temperature superconductors. This spectral kink is the signature of an interaction, or “coupling,” between an electron and a phonon — a vibration in the ions that form the lattice of a superconductor’s crystal. Electron-phonon coupling is behind the low-temperature superconductivity of metal alloys.

“We see in all of these copper oxide materials an abrupt change of electron velocity at 50–80 meV (the kink in the spectrum), which we cannot explain by any known process other than the coupling with phonons,” says Shen. “This suggests that electron–phonon coupling strongly influences the electron dynamics in high-temperature superconductors and must therefore be included in any microscopic theory of superconductivity.”

Superconductivity is a state in which a material loses all electrical resistance — once established, an electrical current will flow forever. Following the discovery in the 1950s of niobium-based metal alloys that become superconducting at temperatures around 18 degrees Kelvin, superconductivity has become a staple of high-tech magnet technology in scientific research. However, the cost and difficulty of chilling these metals with liquid helium limit their applications elsewhere.

The discovery in the 1980s of ceramic copper oxides which become superconducting at temperatures above the 77-degrees-Kelvin boiling point of liquid nitrogen (meaning they are much cheaper to chill than metals) brought forth the tantalizing prospect of room temperature superconductors — and their promise of such prizes as dirt-cheap electrical power and magnetically levitated high-speed trains. For this promise ever to be realized, however, scientists need a better understanding of the physics behind high-temperature superconductivity.

The physics behind low-temperature superconductivity has been successfully explained by BCS theory, named for its Nobel-prize winning authors, John Bardeen, Leon Cooper and Robert Schrieffer. BCS theory says that a superconductor loses electrical resistance through the formation of electron pairs in which any motion on the part of one member of the pair instantly causes an equal counter motion in the other. This electron pairing cancels out any disruption in the flow of an electrical current caused by crystal impurities that would be the source of electrical resistance.

Electrons that would naturally repulse one another because of their mutual negative charge are able to pair up because of the interaction of one of them with a phonon. The first electron alters the phonon, which can be thought of as a sort of atomic sound wave; and the second electron is affected by this alteration, like passing ships influencing each other’s motion through their effect on the surrounding waves.

While scientists believe electron pairing is also behind the superconductivity of high-temperature superconductors, the prevailing thought has been that this pairing involves different physics, such as fluctuations of the magnetic spins of the electrons, rather than electron-pho-non coupling.

“We would very much like for phonons not to be there, and we have a completely new mechanism for high- temperature superconductivity that has nothing to do with phonons,” Shen says. “However, our data suggests that the phonon is still a major player in high-temperature superconductivity.”

Members of the international collaboration that identified the “kink” include (inset) Scot Kellar, (seated) Pavel Bogdanov and Alessandra Lanzara, and (back row from left) Wangli Yang, XIngjiang Zhou, Zahid Hussain, Zhi-Xun Shen, and Veronique Broet.

The team led by Shen, which included Berkeley Lab physicist Zahid Hussain and researchers with Stanford University and the University of Tokyo, conducted their study of three families of copper oxide superconductors at the ALS using a technique called ARPES (angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy). With ARPES, light is flashed on a sample, causing electrons to be emitted through the photo-electric effect. Measuring the kinetic energy of emitted electrons and the angles at which they are ejected identifies their velocity and scattering rates. This in turn yields various energy spectra.

By lighting their samples with the laser-like beams of photons generated at ALS beamline 10.0.1’s undulator magnet, Shen and his colleagues obtained an angular resolution in their ARPES measurements that was an order of magnitude better than in many previous ARPES studies of these materials. The ability to fine-tune the energy of the undulator’s photons also made it possible for them to directly probe the electrons responsible for superconductivity. A comparison of the resulting energy spectra revealed a kink shared by all the samples at an energy matching that of an oxygen phonon.

“Until now there has been little direct evidence for electron-phonon coupling in the electron dynamics in high-temperature superconductors,” says Shen. “This was a hard job and we were blessed with both the performance of the ALS and the amount of beam time made available to us.”

While the data gathered by Shen and his team indicates that phonons strongly influence the motion of electrons in high-temperature superconductors, it is still not clear to what extent BCS theory can explain the physics involved. Shen and his colleagues are already planning new experiments to help answer this question. In the meantime, however, they expect their finding to “stimulate more work” for the theorists.

In addition to Shen and Hussain, U.S. members of the discovery team were Stanford University’s Alessandra Lanzara, Pavel Bogdanov, Xingjiang Zhou, Scot Kellar, and Donglai Feng, plus former ALS staffer Erdong Lu.

Washington Report

Report Critical of the SNS

A new report from DOE’s Office of the Inspector General claims that the $1.4 billion Spallation Neutron Source (SNS), intended to be the world’s “foremost neutron scattering facility” upon its scheduled completion date of June 2002, is likely to fall short of its scientific promise.

The report states, “We determined that the SNS Project’s technical scope was reduced to allow the cost and schedule components to be met. Contrary to original commitments the SNS Project will not: have instruments to address all of the initially planned areas of science; provide complete user facilities; and possess critical spare parts and equipment.”

The Office of Science disagrees with the IG’s conclusions, and its response is included verbatim in the report (DOE/IG-0532), which can be read at

No one disputes that the SNS, which is being built at Oak Ridge National Laboratory by a collaboration of six national labs that includes Berkeley Lab, will be a valuable tool for science. It is expected to serve about 1,000 to 2,000 researchers each year. The IG report even states that when completed, “the SNS may well be the best facility of its kind in the world.” What is at issue is whether the SNS, in order to stay within its budget, opted to scale back its scope rather than ask Congress for additional funding.

In its response, the Office of Science promised that the SNS will deliver better scientific facilities at the same cost as when the project was conceived in 1995. Said an SNS spokesperson, “The IG report’s fundamental point that the project is working to optimize the facility within the approved budget is true. We do take project cost as a hard constraint. We’re looking for more bang for the buck. But the facility is not being compromised in terms of scientific performance.”

Abraham calls Yucca Mountain report “fatally flawed”

In a public letter to David Walker, comptroller general of the U.S. General Accounting Office, Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham called a draft GAO report on Yucca Mountain (DOE’s proposed site for a permanent nuclear waste repository) “fatally flawed.”

Said Abraham, “While I have great respect for GAO, this kind of premature disclosure significantly, if not irreversibly, taints the work product of any inquiry by GAO or any other investigative body.”

The report, cited last week in the Washington Post, urged the Bush administration to postpone indefinitely a decision on building the nuclear waste repository and raised serious questions about whether the project could be built as conceived.

“DOE is unlikely to achieve its goal of opening a repository at Yucca Mountain by 2010 and has no reliable estimate of when, and at what cost, such a repository could be opened,” the report stated.

In response, Secretary Abraham criticized the GAO for reaching a “predetermined conclusion” by allowing itself to be heavily influenced by the project’s opponents, which include Senate Majority Whip Harry M. Reid (D-Nev) and virtually every other major politician in the state. — LynnYarris

Berkeley Lamp Debuts at Berkeley City Council

Michael Siminovitch of the Environmental Energy Technologies Division (back to the camera) demonstrates his group’s energy-efficient “Berkeley Lamp” to the Berkeley City Council. Siminovitch and Lab Director Charles V. Shank were on hand at the Council’s Study Session on Energy on Nov. 20, when Berkeley Mayor Shirley Dean thanked the Lab for donating 13 lamps to the City. The lamps were installed in the City’s Engineering Department office and have reduced lighting energy use by two-thirds. The City’s plans to buy the lamps from the manufacturer and offer them for sale at cost at Berkeley Farmer’s Market and other city retail outlets beginning early next year.

“Superb Year” for Science and
Management at the Labs

The three national laboratories operated by the University of California — Berkeley Lab, Law-rence Livermore and Los Alamos National Laboratories — have had one of the best years ever, according to John McTague, the University’s vice president for laboratory management. Not only did they produce “superb science and technology,” he said at a San Francisco meeting of the UC Board of Regents, but the labs also raised the quality of management to comparable levels for the first time. McTague joined UC last June.

One of the most notable highlights of the laboratories’ performance, he said, has been their ability to respond to the Sept. 11 attacks by providing authorities with useful science, technology and analysis almost instantly.

“You can’t respond effectively to a crisis if you only start preparing when the crisis occurs,” he said. “For years, these laboratories were getting ready for things that the rest of us haven’t been thinking about. Their contributions are a dramatic illustration of the importance of doing research before applications become urgent.”

McTague referred to the well publicized efforts by Los Alamos and Livermore to help health and law enforcement authorities identify anthrax contamination. As an example of the powerful new technologies now in use, he held up a prototype of one of Livermore’s portable biodetectors — HANAA (Handheld Advanced Nucleic Acid Analyze). Now licensed for commercial development, the device can identify a microorganism in 20 minutes.

Other recent development he highlighted, all of which originated long before the World Trade Center attacks, include airborne biodetection systems, models for identifying and protecting vulnerabilities in gas lines and electrical grids, and R&D into airport and cyber-security. For instance:

  • Los Alamos and Livermore were able to certify the reliability and safety of significantly modified warheads, which previously required testing. The achievement reflects the increased confidence in the power of computer simulations.

  • Livermore dedicated the world’s most powerful computer facility, ASCI-White, which runs at more than 12 trillion operations per second. Los Alamos researchers have used the facility for the first full-physics primary and secondary nuclear weapon simulation, illustrating the value of the UC labs operating cooperatively as a system.

  • Berkeley Lab dedicated what was for a time the world’s most powerful (and is now the second most powerful) unclassified computer facility – NERSC, which serves more than 2,400 users around the country with high quality computations at 5 trillion operations per second.

  • Berkeley Lab obtained atomic images of columns of silicon atoms at unprecedented resolution — 0.78 angstroms, or 0.078 billionths of a meter — using an electron microscope.

  • Working together at DOE’s Joint Genome Institute, the three labs developed the world’s fastest approach to sequencing genomes. They are paying particular attention to microbial genomes, turning out draft sequences in as little as a single day.

McTague noted that management improvements have been especially gratifying: no major security incidents; steady improvements in environment, safety and health performance at all three labs, surpassing DOE averages and targets; and employee surveys showing  high levels of employee satisfaction. — Monica Friedlander

Green Power Growth: Markets or Marketing?

By Allan Chen and Paul Preuss

By burning fossil fuels, electrical power generation affects not only the environment directly and the global climate potentially but the nation’s economic strength and its prospects for energy security as well. Using solar power, wind power, and other forms of “green power” to generate electricity is one response to these concerns.

Yet a new study coauthored by researchers from Berkeley Lab’s Environmental Energy Technology Division (EETD) and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, Colorado, finds that the potential impact of green power on fossil fuel consumption depends crucially on whether consumers have a choice in how their electricity is generated — that is, on the existence of a retail marketplace that makes green power a real option.

“Our study shows that giving consumers energy supply choices can be a powerful mechanism for moving renewable energy into the marketplace,” says Blair Swezey of NREL, a coauthor of the study. “Market research consistently shows that consumers prefer to receive their power from clean energy sources.” 

Under the best conditions, use of green power could grow 40 percent in less than a decade. Achieving this result, however, would require an orderly transition to competitive power markets and a significant expansion of the green pricing programs currently offered by regulated utilities.

“The California experience shows that the transition to competitive retail power markets will not be smooth,” says coauthor Ryan Wiser of EETD.

Moreover, to make a significant difference, green power must not only be available, it may have to be agressively promoted and its costs reduced or supported by government subsidies. “If competitive retail markets fail to materialize, utility programs must pick up the slack.”

It was the nationwide reaction to public utility deregulation — sparked by the debacle of California’s recent energy crunch and the subsequent suspension of customer choice in the state — that led Wiser, Swezy and their colleagues to include “restructuring regrets” and “restructuring meltdown” scenarios when running their models of the future of green power markets.

They constructed low-growth and high-growth models by studying the actual penetration of green power markets to date, by considering the S-shaped “product diffusion curve” of new products generally — slow in the beginning, then accelerating before tapering off — and by taking into account a range of other factors, including public policy.

To gain insight into the progress of “green” products in the marketplace they paid special attention to the history of consumer goods like bottled waters, organic foods, and compact fluorescent bulbs, and to such activities as recycling and socially responsible investing. The most relevant lesson was that “it often takes some time for markets to build.” Even with something so familiar as long-distance telephone service, the researchers note, it took 15 years for AT&T to lose half its market share after competition appeared on the scene.

The researchers conclude that the size of the green power market remains small but that there are prospects for sizable growth; that slow, steady growth in early years is normal; that green power could substantially impact means of power production overall; that the energy crisis in Western states may have a serious impact; that vigorous promotion and education are essential to success; and that market options alone cannot do the job of increasing reliance on renewable energy sources.

Forecasting the Growth of Green Power Markets in the United States, by Ryan Wiser and Mark Bollinger of Berkeley Lab, Edward Holt of Ed Holt & Associates, and Blair Swezey of NREL, was supported the U.S. Department of Energy. The full 72-page report can be downloaded at

Lab Team Wins Bandwidth Challenge at SC2001

By Jon Bashor

Colliding Black Holes Take Top Honors

For the second year in a row, a team led by high-performance computing experts from Berkeley Lab took top honors in a contest to move the most data across the network. The contest took place at SC, the annual conference of high-performance computing and networking, held last month in Denver. The winning application was a live visualization of a simulation of colliding black holes.

SC2001 marked the second staging of the Network Bandwidth Challenge, in which researchers with high-bandwidth applications were invited to push the network infrastructure’s multi-gigabit links to their limits with demonstrations of leading-edge computer applications. Teams of researchers from around the world used SCinet, the conference fiber-optic network, to demonstrate their applications. The Bandwidth Challenge was held under the theme of Veni, Vidi, Conexui Maxime, Latin for “I came, I saw, I connected to the max.”

These images are part of a visualization sequence of graviational waves radiated during the collision of two black holes.  The project was among the winners at SC2001.

The Berkeley Lab team of John Shalf, Wes Bethel, Michael Bennett, John Christman, George “Chip” Smith, Eli Dart, Brent Draney and David Paul, as well as collaborators in Illinois and Germany, created a simulation of colliding black holes computed in real time at the NERSC supercomputing center at Berkeley Lab and at another center in Champaign, Illinois. This required the integration of computational tools in many disciplines. The team achieved a sustained network performance level of 3.3 gigabits (billion of bits of data) per second. The group predicted they would break the 3.0 gigabits rate, but were expecting a sustained rate closer to 2.0 gigabits.

The SCinet team, which included Bill Kramer, Eli Dart, Stephen Lau and Bill Iles of Computing Sciences, assembled a special network infrastructure that featured a 14.5 gigabit wide-area network connection over multiple OC-48 links to the exhibit floor and connections to most high-speed national research networks. DOE’s Energy Sciences Network (ESnet), which is managed by Berkeley Lab, and the LBLnet networking support group helped provide the high-bandwidth connections between the Lab and Denver.

“Members of the ESnet staff really went out of their way to get the OC-48 link up and running to make our participation in the High-Performance Bandwidth Challenge possible,” said Kramer, head of NERSC’s High Performance Computing Department and chair of the bandwidth competition. “In addition to the challenge team members, ESnet and LBLnet deserve a lot of credit for helping the Lab team win.”

The project created a scientific visualization of a grazing collision of two black holes using the Cactus simulation code developed by collaborators at the Albert Einstein Institute in Germany on NERSC’s 5 teraflop/s IBM SP-2 system. The data from that running simulation was then sent realtime via high-performance networks to the Denver where it was volume-rendered in parallel using the Visapult application running on a cluster of PCs in Berkeley Lab’s booth on the SC2001 show floor. The application provided highly interactive visualization and computational steering of a production-scale simulation code over a wide area network.

Judges commented that the team’s application was a useful tool for allowing scientists to view results from their data stored at distant and dispersed computing sites.

“The network is often overlooked in terms of its contribution to enabling scientific discovery in areas of interest to such research organizations as the Department of Energy, and to advancing communication and understanding around the world,” said Walt Polansky, one of the competition judges and acting director of DOE’s Mathematical, Information and Computational Sciences Division. “This Network Bandwidth Challenge shines the spotlight on the network and the people who operate and push network technologies, and provides an opportunity to demonstrate innovative applications across all disciplines.”

SC2001 also marked the public debut of a new piece of equipment — a 10-gigabit Ethernet switch. John Christman of LBLnet facilitated the use of the switches and Mike Bennett spent many late hours testing them. The team used the switch to achieve a high bandwidth connection between computers at various sites, and Raju Shah was on hand to ensure the connections were seamless.

“The 10-gigabit switch was one of the few trouble-free components of this entire network-distributed application,” said team leader Shalf

Focusing in on “BASIC” Research

Berkeley Lab Deputy Director Pier Oddone (right) gave an introduction on the role of the Bay Area Science Infrastructure Consortium (BASIC) at "A BASIC Focus on Advancing Research in Aging and Genetic Diseases" on Thursday, Nov. 15 at the Buck Institute in Novato. Oddone is shown here talking with Cheryl Fragiadakis, head of the Technology Transfer Department, and Harold Weiss of MBT Architecture and Interiors.

A Clean Sweep at the IEEE

Berkeley Lab researchers took all three awards presented at the annual meeting of the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers) Nuclear Science Symposium and Medical Imaging Conference, held Nov. 4 – 10 in San Diego.

Stephen Derenzo of the Life Sciences Division, a professor of electrical engineering and computer sciences at UC Berkeley, won a Nuclear and Plasma Sciences Merit Award for “research and teaching relating to scintillators and scintillation detectors,” including theory, technical advances, and short courses he developed to teach medical imaging to professionals.

With Lab colleagues William Moses, Marvin Weber and Mattias Klintenberg, Derenzo has worked to develop scintillators for positron emission tomography (PET) that can reduce patient radiation doses or decrease imaging time up to ten-fold.

Stephen Holland of the Engineering Division was the winner of a second Nuclear and Plasma Sciences Society Merit Award for his “pioneering work in the development of high-performance silicon detectors for medical imaging, astronomy, and high-energy physics.”

Among several new technologies in optical, x-ray and gamma-ray instrumentation noted in Holland’s citation is a novel charge-coupled device (CCD). The Lab’s “fully-depleted, back-illuminated CCD” is a direct descendant of detectors developed for high-energy physics, and incorporates innovations that make it extraordinarily sensitive to infrared and near-infrared light and to x-rays, whose energies are important in both astrophysics and medicine. (See Currents, July 27, 2001.)

Jinyi Qi of the Life Sciences Division received the Young Investigator Medical Imaging Science Award “for contributions to the analysis of Bayesian reconstruction algorithms, and for the development of high-resolution 3-D Bayesian image reconstruction methods” which have been used for PET scans of animals. The award is presented only in odd-numbered years.

Before joining the Lab’s Department of Nuclear Medicine and Functional Imaging in 1999, Qi began research at the University of Southern California on novel computational techniques for deriving images from PET more efficiently and accurately and with greater spatial resolution.

Bulletin Board

Holiday Donation Drive Till Dec. 20

You can still help those in need this season by donating food, toys and coats at four collection sites at Berkeley Lab: the lobbies of the cafeteria and of Buildings 90, 937, and 66. Needed are new and used toys, coats and non-perishable food items. Donations will be accepted through Dec. 20.

For information contact Shelley Worsham at X6123.

Nature Journals at Lab Library

Working with the California Digital Library, the Lab library has arranged online access to all Nature journals: Nature, Nature Biotechnology, Nature Cell Biology, Nature Genetics, Nature Medicine, Nature Neuroscience, Nature Reviews Cancer, Nature Reviews Genetics, Nature Reviews Immunology, Nature Reviews Mo-lecular Cell Biology, Nature Reviews Neuroscience and Nature Structural Biology. To access them, see

Lab Artist Exhibits Winning Entry in NY Exhibition

Julie Rodriguez Jones of the Lab’s Operations Division has been selected to exhibit her work “Rose Nebula” — a freehand digital airbrush on matte watercolor paper — in the PlaceScapes exhibition at the Stage Gallery in Merrick, New York.  Her work was one of 23 winning art pieces chosen from thousands of entries.

The gallery show exhibited winning art from an international juried competition. Artists submitted representations of landscapes, both real and imagined, in a variety of media.

“This year I began to focus on astronomical imagery, which I thought would make a unique entry in the competition,” said Jones, who has had an interest in astronomy since she was a young girl, and built her own telescope as a member of the Contra Costa Astronomical Society. She began her employment at the Lab in 1971 as a research technician in the Physics Division until moving to Operations in 1978.

After taking many years off to build a career and raise a family, Jones returned to her art with a gusto three years ago. Her work integrates web and software media, combining drawings with digital image modifications to produce her own unique style of imagery.

“I think I’m drawn to astronomical imagery because science in general and astronomy in particular are metaphors for the vision and exploration into the unknown,” said Jones.

The exhibition will run through December 30. For more information about Jones and her artwork, visit her website at

UC regents approve New Retirement Account Program

Benefits Corner

In an effort to mitigate this year's salary shortfall resulting from significantly reduced state funding, on Nov. 15 the UC Regents approved a program that will give eligible employees additional financial rewards by way of a special retirement account.

The Capital Accumulation Provision (CAP) account will be available to all eligible UC employees who are members of the University of California Retirement Plan (UCRP).

The CAP being proposed will put the equivalent of three percent of the employee's salary into a separate retirement account in UCRP where it will earn a specified rate of interest (currently 7.5 percent) until the employee begins to draw on retirement funds.

“All our employees work very hard to help keep UC a premier educational institution and they deserve to be recognized accordingly,” said Joseph P. Mullinix, U.C.’s senior vice president for business and finance. “Since we are only able to give modest raises on a systemwide basis this year, we wanted to try and find additional forms of rewarding people financially. And even though this won’t change employees’ incomes this year, it does give eligible employees throughout all of UC a financial boost later on.”

UC experienced a significant reduction in state funding for 2001-2002 salary increases as a result of the recent economic downturn, which caused a decline in state revenues. UC has previously offered CAP programs on five different occasions.

To be eligible for the program, employees must be active UCRP members on April 1, 2002. This includes UCRP members on sabbatical or approved leave of absence. Members on disability, or those retired or inactive would be excluded.

Director’s Annual Holiday Party

The annual holiday party hosted by Lab Director Charles Shank will be held this year on Monday, Dec. 17 from 3:30 to 5 p.m. in the cafeteria. Food and musical entertainment will be provided. Everyone is invited to join in the fun and holiday spirit.

December Paycheck Distribution

Berkeley Lab employees who do not have electronic deposit may pick up their paychecks from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. in Building 69-102 according to the following schedule: biweekly employees on Friday, Dec. 28, and monthly employees on Monday, Dec. 31. Photo ID will be required. All paychecks not picked up on the assigned date will be forwarded to the employee’s Lab mail stop for receipt on Jan. 2.

Although direct bank deposit advice forms will be sent through the Laboratory mail system by Dec. 21, some employees may not receive them before the holiday shutdown.

You may view your paycheck data online via the Employee Self Service website at just type SELFSERVICE as the URL). Log in using your LDAP login name and the password from your e-mail or Calendar account(s). If you do not have either an e-mail or Calendar account, you may apply for one online or call the Help Desk at X4357 to open an account.

Update Your Name, Home Address for W2s

Employees who moved or had a name change during the last year and did not inform Human Resources or made the change online should update their information before Jan. 15, 2002 in order to receive their 2001 W2 form. Please refer to your most recent paycheck or the Employee Self Service website ( for the current information on record. (See instructions in the previous item.)

Employees with an international address or without access to self-service should contact their HR Center for assistance. Update requests should be made in writing by mail or e-mail.

Contacts for HR centers include: Computing Sciences: Kim Andrews, 50B-4215; General Sciences, Marcus Davis, 50-4037K; Energy Sciences, Teresa Hardy, 90-1121B; Biosciences, Cheryl Belton, 941-0111; ASD/CFO, Tina Aitkens, 937-0508; Engineering, Pamela Williams-Perkins, 46A-1132; Facilities, Deborah Martin, 69-0227; Chemical/Material Sciences, Sue Yoshioka, 66-0242.

Shirt Sale Helps NYC Fire Relief Fund

Members of the Berkeley Lab Fire Department will sell “Angel” T-shirts and sweatshirts on Dec. 14 to raise money for the FDNY Relief Fund, which supports the families of the New York City firefighters who lost their lives on Sept. 11.

The shirts and sweats are available in all sizes, from child to adult XXXL. They will be sold at the cafeteria on Dec. 14 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.


General Interest

DECEMBER 11, Tuesday

Starts at 8:30 a.m., Bldg. 50 auditorium

DECEMBER 14, Friday

8 a.m. – 2 p.m., cafeteria

DECEMBER 17, Monday

3:30 – 5 p.m., cafeteria

DECEMBER 24, Monday



For biweekly-paid employees without electronic deposit, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., Bldg. 69-102

Send us your announcements

Announcements for the General Calendar and Bulletin Board page may be sent to [email protected] Seminar & Lectures items may be mailed to currents_ [email protected] You may also fax items to X6641 or mail them to Bldg. 65B. The deadline for the Dec. 21 issue is 5 p.m. Monday, Dec. 17.

Seminars & Lectures

DECEMBER 14, Friday

Development of a 40mhz Gas Ionization Detector for Optimization of Luminosity in LHC
Speaker: William C. Turner, CBP Deputy Head
10:30 a.m., Bldg 71, Albert Ghiorso Conference Room

DECEMBER 18, Tuesday

HEPAP Committee and Subcommittee Report on the Future of High Energy Physics
Speakers: Jay Marx, Nuclear Science Divsion, and Hitoshi Murayama, Physics Division
4 p.m., Building 50 auditorium

DECEMBER 19, Wednesday

Nucleon Electromagnetic Form Factors: What's New?
Speaker: Haiyan Gao, MIT
10 a.m., Building 50 auditorium

DECEMBER 20, Thursday

Observation of CP Violation at Belle
Speaker: Daniel Marlow, Princeton
4 p.m., Building 50A, Room 5132

EH&S Class Schedule – December 2001







EHS 275

Confined Space Hazards

8:30 – 11:00

Bldg. 51-201


EHS 274

Confined Space Retraining

11:00 – 12:00

Bldg. 51-201


EHS 330

Leads Hazard Awareness

1:00 – 2:00

Bldg. 51-201


EHS 10

Intro to EHS @ LBNL

8:30 – 10:15

Bldg. 50 aud


EHS 154

Building Emergency Team

9:00 –11:00

Bldg. 48-109


EHS 348

Chemical Hygiene

9:00 – 12:00

Bldg. 51-201


EHS 231

Compressed Gas

1:30 – 4:00

Bldg. 51-201


EHS 123

Adult CPR

8:30 – 12:00

Bldg. 48-109


EHS 210


10:30 –12:00

Bldg. 51-201


EHS 283

Ultra Violet User Safety

2:00 – 3:00

Bldg. 51-201


EHS 400

Radiation Safety/Fundamentals

9:00 – 12:00

Bldg. 51-201


EHS 432

Radiation Protection/Lab Safety

8:00 – 12:00

Bldg. 51-201


EHS 279

Scaffold Users

9:00 – 10:00

Bldg. 51-201


EHS 735/

Biosafety/Bloodborne Pathogen

1:30 – 2:45

Bldg. 51-201


EHS 530

Fire Extinguisher

10:00 – 11:30

Bldg. 48-109

* Includes EHS 392/405, followed by the orientation. Please arrive at 8:15 for sign-in.

To enroll, contact Valarie Espinoza at [email protected] or enroll via the web at Preregistration is required for all courses except EHS 10. For a full, updated schedule see

Useful Tips for a Safe & Happy Holiday

Fire Safety

Christmas trees can be a significant fire hazard. A freshly cut or potted tree is safer than a pre-cut tree due to its higher moisture content. If you use an artificial tree, make sure it is made of flame retardant or noncombustible material. Secure any tree to a sturdy base to prevent it from tipping over and avoid placing it next to a heating source. (A video showing how severely and rapidly a Christmas tree fire develops can be seen at

Electrical Safety

 All outdoor lighting must be rated for outdoor use. Do not staple or nail the lights and risk damaging the insulation; use speciallly-designed plastic hooks and hangers instead. Do not use electric lights on metal artificial tree, and don’t connect more than three light stringers together. All holiday lighting should be turned off or unplugged overnight and when leaving the home.

Portable heaters: Make sure not to aim the heat at combustibles such as wrapped presents or trees. Electrical heaters also consume large amounts of power and can cause circuit breakers to trip or fuses to blow when used with other electrical devices. Additional information can be found at - _Toc407009152.

Finally, since the holidays pose an increased fire risk, this is an ideal time to test your smoke detector(s) and install new batteries as needed.

For additional information contact Berkeley Lab’s fire protection engineers Tony Yuen at X6095 or Rob Campbell at X6370, or electrical safety engineer Tom Caronna at X4314.

Flea Market

Autos / Supplies

‘00 MAZDA PROTEGE, 6K mi, at, cd, ac, pwr stear/breaks, new cond, salvaged title, $9,200, Marylynn, (925) 938-2196

‘99 TOYOTA CAMRY LE, 4 dr, dark green, 16.7K mi, at, V6 3.0L, pwr win/locks/seat, dual air bags, am/fm/cass/cd, sliding sunrf, exc cond, single owner, $18,000, Ilham, X7001, 368-4765

‘99 FORD ESCORT Sport, 2 dr, 35.5K mi, am/fm/cass/cd, cruise, pwr win, sunrf, $9,750, Ron, X6476, (925) 432-4044

‘96 VW JETTA GL, dark blue, 66K mi, at, ac, moonrf, pwr steer/ locks, dual airbags, alarm, fm/am/ cass, exc cond, $8,000/bo, Kazu, X4110, 559-8416

‘96 TOYOTA CAMRY, champaign, 79K mi, 5 spd, am/fm, exc running cond, all service records avail, $8,200/bo, Adele, X5803, (925) 280-0868

‘92 HONDA ACCORD, 4 dr sedan, maroon/grey, 5-spd, am/ fm/cass, all pwr, 30-35 mpg on the road/~30 mpg in town, well maint, 134K mi, new clutch, engine tight & smooth, recently passed smog check, runs fine w/ no known defects, asking $5,500. Tom, 430-1736

‘91 SATURN SL2 sedan, 42K mi, 4 dr, blue-green, 4 cyl 1.9 L 16 valves, at, ac, pwr steer/win/locks, tilt wheel, cruise, am/fm/cass, very good cond, $3,500 (well below Blue Book), Ron, X4410

‘89 NISSAN 240 SX, at, 142 K mi, ac, good cond, runs great, $2,200, Klaus, X2232, Bernard, (415) 383-3556

‘89 ACURA INTEGRA RS, 5 spd, 125K mi, ac, ps, am/fm, white/ blue, major tune up, new timing belt, new brake, master cylinder, more, runs exc, $3,150, Duo, 864-2950, 325-7905

‘87 HONDA CIVIC, at, ac, pwr steer, very good shape, reliable, $1,900, Sandrine, (650) 926-2044

‘78 DATSUN 280Z, 5 spd, good cond, well maintained w/ receipts & records, $2,500/bo, Steve, X6598, (925) 689-7213


ALBANY, 1 bdrm/1bth furn apt avail 12/15-1/12, kitchen, TV, friendly/safe neighborhood, close to public trans & parking, $400, Hanjing, 528-2649, [email protected] gov

BERKELEY HILLS, 1 bdrm/1 bth unit, 8-mo rental, part furn w/ stove/fridge, sep entry, shared w/d, close to pub trans, campus, shops, avail 1/02 (time neg), no pets/smoking, $1,200/ mo incl water, dep of 1 mo rent, Bill/ Ellen, X4890, 528-0553, [email protected], [email protected]

BERKELEY HILLS, fully furn room w/ sep entry, full kitchen privil, w/d, near bus, avail 1/02, $875/mo incl util, Karen, 524-3851, [email protected]

BERKELEY, 1 bdrm/1 bth garden inlaw apt, quiet, tile, closet space, new stove, laundry avail, close to pub trans, campus, shops, avail 12/1, $875/mo+util, non-smoker, Linda, 238-3603, 849-1579 eves

BERKELEY, furn room avail 1/1 in comfortable 6 bdrm/2 bth ‘House of Scholars’, 1425 Ward at Sacramento, incl house phone, DSL access, w/d, common liv rm & kitchen, house computer, bike storage, off-street parking, housecleaning, 2 mo min stay, $720/mo + 15% util , Anushka, 486-8153, [email protected]

CENTRAL BERKELEY, nice furn rms, kitchen, laundry, TV, DSL, close to pub trans, campus, & shops, rm avail 12/5, $300/wk or $930/mo, Jin or Paul, 845-5959, [email protected], Paul X7363

NORTH BERKELEY, garden studio, 1 bth, fully furn, great location close to pub trans, campus, cafes, stores, very quiet, kitchen, vcr/stereo/cable, hardwd flrs, li-nens, dishes, looks out on garden, perfect for visiting faculty, mo-to-mo lease, $950/mo incl util, avail end of Jan, Adrian, X4032, 548-2626, [email protected]

OAKLAND, 2 bdrm cottage w/ backyard, $1,000/mo + dep, Maritza, 530-2769

OAKLAND, 3+ bdrm/2 bth house, completely remodeled, $1,600/mo + dep, Maritza, 530-2769, (415) 973-3356

Housing Wanted

GRAD STUDENT from Thailand seeks housing for 1/02-6/02, female, prefer rm in shared house close to shuttle or other pub trans, Somjai, [email protected] com, Fred, [email protected], X4892

LONG TERM HOUSING wanted for postdoc visiting fellow starting Jan 1, pref studio or rm in shared house close to Lab or shuttle, Carlos, X4923, [email protected]

Misc Items For Sale

CABLE CHAINS, 2 sets (4 total) in cases, never used, can fit 215-255 mm wide passenger tires, 14-16" wheels, $20, Paul,

X6249COMPUTER, APPLE iMAC DV (dig video) Special Edition gra-phite, great cond, low usage, incl box/manuals/disks, 400 MHz G3 processor, 128 MB ram, 15" monitor, VGA output to mirror video to ext monitor, Mac OS 9, new 40 GB HD, slot-loading dvd/cd-rom, 2 USB ports, 2 firewire ports, built-in 56 kbps modem, stereo speakers, 10/100base-t ethernet, $600, Eli, X5975

CROSS COUNTRY track skis, exc cond, $40/bo, Jon, X5974

DRAFTING TABLE w/ ProTrackII arm & wood legs, sturdy, great shape, $100, Linda 238-3603, 849-1579 eves

FREEZER, 16.1 cu ft upright, white, Wards HMG 4538-0; kneeling chair, ergonomic, $35; white wood cabinet, 25"x11" x30", $35; TV tray/table set, $20; Fisher stereo & speakers, digital tuning, dual cass, $50; Brother elec typewriter, $25; Patton compact heater, $20; Royal paper shredder, new, $12; Proctor-Silex wide slot toaster, $9, Ron, X4410

GAS CANS, 5 gal, GI type, have 6, $5/ea, Dennis, (925) 825-1636

GATEWAY 17" computer monitor, brand new in box, never opened, model EV-700, $220, John, X6022, (925) 682-8393

JVC CAMCORDER VHS compact model # GR-AX230U, 2 yrs old, only used a few times, exc cond, incl batt pack, ac adapter, VHS-C adapter & manual, pd $299, ask $175, Deborah, X5372, 317-7423

MAC G3 POWERBOOK, barely used, purchased 10/00, incl lots of software (Photoshop, Illustrator, Macromedia, Flash, Dream-weaver, Appleworks 6), bubblejet printer, zip, accessories, orig manuals, receipts, AppleCare 3-yr service plan, pd $3,500, asking $2,500 for all; Sony camcorder, DCR-TRV6, digital, never used, purchased 10/00, incl ext serv plan (Circuit City), carrying case, accessories, manuals, orig receipts, pd $2,500, ask $1,500; Christina, 643-0572, 559-8777

MOVING SALE: queen bed, $25; microwave, $60; PC monitor, $60; PC speaker unit, $20; wireless phone w/ IC ans machine, $40; rice cooker, $25; much more, Kazu, X4110, 559-8416

PALM V PDA, Franklin Covey Planner edition, never used, $599 new, now $275, includes Franklin Planner software ($100 value), HotSync cradle-recharger, PC connectors, all handbooks, Ron, X7586

PLAYSTATION system w/ 1 controller & 9 games: Tomb raider, Ninja, Driver, Spiro the Dragon, Warcraft II, Army Men  3D, Madden 98 Football, Crash Bandicoot Warped, & Crash Bandicoot II; all for $175, Carol, 665-4870

SF GIANTS SEASON TICKETS, 3rd Base/LF Lower Grandstand, 2 seats, looking to sell 10 games of 2002 season tickets at face value, John, (415) 388-6230

SNAP-ON TOOL BOX as used by the Indy/Cart Teams, 9 drawers, flip up tool board, 26"x16"x 21", perf cond, paid $1,200, asking $750/bo, Kurt, X5191, 232-4851

TWIN SIZE BED & frame, $25; glass coffee table 20"x60", $25; 2 lge flr standing stereo speakers, $25, Bob, X6162, 357-2778

ZIP DRIVE, 100MB w/ USB connector, brand new in original box, $60, Sherry, X6972


CABIN RENTAL at Lake Tahoe for New Year's holiday, Dimitri, X4974

MICROWAVE oven or gyratron, does not need to work, wanted for parts, Andre, X6745


PARIS, FRANCE for sabbatical or vacation nr Eiffel Tower, elegant, newly repainted furn sunny 2 bdrm apt, avail year round by week/month, Geoffrey, 848-1830.


PUPPIES looking for good homes, 8 weeks old, some w/o tails, brindle, black, frisky, healthy, mother is a labrador retriever, David, X7326

Flea Market Policy

Ads are accepted only from LBNL employees, retirees, and onsite DOE personnel. Only items of your own personal property may be offered for sale. Submissions must include name, affiliation, extension, and home phone. Ads must be submitted in writing (e-mail: [email protected], fax: X6641, mail: Bldg. 65B.)

Ads run one issue only unless resubmitted, and are repeated only as space permits.   The deadline for the Dec. 21 issue Thursday, Dec. 13