LBNL Masthead A-Z IndexBerkeley Lab mastheadU.S. Department of Energy logoPhone BookJobsSearch
ALSNews Vol. 348 Print

The Molecular Ingenuity of a Unique Fish Scale

fish scalesALS research has shown how the scales of a freshwater fish found in the Amazon Basin can literally reorient themselves in real time to resist force, in essence creating an adaptable body armor. Read more...


Contact: Robert O. Ritchie

Ring Leader: Musa Ahmed, Chemical Sciences Division

musa ahmedIn his 19 years at the ALS, senior scientist Musa Ahmed has seen chemistry grow from a somewhat obscure synchrotron science focus area to a cornerstone, award-winning ALS program. Read more...



Big Data Hits the Beamline: ALS Research Featured in DEIXIS
deixis thumb

DEIXIS, an annual publication of the Department of Energy Computational Science Graduate Fellowship program that highlights the work of fellows and alumni, has a special feature in the 2013 issue focussing on how "the data explosion is driving a new era of computational science at light sources." ALS beamline scientist Dula Parkinson discusses the challenges of huge data sets for users on tomography beamline 8.3.2.  Read the article (in PDF).

Proposal Scores Posted

The scores for general user proposals, including cutoff scores where applicable, for the upcoming beam time (January-July 2014)  have been posted. The total number of beam time shifts requested for this round was 11,209; the total number of shifts allocated to general users was 4533. See the distribution graph and individual beamline scores in the User Guide.

An Interactive Timeline of the ALS

As our 20th anniversary year begins to wind down, we debut one more feature to celebrate 20 Years of Great Science: an interactive timeline covering highlights of the first 20 years of ALS history. By no means exhaustive, it is meant to provide a broad overview of the people and events that have helped shape the ALS as well as a sense of the breadth of the science that has been done here. Take a trip through the years here.

MIddle-School Students Become ALS Users

dula studentsA group of seventh graders from Black Pine Circle School in Berkeley recently had a rare opportunity to experience the ALS as "users" via a collaborative scientific project that included a field trip and hands-on research on a beamline. The students were led by science and technology teacher Christine Mytko, who spent the past summer at the ALS through the Industry Initiatives for Science and Math Education (IISME) program. Mytko's time at the ALS was focused on 3D imaging and printing techniques. Read more about their activities at the ALS .

Synchrotron Education Project Kick Off

synchrotron educationThe Synchrotron Education Collaboration held its first meeting October 20-22 at Synchrotron Soleil, in St Aubin, France. The symposium, "Student Science at Synchrotrons: Educating the Next Generation of Scientists," was attended by scientists, educators, as well as representatives from eight synchrotrons. Read more about the project here.

Who's in the News: Visitors and Awards
November was a busy month for both visitors and awards!  ALS user Craig Taatjes (left) won the Polyani Medal for his work on Criegee intermediates, and CXRO's Peter Fischer (right) became an IEEE Fellow; read more in Awards.

Visitors included Deputy Secretary of Energy Dan Poneman, Senator Chris Coons (D-DE), House Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee Staff, Ben Hammond; see ALS Visitors for some photos and more information.
Science Cafe

ALS Science Café
Next Science Cafe: Tuesday, January 21, 2014
Anyone wishing to speak about their current research for 15-20 minutes at the next café should contact Elizabeth Moxon.
The event will be moderated by Roger Falcone; light refreshments will be provided.
UEC Corner

ralstonThe ALS users have elected five new members (bolded in the list below) to the Users' Executive Committee, and I would like to be the first to welcome them. I believe we have good representation of the wide user base with our new and continuing members

  • Artur Braun, Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology
  • Chris Cappa, UC Davis
  • Mahati Chintapalli (student member), UC Berkeley
  • Brian Collins, NIST
  • Scott Classen, Physical Biosciences Division, Berkeley Lab
  • Tanja Cuk, UC Berkeley
  • Adam Hitchcock, McMaster University
  • Micky Holcomb, West Virginia University
  • Peter Nico, Earth Sciences Division, Berkeley Lab
  • Corie Ralston, Physical Biosciences Division, Berkeley Lab
  • Andreas Scholl, Advanced Light Source, Berkeley Lab
  • David Shuh, Chemical Sciences Division, Berkeley Lab
  • Yuri Suzuki, Stanford University
  • Tyler Troy, Chemical Sciences Division, Berkeley Lab

Many thanks to retiring members Yves Idzerda, Jeff Kortright, Kevin McCarty, and Gyorgy Snell for all their hard work over the past years. It has also been a privilege to work with Brandy Toner who stayed on as ex-chair to help me this last year. I am staying on in this capacity in 2014 to help our new chair, Peter Nico.

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 October 23 to November 17, 2013, the beam reliability [(time scheduled - time lost)/time scheduled)] was 96.2%. For this period, the mean time between failures (MTBF) was 44.6 hours, and the mean time to recovery (MTTR) was 116 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

newslinksALS in the News
Subscribe to ALSNews

Email Us

ALSNews Archive

ALS Beamilnes Logo