Science@Berkeley Lab Magazine banner Berkeley Lab logo
January 30, 2006
Berkeley Lab logo Berkeley Lab: 75 Years of World-Class Science 1931-2006

S@BL Suppositions

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory got its start 75 years ago in a wooden building on the Berkeley campus of the University of California. Known as the "Rad Lab," the impetus behind its founding remains the watchword today: teamwork shapes the future.

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Electron Beams
and Zebrafish

Learning how hair cells enable hearing and balance is both a scientific and practical pursuit: ten percent of people in industrialized nations suffer severe hearing loss. Hair cells depend on molecular machines best visualized by using electron microscope tomography and a unique experimental system, the diminutive zebrafish.
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Spin Current:
It's a Drag

Spin is sensitive to collisions between electrons but electric charge is not, so a spin current moves more slowly through a semiconductor. Will spin drag help or hurt the advent of faster, smaller electronic devices? Before the spintronic revolution can begin, we need to learn a lot more about spin currents.
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Wrong Again

Scientists hoped the phenomenon of pseudogaps would help explain the mystery of high-temperature superconductivity. Now it turns out that pseudogaps also occur in materials of a completely different kind. The mystery remains unsolved.
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The Future of Physics

The golden age of physics is far from fading, says a young theoretician, Hitoshi Murayama. New ideas and instruments will answer old questions and open unexplored vistas, from the wispy neutrino to the universe and everything in it. Entering the realm of physics on the TeV scale, the next 20 years could be the most exciting ever.
  In Series  
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The final installment of "The Stellar Route to Dark Energy," featuring the world's leading experts on Type Ia supernovae, nature's precision tools for discovering the nature of dark energy. The discussion ends with distant supernova searches and the need for standards of measurement and sharing of data.
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  The Energy Bar  
It might seem easy to save electrical energy by automatically turning off the lights when the sun shines, but it's not so easy if it means rewiring old buildings. Now wireless "smart dust" sensors make building refits economical, for a potential savings of hundreds of millions of dollars a year.
California is the world's third largest market for photovoltaic systems. The state would like to drive down the cost of photovoltaic installations over time to a level that does not require government stimulation. A new study shows that the right incentives can help solar power arrive faster.
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