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The 2007 ALS Users' Meeting: A unique shared event
Contact: Julie McCullough,
This year's ALS Users' Meeting, held on October 4–6, was the first joint ALS/Molecular Foundry event, with a variety of shared activities, including plenary and poster sessions, a student poster competition, 3 of the 12 workshops, and a banquet. Another first was the dedication of two major facilities—the ALS User Support Building and the Berkeley Lab Guest House. In addition, a special session honored the memory of ALS Users Services Group Leader Gary Krebs. All told, 616 people attended, 396 from the ALS and 220 from the Molecular Foundry (MF). Thanks go to program co-chairs Peter Fischer and Ken Goldberg for organizing this highly successful ALS Users' Meeting.
ALS and MF meeting attendees mingle at Molecular Foundary for poster session and reception.
Graham Fleming, Deputy Director of Berkeley Lab, welcomed the meeting attendees, then introduced ALS Division Director Roger Falcone, who gave a comprehensive overview of the last 12 months and a look into the ALS's future. Carolyn Bertozzi, Division Director of the MF, said the marriage between the ALS and MF has already had a profound impact, with ten percent of existing MF projects already using the ALS beamlines. Pat Dehmer (Associate Director of Science for Basic Energy Sciences [BES], U.S. Department of Energy [DOE]) outlined how BES identified the basic science needed to meet future energy needs, stating that light sources will be among the most powerful. Michael Lubell (Director of Public Affairs, American Physical Society) took the audience through the convoluted political Washington landscape as he talked about the history of the ALS budget over the last two years.
Nobel Prize recipient and ALS user Roger Kornberg kicked off the joint keynote science session with a talk on the molecular basis of eukaryotic transcription. (Keynote talks and science highlights were presented on Thursday and Friday; Friday afternoon and Saturday were dedicated to workshops.) After the session, the conference moved outside to the groundbreaking ceremony for the ALS User Support Building. Graham Fleming thanked DOE and BES for funding the project, noting that the building was a "win-win for Berkeley Lab, the DOE, the scientists, and the graduate students."
User Services Building groundbreaking ceremony. Speakers and groundbreakers (L-R): UEC Chair Tony van Buuren, ALS Division Director Roger Falcone, BES Associate Director Pat Dehmer, and Associate Berkeley Lab Director Graham Fleming.
That afternoon, Graham Fleming led the Joint ALS-MF science highlight session with an examination of the Grand Challenges for Basic Energy Sciences. A session devoted to ALS updates was led by ALS Operations and Accelerator Physics Leader David Robin, who discussed planned upgrades and additions. ALS Environment, Safety, and Health manager Jim Floyd and Scientific Advisor Janos Kirz updated the users on ALS safety initiatives and other ALS user affairs.
The meeting moved to the Molecular Foundry for the joint poster session and vendor exhibits. Later, at the banquet on the ALS patio, co-chairs Ken Goldberg and Peter Fischer presented the Users' Executive Committee (UEC) awards. The Shirley Award for outstanding scientific achievement went to Alessandra Lanzara and Eli Rotenberg for their pioneering work on graphene. The Halbach Award for innovative instrumentation was won by Senajith Rekawa and Paul Denham for their nanoposition devices for EUV lithography projects. The Renner User Service Award went to Gary Giangrasso. The student poster awards went to Mikel Holcomb (first place), Rouin Farshchi (second place), and Joanna Bettinger (third place), all UC Berkeley students.
ALS Scientific Advisor Janos Kirz reads messages from colleagues who worked over the years with Gary.
Friday morning was devoted to UEC business, an ALS town hall meeting, and ALS science highlights. Then, at a special session, friends remembered User Services Group Leader Gary Krebs, who passed away suddenly in May. Members of Gary's family were also present. Janos Kirz affirmed the sentiments of those who knew Gary, saying that he "appreciated, valued, and admired Gary's character and integrity, and his passion in helping users." At the groundbreaking ceremony for the Berkeley Lab Guest House, Tony van Buuren, UEC chair, stated that the new building will "up" the quality of the science at the ALS and emphasized how instrumental Gary was in making the building a reality. A plaque honoring Gary will be placed in the Guest House. For more meeting highlights, see the Users' Meeting Web site.
Surprising quasiparticle interactions in graphene
Contact: Eli Rotenberg,
Until now, the world's electronics have been dominated by silicon, whose properties, while excellent, significantly limit the size and power consumption of today's computer chips. In order to develop ever smaller and more efficient devices, scientists have turned their attention to carbon, which can be formed into nanostructures like nanotubes, whose properties can be tuned from metallic to semiconducting. However, using carbon nanotubes for complex circuits is nearly impossible because their location and functionality in devices cannot be controlled at will, making them a poor substitute for silicon. Graphene, however, does not have these limitations. This single sheet of carbon atoms that is the building block of carbon nanotubes, C60 molecules, and graphite turns out to have similar functionality but with the added benefit that it can be grown with conventional methods and patterned into devices. Now, a group of scientists from Germany and the ALS, using angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy (ARPES) at ALS Beamline 7.0.1, have succeeded in making the first measurement of the carrier lifetime in graphene over a wide energy scale and have found surprising new interactions that suggest new kinds of devices. Read more...
Publication about this research: A. Bostwick, T. Ohta, Th. Seyller, K. Horn, and E. Rotenberg, "Quasiparticle dynamics in graphene," Nature Physics 3, 36 (2007).
Workshop on "Science for a New Class of Soft X-Ray Light Sources": A rousing success
Contact: Bill McCurdy,
Roughly 80 scientists from the U.S., Canada, Europe, and Japan participated in a workshop on October 8–10 on the subject of "Science for a New Class of Soft X-Ray Light Sources." Ten plenary talks were followed by intense discussions in breakout groups on science in the general areas of atomic, molecular, and optical physics; chemical physics; correlated materials; magnetization and spin dynamics; and nanoscale materials and coherent imaging. The parameters of the class of light sources addressed in the workshop were defined primarily by a maximum photon energy of ~3 keV. The pulse duration could be from attoseconds to picoseconds. The results of this workshop will help to define which parts of this parameter space should be targeted in the design of these sources, as well as what kind of science they would initially address.
The ALS welcomes Sue Bailey as User Services Group Leader
Sue Bailey recently joined the ALS as leader of the User Services Group, which includes the User Services Office, Communications Section, and Experimental Setup Coordination. She brings to her new position over 20 years of scientific, software, and managerial experience. Sue also has the perspective of working at two synchrotron facilities, Daresbury Synchrotron Radiation Source in the United Kingdom and the ALS. At Daresbury, she was the group leader and user point of contact in the European community for a protein crystallography computational project and led her own research team on structure-function relationships of bacterial metalloproteins. She also performed research on enzymes in the sulphur cycle and secretion systems of pathogenic bacteria.
In 2003, Sue came to the ALS for a two-year stint as a beamline scientist in the Berkeley Center for Structural Biology. This evolved into a position as the BCSB's user support manager for the ALS protein crystallography beamlines. Sue returned to England and to Daresbury, but was soon lured back to the Bay Area and the ALS. "I'm pleased and honored to again be part of this world-class facility," she stated. "I have an open-door policy, and all users are welcome to drop in." Sue's office is in Building 6, Room 2212D, within the User Services Office. You can also contact her by email at
or telephone at 510-486-7727.
UEC Corner: Users' Executive Committee elections
begin November 1
Contact: Tony van Buuren,
Congratulations and many thanks to Peter Fischer, Ken Goldberg, and the ALS staff for organizing a fantastic Users' Meeting! This year's meeting was combined for the first time with the Molecular Foundry and featured a joint plenary session, a joint poster session, and several joint workshops. Highlights and pictures of this year's Users' Meeting can be found on the Users' Meeting Web site.
Voting for three new Users' Executive Committee (UEC) members and one student representative will begin on November 1 and continue through November 10, 2007. Go to the UEC Elections Web site to vote or view the final slate of candidates and their biographies. All ALS users with current email addresses on file in our user database are eligible to vote. The election results will be posted on the above site after the election. The newly elected members will take office for a three-year term beginning January 1, 2008. They replace those rotating off the committee at the end of this year: Clemens Heske (University of Nevada, Las Vegas), Simon Morton (Berkeley Lab), Jinghua Guo (Berkeley Lab), and Amanda Hudson (University of Nevada, Las Vegas, student representative).
Please submit your publications, invited talks, awards by Wednesday, November 7
We are busy gathering data for our triennial review by the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Basic Energy Sciences, which will happen early next year. A crucial component of that material is your publications, invited talks, and awards information based on work done at the ALS. Normally we require that you submit this information through our Web form, but from now through November 7 we are offering a special amnesty allowing you to bypass the form and simply email the information to
. You may send attachments or just cut and paste your publications, invited talks, and awards information directly into your email.
- Be sure to include the beamline on which your research took place.
- Please DO NOT send duplicates of publications, talk sor lectures already in our database. To check which publications are already there, visit our Publication Search page. To check which invited talks and lectures are already in the database, visit the Award/Lecture Search page.
- NOTE: If you submit your publications data via the Publications Web site, go to ALS Publications to submit published papers. Go to Submit an Award or Invited Lecture to submit awards and lectures.
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