moonraker

You science-y people will understand this–the rest of us will dream up outlandishly awesome but completely unfounded visions ofStar Wars”-esque laser battles. Brace yourselves: Particle accelerators are going micro, at least if the BELLA team at our trusty Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have anything to say about it. They’re working on condensing the gargantuan physics instruments into a “desktop” form that will shoot particles inches, not miles. Take what you will from this mumbo jumbo: read more »


physics-lab

Particles, on your marks! You may have heard whispers amongst your scientifically inclined circle of friends, or perhaps felt a tremor within the deepest subatomic particles of your gut concerning the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s financial future. Luckily, your quarks and muons will rest easy—or rather, they won’t, because the lab has received a massive financial endowment courtesy of the U.S. American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to keep its particle accelerators running.

Yes, that sigh of relief you hear echoing from the Berkeley hills comes in response to a generous $115 million handout. read more »


Tuesday was a day for debate over what to do with the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s first ever particle accelerator, the Bevatron. The Bevatron was last used in the early ’90s, and has since been replaced with bigger, faster and more explosively priced accelerators—that means it hasn’t done anything but collect dust and deadly omegatron radiation (just kidding—dust isn’t attracted to particle accelerators).

What to do with Old Bev, now that it’s giving off a faint radioactive glow? Well, the biggest concern is that in order to remove it from the laboratory, a good 4,700 one-way trips would be needed to move it—and that leaves quite a bit of room for mistakes.

But on the other hand, at least the Bevatron isn’t causing unfounded apocalyptic fears. Yay science!

Image Source: Telstar Logistics under Creative Commons
Plan to Dismantle Bevatron Stirs Debate [Daily Cal]