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Transparent Plastic in granules. Polymer pellets. Isolated on a black background.

Pulsed electron beams shed light on plastics production

The proliferation of plastic products in the last several decades has been extraordinary. Quite simply, humans are addicted to this nearly indestructible material. Over...
Berkeley researchers collected and studied beach sands from locations near Hiroshima, including Japan’s Miyajima Island, home to this torii gate, which at high tide is surrounded by water. The torii and associated Itsukushima Shinto Shrine, near the city of Hiroshima, are popular tourist attractions. (Photo courtesy of Ajay Suresh/Wikimedia Commons)

Beaches near Hiroshima littered with glassy beads from atomic bomb blast

Fallout debris from nuclear explosions consists of spherules and aerodynamically-shaped glasses, created aerially by high-velocity quenching processes involving materials melted and vaporized at temperatures...
Just as a wine glass distorts an image showing temperature fluctuations in the cosmic microwave background in this photo illustration, large objects like galaxy clusters and galaxies can similarly distort this light to produce lensing effects. (Credit: Emmanuel Schaan and Simone Ferraro/Berkeley Lab)

New method to provide a clearer window into dark universe

The cosmic microwave background (CMB) is thought to be leftover radiation from the Big Bang or the time when the universe began. Also known...
The Making of the Largest 3D Map of the Universe

The Making of the Largest 3D Map of the Universe

DESI, the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument, will mobilize 5,000 swiveling robots – each one pointing a thin strand of fiber-optic cable – to gather...
DESI “first light” image of the Whirlpool Galaxy, also known as Messier 51. This image was obtained the first night of observing with the DESI Commissioning Instrument on the Mayall Telescope at the Kitt Peak National Observatory in Tucson, Arizona; an r-band filter was used to capture the red light from the galaxy. (Credit: DESI Collaboration)

Dark Energy Instrument’s Lenses See the Night Sky for the First Time

On April 1, the dome of the Mayall Telescope near Tucson, Arizona, opened to the night sky, and starlight poured through the assembly of...
A method developed by a Berkeley Lab-led research team may one day turn ordinary semiconducting materials into quantum electronic devices. (Credit: iStock.com/NiPlot)

When semiconductors stick together, materials go quantum

Two-dimensional (2D) materials, which are only one atom thick, resemble nanosized building blocks that can be stacked arbitrarily to frame little gadgets. At the...
A mysterious process called oxygen oxidation strips electrons from oxygen atoms in lithium-rich battery cathodes and degrades their performance. Better understanding this property and controlling its effects could lead to better performing electric vehicles. (Credit: Gregory Stewart/SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory)

First complete picture of lithium-ion battery performance

The problem with today's commercial batteries is they release about half of the lithium ions they contain. One solution on this is to cram cathodes with...
Heather Crawford and her team of researchers are developing a prototype for an ultrahigh-rate high-purity germanium detector that can count 2 to 5 million gamma rays per second while maintaining high resolution. (Credit: Marilyn Chung/Berkeley Lab)

New detector to count 2 to 5 million gamma rays per second

Heather Crawford, a staff scientist in the Nuclear Science Division at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, along with her colleagues...
At left, a tiny bead struck by a laser (at the yellowish spot shown at the top of the image) produces optical modes that circulate around the interior of the bead (pinkish ring). At right, a simulation of how the optical field inside a 5-micron (5 millionths of a meter) bead is distributed. (Credit: Angel Fernandez-Bravo/Berkeley Lab, Kaiyuan Yao)

Continuously emitting microlasers with nanoparticle-coated beads

Now it is possible to convert nanoparticle-coated microscopic beads into lasers, thanks to the new technique demonstrated by Berkeley scientists. The technique opens up...