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ALSNews Vol. 352 Print

Research Finds Vitamin D Deficiency Affects Bone Quality

A team of researchers working at the ALS has found that vitamin D deficiency plays a significant role in the bone-aging process, reducing bone quality and increasing fracture susceptibility. Read more...


Contact: Bjorn Busse

Evidence for a Weak Iron Core at Earth's Center

High-pressure x-ray spectroscopy and diffraction provide new evidence that the solid iron core at the center of the Earth is more malleable than previously thought. This weakness could explain how the crystal structure in the Earth's core has transformed over geological time scales. Read more...


Contact: Arianna Gleason

Crews Work Overtime to Restore Beamtime

beam thumbThanks to the ingenuity and dedication of ALS engineering and accelerator physics staff, a significant chunk of beamtime for user operations was saved this week after a transformer for a major power supply failed. The effort involved all ALS trades and electronic specialties and the resulting fix required over 400 worker-hours to design, install, and test. As a result, nearly 50 users with scheduled beamtime this week will be able to run their experiments. Read about the innovative solution and the people who contributed to the effort.

Ringleader: Kenneth Goldberg, CXRO

Kenneth Goldberg, deputy director of the Center for X-Ray Optics (CXRO), has been a part of the ALS since 1993, when he began setting up one of the first experiments around the ring, a project in coherent EUV optics. A lot has changed since then; read about how CXRO collaborates with the international consortium Sematech to improve semiconductor technologies...

Contact: Ken Goldberg

Industry@ALS: Technique at ALS Gives Novel View of Lithium Battery Dendrite Growth

Researchers have recently discovered that the x-ray microtomography capabilities at ALS Beamline 8.3.2 can give them a novel view of dendrite growth in lithium batteries, one of the major reasons for lithium failure. Read more and watch a video of a dendrite as it grows through a polymer membrane...

Contact: Katherine Harry

New!! See a list of all the summary slides for Industry @ ALS stories.

The ALS Shutdown: Behind the Scenes

As we head into another ALS shutdown, it's interesting to take a look "behind the scenes" of our facility to get a glimpse of what it takes to keep this amazing machine running. Read about the plans for the shutdown that begins May 5...

Contact: Steve Rossi

Watch Our Youngest Users @ Work

In our new video, see what a teacher and her students say about the impact on a group of Berkeley middle schoolers who went from submitting and peer-reviewing proposals to conducting experiments at the ALS. Watch these budding scientists as they conduct their first experiments...

Contact: ALS Communications

ALS Strategic Plan Updated for 2014-18

We know much about the structures of molecules and solids, yet despite all this knowledge, we still are not able to make the energy storage systems we need, develop efficient artificial photosynthesis, or form desired chemical bonds at will. Solving these and many other problems will involve deploying novel materials that function cooperatively in heterogeneous structures and environments. Research with soft x-ray beams will be an essential ingredient in developing and exploring these materials... Read the full ALS Strategic Plan 2014-18.

Contact: Steve Kevan

New ALS Postdoctoral Fellow Highlights

Since its inception in 2005, the ALS Postdoctoral Fellowship program has supported young scientists in new and ongoing research projects at the ALS. In many cases, the postdoctoral fellows were also supported by collaborating institutions. A list of postdoc "highlights" introduces the researchers and links to a description of their projects while at the ALS, resulting publications, and their current positions and research activities. Read about the new members on the list, Yi Zhang and Shrawan Mishra.

Contact: Steve Kevan

New Feature: Around the ALS in Photos

Beginning this month, ALSNews will feature a short pictorial of interesting events or scientific and/or facility images that we think might interest our readers. Our first pictorial highlights the recent visit of Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-California) who toured the ALS on April 13;  take a look and let us know what you think!


Contact: ALS Communications

Who's in the News: Visitors and Awards
April was a busy month for visitors that included  included Sen. Dianne Feinstein (see above), Congresswoman Jackie Speier, managers from BASF, future scientists from UC Berkeley Physics, staff from Hydro Québec and the Canadian Consulate, and more; see Visitors for photos and more information

ALS Science Café
Tuesday, June 3, 2014 @ 12 noon in USB 15-253
Speakers and topics  TBA. The event will be moderated by Roger Falcone; light refreshments will be provided.  For more information, contact Elizabeth Moxon
UEC Corner

User Satisfaction Surveys

Just a reminder! I would like to encourage everyone to fill out their User Satisfaction Survey (end-of-run report). At the last UEC meeting in February, UEC members decided that they will review these reports with ALS management to see what they can learn about users' experiences and needs.

Finally, as always, we invite any ALS user to contact me or any member of the UEC with any suggestions, comments, or feedback regarding doing science at the ALS.

Contact: Peter Nico
Operations Update

For the user runs from March 19 to April 13, 2014, the beam reliability [(time scheduled - time lost)/time scheduled)] was 97.3%. For this period, the mean time between failures (MTBF) was 31.0 hours, and the mean time to recovery (MTTR) was 50 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  ( 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


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