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ALSNews Vol. 316 Print

Superconducting Topological Insulators
ARPES studies show that it's possible to introduce superconductivity into a topological insulator. The resulting novel properties, such as relativistic electrons and quantum memory, may in the future provide the basis for a whole new type of computer. Read more...

Contact: Andrew Wray and M. Zahid Hasan
ALS Reveals New State of Matter
ALS user groups from Princeton and Stanford have been making waves this past year with several high-profile papers and extensive news coverage of their work on a new state of matter embodied by "topological insulators," materials that conduct electricity only on their surfaces. (This highlight was originally published in the 2009 issue of ALS Spectrum.) Read more...

Contact: Andrew Wray and M. Zahid Hasan
Topoisomerase II Structure Suggests Novel DNA Cleavage Mechanism
Type II topoisomerases regulate DNA supercoiling and separate interlocked chromosomes. These enzymes are also exploited clinically as targets of antibiotics and anticancer therapeutics. Researchers at ALS Beamline 8.3.1 have created a new molecular model of type II topoisomerase linked to DNA, providing evidence for the chemical mechanism of DNA cleavage and rejoining. Read more...

Contact: James Berger
An App for Synchrotron Users

The X-ray Utilities app is a reference utility application for the iPhone, iTouch, and iPad. Perfect for synchrotron scientists and other x-ray users it includes all the information you wish you had easy access to at a beamline: Status, lines, absorption, and ion chambers.

ALS Users Elected APS and AAAS Fellows

Musahid Ahmed and several other ALS users including Harald Ade, Pupa Gilbert, Zi Q. Qiu, and Craig Taatjes were elected as Fellows to the American Physical Society. Also, ALS user Charles Fadley was elected as a AAAS Fellow. See a full list of this year's APS Fellows and of AAAS Fellows.

Peter Fischer Named Magnetics Society Distinguished Lecturer

Peter Fischer (CXRO) has been named as a Magnetics Society Distinguished Lecturer for 2011. His current research is focused on the use of polarized synchrotron radiation in nanomagnetism. For his achievement of "hitting the 10nm resolution milestone with soft X-ray microscopy" he shared the ALS's Klaus Halbach Award in 2010.

ueccornerUEC Corner
New UEC Members in 2011
The New Year has begun and 2011 promises challenges as well as the opportunity to do cutting-edge science at the Advanced Light Source. As we move forward I want to reiterate that the Users' Executive Committee continues to work with ALS management to represent your interests as users. On multiple occasions during 2010 we worked with director Roger Falcone and his team to shape policy changes in a way that minimized negative impacts, and provided some substantive positive impacts to users.

This year also brings four newly-elected UEC members with diverse backgrounds. Please join me in welcoming your new representatives:
  • Yves Idzerda, Department of Physics, Montana State University
  • Jeff Kortright, Material Science Division, Berkeley Lab
  • Corie Ralston, Physical Biosciences Division, Berkeley Lab
  • Gyorgy Snell, Takeda San Diego

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: David Osborn

opsinfoOperations Update
For the user runs from November 10 to December 21, 2010, the beam reliability [(time scheduled - time lost)/time scheduled)] was 94.6%. For this period, the mean time between failures (MTBF) was 22.1 hours, and the mean time to recovery (MTTR) was 80 minutes. No single fault was responsible for most of the lost time: numerous faults of relatively short duration across several fault categories resulted in the low MTBF number.

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 on the Web. 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 in real time can be found on the ALS home page.
In This Issue
Superconducting Topological Insulators
ALS Reveals New State of Matter
Topoisomerase II Structure Suggests Novel DNA Cleavage Mechanism
An App for Synchrotron Users
ALS Users Elected APS and AAAS Fellows
Peter Fischer Named Magnetics Society Distinguished Lecturer
Ring Leaders: ALS Director Roger Falcone
Announcements: In Memoriam: Bob Batterman, Science Cafés

ringleadersRing Leaders
Welcome Back!
ALS Director Roger Falcone welcomes staff and users back for another year, reviewing last year's successes and exciting new projects. Read the Article
In Memoriam: Bob Batterman
Boris (Bob) Batterman, 80, a frequent ALS user, died peacefully last month in his sleep. Bob was one of the founding fathers of synchrotron radiation research, the first director of the Cornell High Energy Synchrotron Source (CHESS), and one of the pioneers of dynamical diffraction theory and its application in materials science. A memorial service is planned for the Spring.
ALS Science Cafés
The next Science Café will be held February 23 at noon in the User Support Building's main conference room. Presenter names and talk titles will be posted shortly on the ALS Science Café Web page.
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