June 16, 2003
Berkeley Lab Science Beat
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 It's a Gas!

A gas of electrons and positively charged holes is electrically conducting when they act independently but insulating when they're bound as "excitons." Researchers trap electron-hole gases in quantum wells and zap them with ultrashort flashes of infrared radiation to watch them change from insulators to conductors and back again.

The Birth of VENUS

Superconducting VENUS has the world's most powerful magnetic confinement system for an electron-cyclotron resonance ion source. By creating plasmas with very high-frequency microwaves, VENUS is poised to set records for beam intensity and heavy-ion charge states, including high-current beams of uranium plus-55 and higher.

More Than Symbolic Savings

Turning off computers and other office machines at the right time, or just letting them take naps, could save billions of dollars in energy -- if users only knew how to do it. A new study aims to harmonize clashing symbols for power, sleep, and other operating switches.
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Ultrashort x-ray pulses for experiments across all fields of the physical, chemical and biological sciences: that's LUX, the concept behind a proposed new DOE user facility.

The Department of Energy's Rebuild America program helps communities with energy-
efficiency improvements that save money and revitalize buildings.

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