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ALSNews Vol. 368 Print
Wednesday, 09 December 2015 00:00

Weyl fermions, elusive massless particles first theorized 85 years ago, have now been detected as emergent quasiparticles in synthetic crystals of the semimetal TaAs. The discovery could allow for the nearly free and efficient flow of electricity, as well as the realization of many fascinating topological quantum phenomena. Read more...

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Scientists working at the ALS recently solved the crystallographic structures of several amine transporters in an effort to better understand why the human brain responds to chemicals like dopamine and serotonin. Their findings will help design drugs to treat neurological diseases and may also lead to a better understanding of how drug addiction can be managed. Read more...
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For the first time, researchers have directly measured the helical pitch of twisted liquid crystals composed of achiral bent-core molecules. The work opens the door to understanding the interplay between structure and property in important organic materials, including liquid crystals, lipid tubules, and peptoids. Read more...
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ALS Science Briefs

Discovery of Weyl Semimetals May Lead to Novel Future Spintronic Applications

A team of researchers using angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy (ARPES) at ALS Beamline 10.0.1 found intriguing particles in a new phase of quantum matter: topological Weyl semimetals (TWSs). Read more...

 

Custom Organic Electronics Out of the Printer

Using in situ x-ray characterization and a custom-made slot-die coater at Beamline 7.3.3, the cross-linking of polymer molecules in the active layer of an organic solar cell during the printing process could be observed. Read more...
The Proposal Study Panel (PSP) met on October 23 to oversee and finalize the scoring of General User Proposals for the 2016-1 Feb-June operating cycle and to make recommendations to the ALS Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) on Approved Program applications. Beam time allocations are completed and users have been notified to view the results by logging in to ALSHub. Read more...

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When the Advanced Light Source goes dark, it's time for our work crews to shine! This year's shutdown is super-sized60 days longand the list of tasks to be completed contains nearly a thousand items. We captured a few of them in progress in this month's photo essay.

ALS Awards and Honors
ALS staff took top honors in Lawrence Berkeley National Lab's 2015 Director's Awards for Exceptional Achievement and were recognized in a ceremony earlier this month. The ALS recipients comprised nearly half of this year's awardees, receiving recognition in the scientific, early scientific career, and safety categories. The Director's Awards honor individuals in both the scientific and operations divisions for their high achievement, leadership, collaboration, participation in or support of multidisciplinary science, cross-divisional projects, and commitment to excellence in advancing the Lab's mission and strategic goals. Read more...

It's been a big year for Valeriy Yashchuk, ALS staff scientist and leader of the ALS X-Ray Optics Laboratory. First, it was announced (via Twitter!) that an invention he patented, called the Binary Pseudo Random Calibration Tool, won a 2015 R&D 100 Award. ALS retiree Wayne McKinney was also on the team. (Read more...) Then, Yashchuk was elected as a Fellow of The Optical Society, in recognition "for leadership in ultra-high accuracy optical measurements in the fields of atomic and optical physics and in optical metrology applied to x-ray optical systems." (Read more...)

ALS Director Roger Falcone received the 2015 John Dawson Award for Excellence in Plasma Physics Research from the American Physical Society for "creative and novel use of the hard x-ray free electron laser to isochorically create high density plasmas and accurately measure the ionization potential depression, and for new theory that addresses discrepancies with long standing models and provides stimulus for continued developments." Read more...

 

Operations Update

For the user runs from September 22 to October 26, 2015, the beam reliability [(time scheduled - time lost)/time scheduled)] was 97.3%. For this period, the mean time between failures (MTBF) was 38.2 hours, and the mean time to recovery (MTTR) was 71 minutes. There were no significant interruptions. The ALS began a scheduled shutdown on October 26 and will resume user operations January 13. All beamlines will be offline until then.

Detailed information on reliability is available on the ALS reliability bulletin board, which is located in the hallway between the ALS and the control room in Building 80. Questions about beam reliability should be directed to Dave Richardson ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , x4376).

Long-term and weekly operations schedules are available online. Requests for special operations use of the "scrubbing" shift should be sent to  ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) by 1:00 p.m. Friday. The ring status can be seen in real time at http://www-als.lbl.gov/index.php/beamlines/beam-status.html.

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