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ALSNews Vol. 347 Print

2013 ALS User Meeting Highlights

2013 user meeting poster sessionMore than 400 users and staff attended this year's User Meeting, which kicked off Monday, October 7, with a welcome from Users' Executive Committee Chair Corie Ralston and Berkeley Lab Director Paul Alivisatos. Attendees enjoyed a full program of keynote speakers, science highlights, workshops, a historical overview, facility updates, a student poster competition, and the annual awards dinner. Read more...


New Research on Jamming Behavior Expands Understanding

jamming thumbOne of the most satisfying aspects of condensed matter physics is that a variety of condensed matter systems show universal behavior--behavior that appears to be common to a wide variety of unrelated systems. Recent ALS research has revealed that even magnetic domains behave very much like other granular material systems, and their dynamical behavior mimics the universal characteristics of several jammed systems. Read more...

Contact: Sujoy Roy

Industry@ALS: Concrete Industry Benefits from Ancient Romans and the ALS
industryA major challenge for the modern concrete industry is to maintain, or even increase, their end product's strength and durability while becoming more environmentally sustainable. Ancient Rome, even without the impetus of modern environmental concerns, had a lot of this figured out. New insights into the Romans' ingenious concrete harbor structures now emerging from ALS research could move the modern concrete industry toward its goal. Read more...
Ring Leaders: Robert Fairchild and Greta Toncheva

"Safety is elemental" is the latest safety tagline for the ALS and Berkeley Lab, and it also pretty much sums up the mission of laser safety officers Greta Toncheva and Robert Fairchild. Toncheva and Fairchild share the responsibility of ensuring laser safety lab-wide, with Toncheva responsible for overseeing laser safety operations at the ALS. Read how they work with users and staff to support the ALS mission of "doing outstanding research in a safe environment."

RAPIDD Gives Users a Faster Path to Beam Time

Combining the process for Rapid Access Proposals, Industry, and Director's Discretion beam time, our new RAPIDD proposal process accommodates users who require limited but rapid access to ALS beam time. Read more...

Twenty Years of Great Science Celebrated with Staff... and Four Lab Directors!

On the Friday before the 2013 User Meeting, current and former staff and users celebrated the 20th anniversary of the ALS with great food, chamber music, brief speeches, and lots of stories about the early years of the ALS. It was a great opportunity for reunions of colleagues from throughout the years; see photos of the event here.

New ALS Videos: Science and Celebration

Pseudo Single Bunch
psb thumbDavid Robin, Janos Kirz, and Changchun Sun describe pseudo-single-bunch operation, where one electron bunch can be kicked into a different orbit with adjustable frequency (from Hz to 0.5 MHz). Scientists can then use the pulses of light emitted from the single bunch for timing experiments, even during multibunch operation.


dedicationWatch excerpts from the 1993 ALS dedication ceremony (originally recorded on videotape). Speakers included Charles Shank, Martha Krebs, Brian Kincaid, David Shirley, Iran Thomas, and Jay Marx. Stay tuned to the end to see a nice montage of crowds streaming into the ALS for the first time. The full dedication video (1 hr) is also posted.

ALS Spectrum Now Posted

spectrumThe latest issue of our annual newsletter, Spectrum, is now posted on the ALS Web site. The feature story covers the recently completed lattice upgrade, which has increased ALS brightness by a factor of two to three. Check it out and catch up on what's been happening around the ring and in the ALS community.

Who's in the News: Visitors and Awards
napolitanoNewly installed University of California President Janet Napolitano did an extensive tour of Berkeley Lab in October and spoke with several beamline scientists and students while at the ALS. Read more about her visit and see photos at the ALS...
ALS Science Café
Friday, November 1 @ 12 noon
User Support Building, R15-253

Speakers  and topics for the next science café include
  • Marie Jackson (Roman concrete),
  • Greg Hura (DNA labeled with gold), and
  • Dave Robin (pseudo single bunch).
The event will be moderated by Roger Falcone; light refreshments will be provided.
UEC Corner
The UEC would like to thank everyone who helped with and attended the 2013 ALS User Meeting a few weeks ago and made the event a great success. Despite the government shutdown, most everyone was able to attend, and one speaker even gave his talk "remotely" to a packed auditorium. (See User Meeting Highlights story above.)

Twelve workshops covered the wide range of science possible at the ALS, from soft x-ray studies of materials to hard x-ray studies of biological systems. As befitted a 20th anniversary celebration, keynote talks covered the past, present, and future of the ALS, including a fascinating historical perspective on the ALS by Jim Krupnick.
The election for new UEC members is currently open, with an excellent slate of sixteen candidates. If you haven't done so already, please vote here!
The polls will be open until midnight on Oct. 31.

All users are welcome to contact their UEC representatives to raise issues of concern relating to their own research, or to alert us to issues facing our whole community.

Contact: Corie Ralston
Operations Update

For the user runs from September 17 to October 20, 2013, the beam reliability [(time scheduled - time lost)/time scheduled] was 97.3%. For this period, the mean time between failures (MTBF) was 39.3 hours, and the mean time to recovery (MTTR) was 74 minutes. There were no significant interruptions.

More 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 Rick Bloemhard ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , x4738) by 1:00 p.m. Friday. The ring status can be seen in real time at

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