Berkeley Lab



Director’s Corner

As we come to the end of a year like no other, I would like to thank everyone in and around ATAP for your perseverance and dedication. We have continued to make scientific progress while learning a new way of working — and we have stayed safe and healthy doing it.

Researchers from ATAP’s BELLA Center and our Accelerator Modeling Program were key to an international collaboration that demonstrated bi-modal imaging using proton and x-ray beams from the same laser-plasma microsource. Their results recently appeared in Nature Communications. Another happy piece of news came from the DOE Review of CD-3 for the High-Luminosity LHC Accelerator Upgrade Project, following the Fermilab Director’s Review held in late July. We were pleased to see this technically challenging and managerially complex multi-institutional project recommended for CD-3.

Elsewhere in cyberspace, staff from ATAP’s BELLA Center and our Operations team are conducting the AAC Seminar Series in lieu of the pandemic-cancelled Advanced Accelerator Concepts Workshop 2020.

We bid farewell and happy retirement to Senior Division Administrator Martha Condon after 41 years at Berkeley Lab, most of them with ATAP and its predecessor AFRD. Both her innumerable contributions to our operations and her cool, calm, and collected way of making them will be greatly missed.

I leave you with an uplifting symbol of hope. This holiday wreath is actually a scanning electron micrograph image of a drop of SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, in matrix crystals on a carbon nanotube substrate for laser mass spectroscopy. It comes from COVID-response research by a multi-divisional team, including ATAP researchers, here at Berkeley Lab.

Red "wreath" from COVID research

We wish you a happy, healthy, and safe holiday season and a new year of invention and discovery… and don’t forget to check out our social media presence!


An international team, including ATAP scientists Tobias Ostermayr of the Berkeley Lab Laser Accelerator Center and Axel Huebl of the Accelerator Modeling Program, has made the first proof-of-principle demonstration of bi-modal radiographic imaging for biological and technological objects with a laser-driven microsource of x rays and protons. The results were announced December 2 in the journal Nature Communications.

Tobias Ostermayr


Axel Huebl


Ostermayr is lead author of the paper and (together with co-corresponding author Joerg Schreiber of Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München and Max-Planck-Institut für Quantenoptik) originated the idea. Huebl performed particle-in-cell simulations in support of the study. The experiments were performed with the Texas Petawatt Laser at the University of Texas at Austin.

Synchronized single-sourcing of multiple modalities
Conventional radiography machines produce only a single kind of radiation, such as protons, electrons, or x-rays. Using more than one kind of radiation source gives complementary sets of information about the specimen, but in order to take advantage of this, significant post-processing is usually needed because the sources and image acquisitions were separate in space and/or time.

Laser-driven plasmas can simultaneously emit multiple forms of radiation, including x-rays and protons, and they produce it in short bursts, which is also desirable for, say, “freezing” motion. This study demonstrated, for the first time ever, how such a laser-driven source can be used to make images of biological and technological samples.

Bimodal imaging concept

In this conceptual illustration, a test object (a cricket) casts shadows in a proton beam (green) and an x-ray beam (blue) to record radiographic images with both beams in a single laser shot. The proton image is color coded in blue and red, immediately downstream of the test object; the x-ray image is the grayscale plane at far right. The images show actual experimental data. The laser plasma provides a single source of protons and x-rays, intrinsically synchronized on the nanosecond scale and originating (within µm) from the same spot, as compared to existing, separate sources of these two imaging modalities. Illustration by Tobias Ostermayr, Berkeley Lab.

The team achieved intrinsic nanosecond-scale synchronization of these two powerful and important imaging techniques (compared to seconds or minutes in conventional machines), and the two radiation sources overlapped on a scale of a few micrometers. These attributes, combined with the exquisitely small source size enabled by laser plasma techniques, gave sharper and more detailed insights into materials and samples than could be expected from either source alone—a unique capability of laser plasmas.

In the near future, the researchers hope to extend multimodal imaging capabilities and applications to include electrons and neutrons, and to image dynamic events.

To learn more…
T.M. Ostermayr et al., “Laser-driven x-ray and proton micro-source and application to simultaneous single-shot bi-modal radiographic imaging,” Nature Communications 11, 6174 (02 December 2020).
“A new laser-driven X-ray and proton micro-source,” Attoworld, 3 December 2020.


A DOE Review of the High-Luminosity LHC Accelerator Upgrade Project (AUP) was held (virtually) November 22-24, 2020. The conclusion, as we await the reviewers’ formal report, is that the AUP is recommended for CD-3, the Approval of Start of Construction milestone in the progression of Critical Decisions in a DOE project.

The Large Hadron Collider at CERN will begin a two-and-a-half-year upgrade around 2023, during their third long scheduled shutdown (LS3), to boost the beam’s luminosity and thus the rate of particle collisions. The expertise at the Berkeley Center for Magnet Technology is key to the US contributions to the AUP, an essential component of which is the design and construction of advanced and powerful focusing magnets.

More …

Team picture in front of assembled HL-LHC AUP quadrupole magnet

Fully assembled HL-LHC AUP quadrupole magnet

Berkeley Lab’s contributions, through its Superconducting Magnet Program/Berkeley Center for Magnet Technology (SMP/BCMT), include 104 superconducting wire cables to be used in the magnets; the insulation of the cables; and the assembly of 25 four-meter-long quadrupole magnets designated (MQXFA) that will focus the LHC’s particle beams.

The AUP in total is delivering two of the complete inner-triplet cryoassemblies, designated Q1 and Q3, and 23 magnets in all, while CERN is completing the third cryoassembly, Q2a and b.

“The team is to be highly commended”

The Magnets subcommittee commented that “The project team is to be highly commended for the progress made to date. Significant developments were made since the January 2020 OPA Review,” and added, “The management and technical team across FNAL, BNL and LBNL should be commended on such progress.”

Managerial as well as technical excellence is essential to a program like the HL-LHC AUP, which involves five US national labs and a university, each bringing its particular strengths to the technical challenges — and whose products must mesh with the overall High-Luminosity Upgrade at CERN. The reviewers noted that “The interaction between the project and CERN concerning CERN-produced parts appears to be functioning well” and that “The level of QA actions is commendable.”

The reports will next go to the Energy Sciences Acquisition Adviory Board (ESAAB).


A photo story from the joint ATAP and Engineering Division Berkeley Center for Magnet Technology and ATAP’s Superconducting Magnet Program shows how we can combine safety and productivity in Berkeley Lab’s staged return to onsite work. Click here for higher-resolution versions and additional photos.

Zoom tailgate meeting
Virtual "basic training" for onboarding new employees and "tailgate meetings" to start the day are tremendously helpful tools for the next normal
Office visit

A safe office visit features social distancing, face coverings
Worker with long superconducting magnet

Long superconducting magnets make social distancing easy
Building 58 discussion of day's work

Planning the day's work with COVID prevention foremost
Socially distanced break

Getting out for a bit of fresh air on a fine autumn day
CW from top left: Eric Esarey, Asmita Patel, Soren Prestemon, Thomas Schenkel

Leadership briefing on the day's events


Extensive ATAP Participation in Virtual APS-DPB Meeting

APS-DPB logo

Click for program

The American Physical Society’s Division of Physics of Beams held its 62nd annual meeting online November 9-13. ATAP was well represented; 27 oral presentations and 7 virtual posters out of the 36-strong Berkeley Lab presence had lead or co-authors from BELLA Center, the Accelerator Modeling Program, and the Fusion Science & Ion Beam Technology Program.

Accelerator Modeling Program postdoctoral researcher Ligia Diana Amorim chaired the oral session on Plasma Wakefield Acceleration, and BELLA Center Deputy Director for Experiments Cameron Geddes chaired the invited oral session on X-Rays and High-Energy-Density Physics. Berkeley Lab’s virus-related work was presented in Session TM13: Mini-Conference on Plasma Applications to Ameliorate Covid-19.

Advanced Accelerator Concepts Workshop Goes Virtual With Seminar Series

AAC Seminar Series logo and Web header

Fostering online exchange in advanced accelerators

When the 2020 Advanced Accelerator Concepts Workshop, being organized by the Berkeley Lab Laser Accelerator Center, had to be cancelled due to the pandemic, its organizers put much thought into what they might do instead. Thus was born the online-only Advanced Accelerator Concepts Seminar Series.

The AAC Seminar Series is now on holiday break. Resuming in the New Year, a session dedicated to one of the eight topical working groups will be held every Wednesday morning through February 3, As many as 200 colleagues have been tuning in to these free, by-invitation events.

Xiaorong Wang, Tengming Shen Elected to ASC Board

Xiaorong Wang

Xiaorong Wang

Tengming Shen

Tengming Shen

ATAP’s Xiaorong Wang and Tengming Chen have been elected to the Board of Directors of the Applied Superconductivity Conference. The news arrived at the conclusion of the (virtual) 2020 ASC.

They will serve 6-year terms in this executive steering function.

Both are staff scientists in ATAP’s Superconducting Magnet Program who participate in the cross-divisional Berkeley Center for Magnet Technology and the multi-institutional US Magnet Development Program.

“This is an outstanding testament to their standing in the community, and reflects well on LBNL and our role in the broader community,” said SMP head and BCMT and USMDP Director Soren Prestemon.

The slate of candidates represented the broad areas of interest for the conference. Wang was chosen from the Large Scale Applications area, Shen from the Materials area.

More …

A history of synergy

Held every two years, ASC is among the largest and most important meetings in the field of superconductivity, with some 1600 participants. ATAP has a long relationship with the ASC series. Past ASC Chair Steve Gourlay, the now-retired founding director of the USMDP and SMP/BCMT, organized the short courses. ATAP’s Paolo Ferracin, as well as Wang and Shen, were among the short-course instructors, and Ferracin participated in the interactive student career event ELEVATE. Shen was also honored at the event.

Charlie Sanabria, Tiina Salmi, and Emmanuele Ravaioli, all alumni of our strong program of graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, and visiting scholars, were special-session conveners, and Ravaioli gave a Young Scientist Visions plenary lecture.

SMP/BCMT contributed 18 presentations covering a broad range of magnet R&D topics:
•  The High-Luminosity LHC Accelerator Upgrade Project
•  Diagnostics and high-temperature-superconductor magnets for USMDP
•  Magnets for ion therapy
•  Interaction region quadrupole magnet for the future Electron-Ion Collider
•  A test facility dipole magnet for fusion energy sciences as well as high-energy physics
•  Cryostat development for the SSRF.

Three invited presentations were given by Reed Teyber and Maxim Marchevsky at a special session on magnet quench detection and diagnostics, as well as one by Shen at a session on HTS accelerator magnets.

SMP/BCMT staff also served on the program committee for ASC 2020:
•  Large Scale Applications: Michael Green, Soren Prestemon
•  Materials: Ian Pong, Tengming Shen

Sholmo Caspi, Paolo Ferracin, Maxim Marchevsky, Ian Pong, GianLuca Sabbi, and Shen served as session moderators.

Retired AFRD Director Bill Barletta Honored by APS-DPB

William A. Barletta

Bill Barletta

William A. Barletta, longtime director of ATAP’s predecessor, the Accelerator and Fusion Research Division, has been honored with the Exceptional Service Award of the American Physical Society’s Division of Physics of Beams. The award “recognizes a member of the APS DPB who has made outstanding contributions to the field of accelerators and to promoting the objectives of the DPB.”

Bill currently chairs three APS committees: the Forum on International Physics, the Panel on Public Affairs, and the Division of Physics of Beams. He is author or co-author of four books about accelerator science and technology and another four concerning cybersecurity, privacy and international cyber-law, as well as, most recently, Strategic Management of Research Organizations, based on US Particle Accelerator School classes he has taught.

After years in research and management positions with Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, during which he often collaborated with Berkeley Lab director emeritus Andy Sessler, Bill moved to Berkeley Lab in 1993 as AFRD Director, a position in which he served until his 2006 retirement. He also headed the Lab’s Homeland Security Office.

Bill has had a diverse and active encore career. He headed the Fermilab-based USPAS from 2006 to 2017; serves as coordinating editor of the refereed journal Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physical Research, Section A; and in addition to holding adjunct professorships of physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of California, Los Angeles, is a visiting professor of economics at the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia. His recent work at MIT has concentrated on the design and use of high current cyclotrons for both discovery science and industrial applications.


Welcome to 3Q4, in which we put three questions to someone from our staff to help get to know the people behind the science. In this issue, we meet Axel Huebl of the Accelerator Modeling Program, our first-ever Research Software Engineer, and Martha Condon of the Operations Team, who is retiring after 41 much-praised years at Berkeley Lab, almost all of them in ATAP and its predecessor organizations.

Axel Huebl

Axel Huebl


Axel Huebl is a Research Software Engineer with ATAP’s Accelerator Modeling Program (AMP). He had previously been a postdoctoral scholar with AMP after earning his PhD and then working as a scientific researcher at Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR).

With a background in both the user and the computer-science aspects of modeling, Axel researches, oversees, and participates in the development and integration of codes (computer programs) that run on high performance computers to simulate accelerators, particle and laser beams, and plasmas.

1. Advanced software expertise is in great demand. What led you to accelerator modeling and to the Lab?

More …

During my undergraduate studies, I started out early as an intern at the National Laboratory in Dresden, Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR). A newly established group on laser-particle acceleration caught my interest and I started writing parallel applications, performed simulations on laser-wakefield acceleration and later on we wrote our own particle-in-cell code that ran on graphics processing units, PIConGPU, which I maintained and improved with my colleagues over many years. In 2012/13, the first large-scale GPU-powered supercomputer came online with DOE’s Titan cluster at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and we were the first from our community that could use its new technology. Since then, I have been a regular user of these facilities – performing science runs on laser-ion acceleration, tackling new challenges to run simulations at very large scale, and collaborating with the vibrant U.S. computational and computer science community.

My way to Berkeley Lab started in 2014 when I met Jean-Luc Vay at the International Particle Accelerator Conference (IPAC) in Dresden. He soon after invited me to visit his group as an affiliate over the course of my PhD studies. Together with Rémi Lehe, whom I had met a few years earlier during an Erasmus internship in Lisbon, we collaborated to kick-start an open standard to exchange particle-mesh data (openPMD) and from there on stayed in regular contact with each other. At the end of my PhD studies, the Exascale Project funded WarpX and I was excited to join, contribute with my experience, and deepen my knowledge on accelerator modeling.

2. You have a talent for communication as well as computer modeling. How do you use that in your role here?

During my time working in the German national laboratory environment, I learned that the truly great physics challenges are only achievable as a team. Efficient communication over open channels, be it in outreach, open data or open source publishing, is a way for me to collaborate and integrate scientific work with many knowledgeable people. This helped me a lot in the past to learn, collaborate, help others, and later on guide new students.

I see computer modeling of particle accelerator science questions as a community challenge that needs to be addressed with interdisciplinary teams. While contributing to individual daily challenges, we use our peers’ work and publish our own research as openly as possible, so that others can reuse or contribute to it. I pre-think and establish mechanisms that make this possible — and surprisingly many technical challenges are rooted in finding ways of efficient and scalable communication, e.g., exchange of data, software, results and reproducibility of computational studies.

3. What is the big-picture goal of what you would like to achieve in your career?

My current career path moves along the boundary of computational physics and computer science. I work in a field with still exponentially growing capabilities, where a computing system that comes online today is pretty much obsolete ten years later. I thrive when I am able to actively shape how we model advanced accelerators with cutting edge technology and develop new workflows on how we can derive insight into complex plasma problems. My background in both physics and computer science inspires me in both domains.

My career goal is to advance our capabilities and understanding in both aforementioned fields to address exciting challenges in laser-plasma physics. Using the most powerful available supercomputers is always an appealing prospect, and building communities that are open and inclusive for members to join, enable each other, build and rely upon each other, and compete openly, is an enjoyable and rewarding way to work.

Martha Condon

Martha Condon portrait and award citation

Excellence, recognized

The end of 2020 is also end of an era in ATAP as one of the hidden figures who support our scientific achievements, Senior Division Administrator Martha Condon, retires from a 41-year career spent principally in ATAP and its predecessor, the Accelerator and Fusion Research Division.

Martha has earned a reputation as the go-to person for the most difficult challenges.Her years of service and dedication were recognized in 2019 with the Laboratory Director’s Award for Exceptional Service Achievement. As her remarkable career comes to an end, the self-effacing superstar of support reluctantly agreed to three questions…

As a manager and central figure of ATAP’s administrative team, you are the pivot point in a lot of other people’s activities. How are you helping them adapt to the new normal of COVID times?

More …

We’ve had to develop a coping mindset. When we all talk, we make time to hear what others are dealing with and what their experiences are so we don’t feel like we’re the only ones going through it.

On Zoom, you just have to expect that interruptions are part of the new normal. I’m in a room where I can just close everything off, but that isn’t everybody’s situation. Getting to know people’s kids and dogs is just part of our new normal, and you work with it.

Technical aspects matter too. Internet speeds vary, and with people in so many places, there’s a greater chance that somebody in a meeting might have some technical problem. There are certain things you have to get around. We just have to be kind to each other and practice acceptance—and build in extra time and be flexible in working around problems. Fortunately, on the admin team we’ve always been there for each other.

You’ve had over 40 years of service to the Lab. What are your thoughts on the changes you’ve seen?

One of the biggest changes has been technology. To me it’s making our jobs easier. Things are getting smaller, but better and faster. When I started out, we were using typewriters, leaving space for equations. It took forever! Then the Wang, which was an early dedicated word processing terminal, came along, and was that a lifesaver. When full-fledged personal computers came along, it was just a no-brainer that things were getting better and better.

Back in the day, scientists would just move up to leadership and management. There has been a big shift to training at all levels, including on how to manage people, and I think that made a big difference.

A work culture of mutual trust and respect and telling the truth is something I’ve seen built up through the years. In the admin field, there’s been a push to help people learn what their strengths are and develop their skills. There’s always been an opportunity to move up, and people guiding me to try something new— seeing your abilities and pushing you to go for it. I’ve really appreciated that throughout my career.

I think the next frontier is for women scientists. The push for equity and inclusiveness continues, and I hope it gives room for women scientists to see their dreams come true.

What advice would you give to other people in roles like yours?

Somebody once called me “cool, calm and collected.” It doesn’t always feel like that inside, but I’m glad that’s the impression I give.

I’ve always been able to say, “I’m going to step away from this and come back when emotions aren’t so high”. I can’t tell you how many times when we come back we have a different perspective on both my end and the other person’s. It’s productive at that point.

Be open to new ideas. Leave room for creativity and see what people can come up with. Recognize them and reward their good work; that’s where you get loyalty and retention, when people are valued. In management, be a role model. Do what you say you’re going to do.

On the few occasions when we see behavior that could be improved, other people should be an upstander—step in to say something. If enough people do the right thing, they can change others. If it’s not just one person saying it, but several, that’s especially powerful.

It’s been a good run, and I’ve enjoyed it. People at the Lab are so brilliant, and being there to support them has been a pleasure.


Coping in a Shelter-In-Place Holiday

Balanced rocks

Resources for keeping your balance

Whether it’s having to find new ways of working, trying to get life’s necessities while minimizing trips and practicing social distancing, or staying home at a time of year that is normally about friends and family, we’re all under a lot of stress these days. Berkeley Lab has a variety of resources to help us find emotional wellness in these times.

Food Banks Need Our Help

Alameda County Food Bank logo

Every dollar counts

Even before COVID, not everyone in our communities had enough, and the economic impact of the pandemic has caused formerly secure people to fall upon hard times. Please consider including the Alameda County Community Food Bank in any charitable giving you do holiday season. Click here to donate in a way that will be counted as part of Berkeley Lab’s Physical Sciences Area in an Labwide competition.

BigFix logo

Automated patches, inventory

The scanning of bar codes on tracked Lab property can be awkward in an environment where site access is limited and most of us are working remotely.  Download IBM BigFix, the Lab’s one-stop-shopping update tool for Macs and Windows PCs, and inventory reporting will be automatic.  Support will be easier, and patching of the highest-security-profile software will also be automated and more assured. You can choose an actively managed version or a passive version that notifies you of software updates but requires you to act on them manually. Go here to learn more about BigFix and download the right version for your situation (LBNL login required).


Virtual Tours of the Lab

Advanced Light Source dome

Facilities lay out virtual Welcome mat

Even the online holiday get-togethers of COVID times tend to make friends and relatives wonder what Berkeley Lab is like and what we do. The Lab has of course had to suspend in-person tours, but 90-minute virtual tours of our national user facilities— the Molecular Foundry, the Advanced Light Source, and the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center—are ongoing and popular. (ATAP Outreach and Education Coordinator Ina Reichel is one of the ALS guides.) The virtual tours are free and open to anyone, but to ensure a quality experience, attendance at each session is limited and advance signup is required. As of this writing, January 12, January 22, and February 9 still have open slots.

Cultivating Future SAGEs of STEM

SAGE-S (Science Accelerating Girls' Engagement in STEM logo

Outreach volunteer opportunity

SAGE-S (Science Accelerating Girls’ Engagement in STEM) is a weeklong summer camp for public high school students (age 14-17). It is hosted by scientists and engineers who will share what everyday life is like in the STEM professions (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). For summer 2021 Berkeley Lab will be hosting a virtual camp.

Here is the SAGE-S signup form. Additional information about the program will be shared at the Lab’s K-12 education website.


Please see the Publications tab of this website for a complete listing.

Felice Albert et al., including A. Huebl and J.-L. Vay (LBNL), “2020 Roadmap on Plasma Accelerators,” New Journal of Physics, in press December 2020,

Yuetao Hou, Sreyam Sinha, Di Ni (Cornell University); Qing Ji, Arun Persaud, Peter Seidl, Thomas Schenkel, (LBNL); Amit Lal, Khurram K. Afridi (Cornell University), “A 50-MHz Kilovolt-Scale Power Amplifier for Ion-Beam Accelerator Utilizing an Optimized Toroidal Inductor,” Proceedings of the IEEE Energy Conversion Congress and Exposition (ECCE), Detroit, MI, 11-15 October 2020, added to IEEE Xplore 30 October 2020, 10.1109/ECCE44975.2020.9236076

A. Huebl et al., “Spectral Control via Multi-Species Effects in PW-Class Laser-Ion Acceleration”, Plasma Physics and Controlled Fusion 62, 124003 (29 October 2020),

James K. Koga (Kansai Photon Science Institute); Masakatsu Murakami (Osaka University); Alexey V.Arefiev (University of California, San Diego); Yoshihide Nakamiya (ELI Nuclear Physics); Stepan S. Bulanov (LBNL); Sergei V.Bulanov (Kansai Photon Science Institute and ELI Beamlines) “Electron-Positron Pair Creation in the Electric Fields Generated by Micro-bubble Implosions”, Physics Letters A 384, 34 (4 December 2020), 126854,

T.M. Ostermayr (LBNL); C. Kreuzer, F. S. Englbrecht, J. Gebhard, J. Hartmann (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München); A. Huebl (LBNL); D. Haffa, P. Hilz, K. Parodi, J. Wenz (LMU-München); M.E. Donovan, G. Dyer, E. Gaul, J. Gordon, M. Martinez, E. Mccary, M. Spinks, G. Tiwari, B.M. Hegelich (University of Texas at Austin); J. Schreiber (LMU-München and Max-Planck-Institut für Quantenoptik), “Laser-driven x-ray and proton micro-source and application to simultaneous single-shot bi-modal radiographic imaging”, Nature Communications 11, 6174 (3 December 2020),
See feature story in this issue

V. Ranjan (CEA Saclay); J. O’Sullivan (University College London); E. Albertinale, B. Albanese (CEA Saclay); T. Chanelière (CNRS Grenoble); T. Schenkel (LBNL); D. Vion, D. Esteve, E. Flurin (CEA Saclay); J.J.L. Morton (University College London); P. Bertet (CEA Saclay), “Multimode storage of quantum microwave fields in electron spins over 100 ms,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 125, 210505 (20 November 2020),

Sreyam Sinha, Yuetao Hou, Di Ni (Cornell University); Qing Ji, Arun Persaud, Peter Seidl; T. Schenkel (LBNL); Amit Lal, Khurram K. Afridi (Cornell University), “A 27.12-MHz 10-kV Power Amplifier for Compact Particle Accelerators Utilizing an Optimized Matching Network,” Proceedings of the IEEE Energy Conversion Congress and Exposition (ECCE), Detroit, MI, 11-15 October 2020, added to IEEE Xplore 30 October 2020, pp. 5452-5457,

J.-L. Vay, A. Almgren, L.D. Amorim, J. Bell (LBNL); L. Ge (SLAC); K. Gott (LBNL); D.P. Grote (LLNL); M. Hogan (SLAC); A. Huebl, R. Jambunathan, R. Lehe, A. Myers (LBNL); C. Ng (SLAC); J. Park, M. Rowan, O. Shapoval, M. Thévenet, W. Zhang, Y. Zhao and E. Zoni (LBNL), “Toward the modeling of chains of plasma accelerator stages with WarpX,” in Proceedings of the 4th European Advanced Accelerator Concepts Workshop (15-20 September 2019, Isola d’Elba, Italy), Journal of Physics: Conference Series 1596, 012059 (18 September 2020) edited by A. Cianchi et al.,

Y. Zhao, R. Lehe, A. Myers, M. Thévenet, A. Huebl, C.B. Schroeder, J.-L. Vay, “Modeling of emittance growth due to Coulomb collisions in plasma-based accelerators”, Physics of Plasmas 27, 113105 (17 November 2020),

Invited talks without publication venue

S.S. Bulanov, “Multiple Colliding Laser Pulses as a Basis for Studying High-field High-energy Physics,” virtual ELI Beamlines User Conference 2020 (12-14 October 2020).

A. Huebl, “Future Computer & Programming Trends,” virtual talk, Snowmass21 Planning meeting. October 2020.

S.C. Leemann, “Machine Learning-based Beam Size Stabilization”, invited presentation at the 9th International Beam Instrumentation Conference IBIC 2020 (September 14-18, 2020, Brazil, virtual).

S.C. Leemann, “Source Size Stabilization at the ALS Using Machine Learning”, invited presentation at the 8th Low Emittance Rings Workshop LER2020 (October 26-30, 2020, INFN, Frascati, Italy, virtual).

J.-L. Vay and A. Huebl, “Uses of in situ methods in large-scale modeling of plasma-based particle accelerators,” keynote of the virtual ISAV 2020 workshop on In Situ Infrastructures for Enabling Extreme-Scale Analysis and Visualization (November 2020).


— Masking, distancing, and washing hands: keys to a COVID-19-free holiday


COVID-19 visualization courtesy CDC


As we go into the holiday season amid a resurgent COVID-19 crisis in California and nationwide, let’s renew our attention to the basics. Stay home whenever possible. When you must go out:
•  Wear a face covering (now a California requirement with limited exceptions)
•  Maintain at least 6 feet (preferably more) of social distancing
•  Pay attention to hand-washing and avoidance of face-touching…
…not just at work, but in all public places.

Going through life in this manner may feel tiresome, but this is no time to let our guard down. Diligence regarding these simple precautions is necessary to get through this and into a post-pandemic world of widespread vaccine deployment. For more information on how Berkeley Lab is prioritizing health and safety and what you can do, visit

COVID-19 precautions at the Lab

Berkeley Lab precautions for working onsite. Click for details.

Don’t Just Wear A Mask — Wear It Properly
This video from shows how to wear a mask properly to protect yourself and others. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also post the latest information on proper mask wearing and other best practices for stopping the spread of coronavirus.

Reminder: New Training Requirement Coming Up

A new training module, LBL 0014, “ISM Briefing for Return to Work” is now available. Though merely recommended at this point, at the end of January 2021 it will become mandatory for all staff.

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Director’s Corner

In ATAP we are part of Berkeley Lab’s phased program of carefully monitored re-opening, which has worked very well over the last months, allowing us to get things done in our labs and shops. In the first in our series of photo stories, “Labs in the Time of COVID,” we show a day in the life at ATAP’s Berkeley Lab Laser Accelerator Center (BELLA) as we continue our in-person R&D activities under conditions of limited and carefully managed on-site presence.

Many activities that can go virtual are of course doing so. One of them was the Fermilab Director’s Review of CD-3 for the High-Luminosity LHC Accelerator Upgrade Project. ATAP and our partners in the Engineering Division play a major role in the AUP, and we were pleased to see this technically challenging and managerially complex multi-institutional project praised by the reviewers. The record-breaking high-performance magnets that we are co-developing with partner labs in this project will be delivered to CERN to boost the reach of the Large Hadron Collider in probing the nature of matter and energy at the limits of the energy frontier.

The conferences and workshops that are an integral part of the culture of science today are being adapted to the “new normal” of little or no travel. Among them is the Applied Superconductivity Conference, which will now occur virtually over a two-week period. ATAP’s deep relationship with ASC continues thus online. ATAP staff are also planning the AAC Seminar Series, scheduled to begin this fall in lieu of the pandemic-cancelled Advanced Accelerator Concepts Workshop 2020.

Regrettably I must conclude on a somber note. In October we lost two distinguished colleagues: Glen Lambertson and Alan Jackson. Glen Lambertson’s career (plus an active retirement) in beam physics and instrumentation spanned more than half a century, from the early days of the Bevatron through contributions to the LHC. Alan Jackson began his career in Daresbury, which would soon build the first dedicated synchrotron radiation source; came here to become one of the top contributors to the ALS; and went on to be technical director of the Australian Synchrotron. Glen and Alan’s many scientific and technical contributions have been highly impactful throughout the world of accelerators and their vibrant personalities are fondly remembered by all who knew them.


A photo story from the Berkeley Lab Laser Accelerator Center shows how we can combine safety and productivity in Berkeley Lab’s staged return to onsite work. Click here for higher-resolution versions and additional photos.

   Availability of close-in parking hints at low-density occupancy

    "Basic training" helps onboard new employees virtually
Tailgate meeting

    Informal "tailgate meetings" when we can't just stop by

    Virtual team meeting starts the day
    In-person discussions feature social distancing, face coverings
The rituals of lunch: outdoor eating and social distancing with a generous safety margin team up to allow safe unmasking
Tony in the laser lab
  Working together (but at least 6 feet apart)
  in the lab takes thoughtful awareness
Masks, social distancing make for healthy teamwork in the control room
Walkthrough checks compliance with coronavirus precautions
as well as pre-pandemic safety matters
   Leadership-team debrief at day's end joins onsite, remote members

—Next step: DOE Review November 22-24


A Fermilab Director’s CD-3 Review of the High-Luminosity LHC Accelerator Upgrade Project (AUP) was held (virtually) July 28-30, 2020. The review’s final report described it as “well managed” with “an experienced and talented management and technical team” that “has made very impressive progress since CD2/3b,” the previous step in the progression of Critical Decisions in a DOE project.

The Large Hadron Collider at CERN will begin a two-and-a-half-year upgrade around 2023, during their third long scheduled shutdown (LS3), to boost the beam’s luminosity and thus the rate of particle collisions. The expertise at the Berkeley Center for Magnet Technology is key to the US contributions to the AUP, an essential component of which is the design and construction of advanced and powerful focusing magnets.

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Team picture in front of assembled HL-LHC AUP quadrupole magnet

Fully assembled HL-LHC AUP quadrupole magnet

Berkeley Lab’s contributions, through its Berkeley Center for Magnet Technology (BCMT), include 104 superconducting wire cables to be used in the magnets; the insulation of the cables; and the assembly of 25 four-meter-long quadrupole magnets designated (MQXFA) that will focus the LHC’s particle beams.

The AUP in total is delivering two of the complete inner-triplet cryoassemblies, designated Q1 and Q3, and 23 magnets in all, while CERN is completing the third cryoassembly, Q2a and b.

“Exemplary and a model for future projects”

The review found that “The AUP Project has made very impressive progress since CD2/3b.”

Managerial as well as technical excellence is essential to a program like the HL-LHC AUP, which involves five US national labs and a university, each bringing its particular strengths to the technical challenges — and whose products must mesh with the overall High-Luminosity Upgrade at CERN. The reviewers noted that “Integration of the project team across the participating laboratories is strong and we commend the project management group on the robustness of their approach and their commitment to the level of integration incorporated into their approach.”

They further found that “Project mechanics, including cost/schedule, ES&H and QA reporting, are in place and operating smoothly. The commitment to traceability of requirements, interface controls, configuration management and documented acceptance criteria is exemplary and a model for future projects.”

The Director’s Review Committee recommended proceeding to CD-3. The next step is a DOE CD-3 Review, scheduled for November 22-24.

—Lasers at Berkeley Lab’s BELLA Center are part of network across the U.S. and Canada


Photo - Berkeley Lab’s BELLA Center houses the BELLA petawatt laser, shown here, and a 100-terawatt-class laser. (Credit: Roy Kaltschmidt/Berkeley Lab)

Berkeley Lab’s BELLA Center houses the BELLA petawatt laser, shown here, and a 100-terawatt-class laser. (Roy Kaltschmidt/Berkeley Lab)

In 2018, the U.S. Department of Energy established LaserNetUS, a network of facilities operating ultrapowerful lasers. Organized and funded through DOE’s Office of Fusion Energy Sciences (FES), the new network was created to provide vastly improved access to unique lasers for researchers, and to help restore the U.S.’s once-dominant position in high-intensity laser research. Now, new DOE funding totaling $18 million, including $1 million for user support, will be distributed among 10 partner institutions and will continue and expand LaserNetUS operations for three years.

“The LaserNetUS initiative is a shining example of a scientific community coming together to advance the frontiers of research, provide students and scientists with broad access to unique facilities and enabling technologies, and foster collaboration among researchers and networks from around the world,” said James Van Dam, DOE associate director of science for Fusion Energy Sciences. “We are very excited to work with all of these outstanding institutions as partners in this initiative.”

The initiative includes a node at Berkeley Lab, home of the BELLA Center in the Accelerator Technology and Applied Physics Division, with the BELLA petawatt and 100-terawatt-class lasers. According to Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) principal investigator Thomas Schenkel, “Opening our door to users from LaserNetUS has been a great experience, and we are looking forward to working with a growing user community in this next phase.”

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LaserNetUS includes the most powerful lasers in the U.S. and Canada, some of which have powers approaching or exceeding a petawatt. Petawatt lasers generate light with at least 1 million billion watts of power, or nearly 100 times the combined output of all the world’s power plants, but compressed to the briefest of bursts. These lasers fire off ultrafast pulses of light shorter than one-tenth of a trillionth of a second.

All facilities in LaserNetUS operate high-intensity lasers, which have a broad range of applications in basic research, advanced manufacturing, and medicine. They can recreate some of the most extreme conditions in the universe, such as those found in supernova explosions and near black holes. They can generate particle beams for high-energy physics research or intense X-ray pulses to probe matter as it evolves on ultrafast time scales. They are being used to develop new technology, such as techniques to generate intense neutron bursts to evaluate aging aircraft components or implement advanced laser-based welding.

Photo - Optical equipment is set up for a laser experiment at Berkeley Lab’s BELLA Center. (Credit: Paul Mueller/Berkeley Lab)

Optical equipment is set up for a laser experiment at Berkeley Lab’s BELLA Center. (Credit: Paul Mueller/Berkeley Lab)

Several LaserNetUS facilities also operate high-energy, longer-pulse lasers that can produce exotic and extreme states of matter, like those in planetary interiors or many-times-compressed materials. They can also be used to study laser-plasma interactions that are important to fusion-energy programs.

In its first year of user operations, LaserNetUS awarded time for 49 user experiments to researchers from 25 different institutions. Over 200 scientists, including more than 100 students and postdoctoral researchers, have participated in experiments so far.

The institutions hosting LaserNetUS facilities are Colorado State University, Berkeley Lab, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, SLAC National Laboratory, Ohio State University, University of Michigan, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, University of Rochester, and University of Texas at Austin in the U.S., and Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique in Canada. All proposals are peer-reviewed by an independent external panel of national and international experts.

The U.S. has been a pioneer in high-intensity laser technology, and was home to the research that was recognized by the 2018 Nobel Prize in Physics. The network and future upgrades to LaserNetUS facilities will provide new opportunities for U.S. and international scientists in discovery science and in the development of new technologies.


A Real Virtual Presence at ASC 2020

Applied Superconductivity Conference 2020 header graphic

Click to go to the ASC 2020 site

The Applied Superconductivity Conference, normally an in-person event, is occurring virtually over a two-week period in this pandemic year. ATAP’s longtime deep relationship with ASC continues online. Steve Gourlay, retired director of our US Magnet Development Program and Berkeley Center for Magnet Technology, organized the short courses, and ATAP’s Paolo Ferracin, Tengming Shen, and Xiaorong Wang are among the instructors. Shen is also being honored with a major award at the event. Charlie Sanabria, Tiina Salmi, and Emmanuele Ravaioli, all alumni of our strong program of graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, and visiting scholars, are special-session conveners, and Ravaioli is giving a Young Scientist Visions plenary lecture.

ATAP Aids in Accelerator Improvements At ALS

ALS-U diagram

ALS-U will add accumulator ring (inner concentric ring), replace storage ring

The Advanced Light Source traditionally shuts down during the summer for scheduled upgrades, as well as maintenance activities, that cannot be performed otherwise at a highly subscribed national user facility. This deeply involves ATAP Division, which provides accelerator-physics support to the ALS and is helping design the ALS Upgrade (ALS-U). Ina Reichel reported for ALS News on this year’s shutdown, including these ATAP-relevant highlights.

With all the changes due to COVID-19, it is no surprise that this summer’s ALS shutdown was also affected. It began later (August instead of July) and was shorter than originally scheduled (about six weeks instead of three months). The original two drivers of the shutdown—installation of new modulators for the linac rf and the storage ring alignment—were postponed. Nevertheless a number of smaller activities, many in preparation for the ALS Upgrade (ALS-U), were accomplished.

A long-term project to upgrade the fast orbit feedback progressed during this shutdown. The upgrade will increase the fast orbit feedback bandwidth from the present hundred Hz to kHz-class, allowing better control of the electron beam position in the ring and ultimately better photon position in the beamlines.

In order to upgrade the orbit feedback, new vacuum chambers were installed in six corrector magnets. The old ones were aluminum, whereas the new ones are stainless steel, allowing changes to the magnetic fields from the corrector to penetrate faster through the wall due to their lower conductivity. Many chambers have already been installed during previous shutdowns. The final four will be installed in January 2021.

We’re Developing a Following @ Social Media

LinkedIn header

ATAP has a new social media presence, where Ina Reichel, assisted by Axel Huebl and Joe Chew and advised by Asmita Patel, will be keeping readers of LinkedIn and Science Twitter apprised of our achievements.

Check it out, and please consider following us and tagging us in your own professionally relevant tweets and postings.


ATAP Virtual Retreat Emphasizes IDEA, Team Building, Adaptive Leadership

Screenshot of Zoom retreat participantsScreenshot of Zoom retreat participantsScreenshot of Zoom retreat participants

An online Division Retreat August 18-19, 2020 provided tools and space for strategic planning and a sense of community in a virtual setting. Aditi Chakravarty from Berkeley Lab’s HR division helped organize and facilitate the first virtual retreat in this COVID 19 pandemic era “next normal” work environment.

In two half-day sessions, a diverse variety of ATAP employees and leaders explored the themes of Developing our Strategy (Day 1) and Articulating our Story (Day 2) with the help of a professional facilitator. Exercises and discussions included
•  Team building
•  Thriving in the “new normal” of COVID-19
•  Exploring and re-enforcing the Lab’s stewardship culture and IDEA Initiative
•  Introducing the concept of “adaptive leadership” and the framework of SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) to drive reflection and conversations about program vision and strategy

We were initially skeptical about having a retreat via Zoom, but Aditi and her team made it work as a highly engaging and interactive event. The key now is to follow up and establish routines of learning and development. Resources from the Learning & Organizational Development group in Berkeley Lab’s Human Resources Division help support this.

Tom Scarvie Wins ALS Tim Renner User Services Award

Editor’s Note: Tom Scarvie is an ATAP staff member matrixed to the Advanced Light Source Division. The ALS originated in ATAP’s predecessor organization, AFRD, before becoming a division of Berkeley Lab in its own right. The two organizations have maintained a special relationship in which ATAP provides key accelerator-physics and accelerator-operations support to the ALS. The late Tim Renner, whose memory the award honors, was an AFRD scientist especially known for cancer-treatment technology R&D at the Bevalac, then moved to the ALS after the Bevalac was decommissioned in 1993. This story is by ALS Communications.

Tom Scarvie

Tom Scarvie, winner of the 2020 Renner Award

At this year’s ALS User Meeting, Tom Scarvie, head of the ALS Operations Group, was honored with the 2020 Tim Renner User Services Award. The ALS Users’ Executive Committee selected Scarvie “for coordinating all accelerator and beamline floor operator activities to provide reliable light to users safely.”

Scarvie came to the ALS in 1996 soon after graduating from UC Berkeley. In his last semester he took a class on x-ray physics taught by David Atwood, the first ALS scientific director. The course included a tour of the ALS, and when Scarvie saw a job posting for an ALS operator, he jumped at the chance. After a while he started asking the Accelerator Physics Group if he could take over some small tasks, and eventually he joined the group as a scientific engineering associate.

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“I came in through a different route than most of the people in the group,” Scarvie said, “but over time I just became fascinated with the technology and also the physics behind controlling particles as they travel around at the speed of light.” Eventually, Scarvie moved up into his current role of supervisor of the Operations Group.

Although the accelerator itself intrigues Scarvie, “Supporting the researchers in developing their science is really one of the joys of the job,” he said. “It’s very gratifying to enable cutting-edge science that has so much societal benefit, and also just building on the knowledge of the human race and the scientific advancements we’ve made is very rewarding.”

Although Scarvie spends much of his time focused on the machine, he encourages dialogue with the users. “Sometimes they’ll get funny-looking data on their experiments and don’t ever think it might be the accelerator instead of their experimental setup,” he said. “Come to the control room. The operators may not be able to answer the questions, but we know immediately who to go to to get the right answer.”

His efforts are appreciated by users. “Tom’s availability, courtesy, pragmatism, and friendly approach are well known on the ALS floor,” said Carolyn Larabell, director of the National Center for X-Ray Tomography. “He’s always ready, when possible, to extend operation when a user comes to the control room asking for those additional hours that would allow them to complete a measurement.”

The sentiments were echoed by Fernando Sannibale, ALS deputy for accelerator operations. “Tom systematically optimizes operation activities by simplifying and minimizing as much as possible the workload on beamline scientists and users, while maintaining the rigorous attention required for a reliable and safe operation. This is a difficult balance to achieve, and Tom is really a master in this,” he said.

It’s also worth noting that the last twelve months have not exactly been business as usual for the ALS. “It is not an easy task to coordinate and shut down a facility like the ALS in a safe and secure manner, and remarkably to resume operations in such a short time” said Marc Allaire, head of the Berkeley Center for Structural Biology, noting last fall’s series of PG&E public safety power shutoffs. “And of course now we are going through the time of the shelter-in-place and COVID-19. I am still amazed how the ALS was able to resume operations with a very limited number of staff, enabling critical research to be done on COVID-19 to stop this pandemic,” Allaire said.

Larabell agreed, noting that, “Under extraordinary and unprecedented conditions, Tom made sure ample beam was available for COVID-related experiments.”

“Not a month goes by where I’m not still kind of amazed that they give us the wheel of this amazing scientific instrument and trust us with keeping it working,” said Scarvie. When asked what a good day at the ALS looks like, he described two very different types of good days. “There’s a good day where everything is working perfectly and it’s very boring, and there’s a good day where something really complicated has failed and we need to fix it and collaborate to fix it,” he said. Let’s hope Scarvie has many more good days at the ALS, and that, for the users’ sake, they are mostly the boring type.

Tim Renner was a beamline scientist at the ALS whose battle with cancer cut short a career distinguished by a caring attitude and larger-than-life personality. This award recognizes the services of people across the ALS organization who have made outstanding contributions to the ALS user community.

Tengming Shen Wins Cryogenic Society’s Boom Award

Tengming ShenTengming Shen, a staff physicist in ATAP’s Superconducting Magnet Program, is being given the Roger W. Boom Award by the Cryogenic Society of America. The award will be presented on November 4th at the virtual 2020 Applied Superconductivity Conference.

The award cites “his outstanding research on high-temperature superconducting materials and magnets  and especially his contributions to  understanding the Bi-2212 round wire technology, improving its critical current density by intelligent processing, and demonstrating its excellent properties in prototype accelerator magnets.” It also recognizes Tengming’s activity in “educating and mentoring young research engineers, including underrepresented groups, within a U.S. Department of Energy national lab setting.”

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He and his team are working to transform high-Tc superconducting materials into practical magnet conductors in order to build a spectrum of powerful superconducting magnets impossible with low-Tc superconductors such as niobium-titanium (Nb-Ti) and niobium-three-tin (Nb3Sn). One goal is to use these new materials to build a high-field accelerator dipole that is 2.5 times more powerful than the 8.3 T Nb-Ti LHC main dipole, by taking advantage of their excellent ability to carry high current amid high magnetic fields (up to 100 T at 4.2 kelvins).

The work, if successful, will likely also open new avenues to building magnets similar in power to Nb-Ti and Nb3Sn magnets but operating at 20-77 K.  These would be potentially cheaper to operate than Nb-Ti and Nb3Sn magnets, which typically work at the liquid-helium temperatures of 1.8 or 4.2 K.

Bismuth-2212 is among the high-temperature superconductors being investigated by the program. Shen and his team are working to transform high-Tc superconducting material into practical magnet conductors in order to build a spectrum of powerful superconducting magnets impossible with traditional superconductors such as niobium-titanium (NbTi) and niobium-three-tin (Nb3Sn).

One goal is to use these new materials to build a high-field accelerator dipole that is 2.5 times more powerful than the 8.3 T Nb-Ti LHC main dipole, by taking advantage of their excellent ability to carry high current amid high magnetic fields (up to 100 T at 4.2 kelvins). The work, if successful, will likely also open new avenues to building magnets similar in power to NbTi and Nb3Sn magnets but operating at 20-50 K, potentially much cheaper to operate than NbTi and Nb3Sn magnets, which typically work at the liquid-helium temperatures of 1.8 or 4.2 K.

To effectively generate magnetic fields, practical superconductors need to carry a high engineering current density, Je, of 600 A/mm2 over long lengths. (Je=Ic/A: the critical current of the superconductor divided by the cross section of the composite superconducting wire.)  Tengming and his collaborators have succeeded in understanding microstructures and mechanisms that control Ic in superconducting wires of Bi-2212 (the only multifilamentary high-temperature superconducting cuprate round wire). Leveraging an industry, university, and national lab collaboration under the framework of ATAP-headquartered US Magnet Development Program, the team recently improved the Je of Bi-2212 industrial wires to 1000 A/mm2 at 4.2 K and 27 T and demonstrated that high Je and excellent quench properties are possible with coils fabricated from high-current Bi-2212 Rutherford cables. They are building prototype accelerator magnets using a canted-cosine-theta design developed by Shlomo Caspi and colleagues in ATAP’s Superconducting Magnet Program.

His several other current endeavors include collaborations with Fermilab and Composite Technology Development, Inc., in Colorado a to develop advanced resin and insulation technologies for Nb3Sn accelerator magnets; with Berkeley Lab’s National Center for Electron Microscopy and the University of California, Berkeley to develop 1-kelvin Nb-Ti superconducting electron microscopes; with Brookhaven National Lab,  KEK and Kyoto University to develop HTS magnets for a high radiation environment; and with an ATAP team led by Lucas Brouwer to develop achromatic, cryogen-free high-Tc magnets for proton therapy gantries.

Tengming is a former Peoples Fellow at Fermilab and recipient of a prestigious Early Career Research Program award from the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of High Energy Physics. He received his Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the Florida State University in 2010 with a thesis work at the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory.

The Roger W. Boom Award is named in honor of the late emeritus professor from the University of Wisconsin. Dr. Boom’s career spanned more than thirty years, during which he motivated a great number of young scientists and engineers to pursue careers in cryogenic engineering and applied superconductivity. This award was created by the CSA to be given to a young professional (under 40 years of age) who “shows promise for making significant contributions to the fields of cryogenic engineering and applied superconductivity. The spirit of the Boom Award is to recognize young people for their pursuit of excellence, demonstration of high standards and clear communications.

Recordings Available of Research Slam Talks

Ligia Diana Amorim Accelerator Modeling Program postdoc Lígia Diana Pinto de Almeida (Diana) Amorim competed in the final round of the third annual Berkeley Lab Research Slam.

In this popular event, styled after poetry and storytelling “slams,” early-career scientists hone their communication and outreach skills as they compete to tell compelling stories about their work in 3 minutes or less. A $3000 grand prize awaited the winner.

The Slam (virtual this time) was live-streamed September 17. If you couldn’t join live, you can catch the full event at to learn more about what some of the brightest young minds through the Lab are doing. A standalone version of Diana’s talk is available on YouTube.

Meanwhile, you can learn more about Diana in
•    A “3Q4” interview by Berkeley Lab Strategic Communications, part of their “Driving Research” series.
•    This 2019 article on the LBNL Postdoc Association website (which features a recorded video of a Slam-like event at Brookhaven).
•    Her LinkedIn page.

A look at the people behind the science…


Welcome to Profiles, a new feature of the ATAP Newsletter. In each issue we will put three questions to someone from our staff. For this premiere issue, meet two of our people: Paolo Ferracin of the Superconducting Magnet Program and (in a reprint from the Labwide newsletter Elements that inspired our format) ATAP Deputy Division Director for Operations Asmita Patel.

Paolo Ferracin

Paolo Ferracin

Paolo’s career has bridged CERN and Berkeley Lab. After being a research associate and doctoral student at CERN in the late 1990s, he earned his doctorate in 2002 at Politecnico di Torino, Turin, Italy, where his thesis topic was mechanical and magnetic analysis of the Large Hadron Collider main dipole. Paolo then came to our Superconducting Magnet Program as a postdoctoral researcher and was hired as a staff scientist. In 2011 he moved back to CERN as a staff scientist and project leader, highly involved with the US LHC Accelerator Research Program (LARP), then the vehicle for US technical participation in the LHC accelerators. Last year he was successfully recruited back to Berkeley Lab as a Senior Scientist. He serves as a researcher and as deputy in our Superconducting Magnet Program.

What attracted you to Berkeley Lab?

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I have always considered Berkeley Lab a unique laboratory. Throughout my career, I have worked on the R&D of superconducting magnets for particle accelerators. This activity is usually carried out in laboratories dedicated to particle accelerators for nuclear physics or high energy physics applications. Instead, the work performed by the Lab’s Superconducting Magnet Program (SMP), which I joined in February 2020, is done within the framework of a multiprogram science laboratory. The broad spectrum of scientific activities, which include, in the ATAP Division, different technologies of particle accelerators, and, in the other division, energy, environment, computing and bio science, make Berkeley Lab an incredibly stimulating environment. And this is what attracted me here.

From your standpoint, what were the highlights and challenges you had to overcome in FY2020?
Ahh, 2020! How will we ever forget this year?! Well, shelter-in-place was established due to the spread of the COVID-19 in the Bay Area just a few weeks after I started working in the Superconducting Magnet Program. So, adjusting to what has been recurrently called the “new normal” was not easy. Working amidst the uncertainty of the course of the pandemic was for me, and I imagine for many others, the biggest challenge. But I must say that I have been impressed by the resilience of the group and of the Lab in general, and by how everybody, really everybody, worked hard and managed to adjust their work style and schedule in such a way that we could continue to carry out advanced R&D in these difficult times.

What will you focus on in FY2021?
I hope that one of the focuses for next year will be to go back to “good old normal”, characterized by in-person meetings and face-to-face discussions with colleagues on the next generation of superconducting magnets. Apart from this social aspect, and more specifically on the SMP activities, we will continue assembling 4.2 m long Nb3Sn magnets to be shipped to CERN for the High-Luminosity project. For sure, new and interesting analysis on magnet performance will come from the large amounts of data generated by these magnets. Also, we are entering the engineering design phase of the Test Facility Dipole, a large aperture magnet for High energy and Fusion applications, which will explore the limits of Nb3Sn superconducting technology. Finally, as part of the Magnet Development Program, we will continue the R&D towards the next generation of particle accelerator magnets, addressing quench performance and the use of new “High-Temperature” superconductors. So, I am sure it will be a very exciting year for the superconducting magnet community. 

Asmita Patel

Adapted from the September 28, 2020 issue of the “Three Questions For…” column by LBNL Strategic Communications.

3Q4 logo and picture of Asmita PatelLast year the Lab was faced with two Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPSs), which provided unique challenges to a large scientific community such as the Lab. This week we talked with ATAP’s Deputy Division Director for Operations, Asmita Patel, one of the Mission Support Officers who went through the PSPS experience last year and have been preparing for more this season.

After earning a PhD in molecular biology from the University of California, Riverside, Asmita conducted postdoctoral research at UC Santa Barbara. Before coming to LBNL, she worked over 16 years in biotech, healthcare, and diagnostics in the private sector.
 Over the years she earned an executive MBA from the Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley. Asmita came to Berkeley Lab in 2010, working for the Life Sciences Division and then the Physical Sciences Area before taking her present position in 2014.

Asmita was selected to participate in the 2017 UC-Coro, a systemwide leadership program. She has also both participated and facilitated in the SAFE (Safety Academy for Excellence) Workshop, a multi-laboratory collaboration among Berkeley Lab and Argonne and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories. Asmita is also part of the Lab’s Emergency Response Team. As the Lab prepared for the PSPSs, she spent many hours last October in the Lab’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) preparing for a shutoff of power, then coordinating the methodical effort to bring equipment in the Physical Sciences Area safely back on line.

How was the experience of working collaboratively within the EOC?

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Teamwork at its best! The first PSPS was unprecedented, and we had to achieve vertical launch. All Lab Operations and Scientific divisions collaborated effectively to power down the equipment, ensure a safe and secure mode throughout the PSPS, and work with a truly dedicated Facilities group during re-energization. All the Mission Support Officers helped each other, and my existing network of relationships across the Laboratory proved extremely helpful. We were all committed to bringing everyone back to work safely.

What was the biggest challenge you faced last year with the PSPS?
We were still bringing equipment back up from the first PSPS when we had to begin planning for the second one. Coordinating site access for staff who needed to check on labs or equipment was a challenge at first. IT came up with a great solution, creating a live editable Google Sheet that allowed EOC staff to organize site access. By the second PSPS, we knew our roles and worked even more smoothly and effectively together.

What will you do differently this year if the Lab needs to go into shutdown and then return to full operations?
The biggest additional challenge this year would be observing COVID-19 hazard control measures while working together in the EOC and not being at the same table or room. Finding ways to make the most of virtual presence will be important. For longer-duration PSPSs, selected scientific/technical staff will need to conduct walkthroughs to check status of research labs/equipment. Prioritizing re-energization of key infrastructure such as chillers and HVAC will be required to expedite the restart of research equipment.


Make Your Online Meetings More Inclusive and Effective

Logo of LBNL's Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accountability OfficeThe social dynamics of online interaction are different, and that includes making everyone feel welcome and valued and getting the most out of your team. The Lab’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion office has posted ideas about how to run inclusive and effective virtual meetings. Their recent virtual brown bag seminar on the subject was recorded and is available online.

The Employee Resource Group All Access is an additional source of materials for making meetings and other activities more inclusive.


Glen Lambertson

Glen Lambertson, whose Berkeley Lab career in accelerator science and technology spanned more than half a century, passed away August 30 in Oakland, CA at the age of 94.

Raised in a farmhouse without electricity, Lambertson would become known for seminal contributions to some of the most advanced and nuanced aspects of particle accelerators, making possible the infrastructure of discovery.

Besides the “Lambertson septum” magnet that is a key part of so many accelerators, Glen made essential contributions to the understanding and control of instabilities in charged-particle beams. The most notable of the many applications in this area are the highly successful transverse and longitudinal feedback systems used at the ALS and PEP-II. Other outstanding contributions include stochastic cooling techniques, damping of higher-order modes in radio frequency cavities, and the understanding of the electron-cloud effect in modern storage rings. He also taught a microwave technology class at several US Particle Accelerator Schools, and in his characteristically quiet and unassuming way, influenced and mentored many accelerator scientists and engineers over the years.

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Glen was born January 14, 1926, near the small coal-mining town of Paonia, Colorado. From a young age he was raised by a single mother, along with his sister and older brothers, during the depth of the Great Depression, doing his homework by the light of a kerosene lantern.

A good student, Glen graduated from high school at 16 and earned a scholarship to the University of Colorado, Boulder—the first in his family to go to college. Just after his sophomore year, the chemical engineering major had to put his education on hold when he was drafted into the Army.

“Oh God, I’m in charge”

Glen Lambertson (center) and 10th Mountain Division comrades, New York City, 1946

Glen (center) and 10th Mountain Division comrades, New York City, 1946

Glen’s daughter Tali Pinkham and his son Roy recalled their father’s account of his wartime experiences. Having grown up in Colorado, he served in the “ski troops” (a capability not actually used during the war) of the Tenth Mountain Division, and fought in their campaign to push German forces out of the Apennines in northern Italy in 1945.

In the battle to take Mount Belvedere, his squad leader was wounded and the assistant squad leader was simultaneously killed by a hand grenade. The 19-year old Glen realized that it was up to him to lead the attack on his squad’s objective, a German gun emplacement, whereupon he thought, at age 19, on his first night of combat, “Oh God, I’m in charge.”

Glen went forward to shoot at the gun emplacement. He had two close calls with German “potato masher” hand grenades that night, and got wounded by friendly fire. A medic gave him morphine and he lay on the battlefield the rest of the night. In the morning he awoke to see German prisoners of war being marched downhill; the Tenth Mountain Division had taken Mount Belvedere.

In an army hospital, Glen’s life was saved by a wonder drug that was just then coming into mainstream use: penicillin. The battle had cost him a kidney and a rib, and he underwent multiple surgeries. He received the Purple Heart and was presented with the Bronze Star by General George P. Hays himself, the commander of the division.

Glen would not go into combat again, but was kept in Italy to do administrative work in a POW camp. After the war, he oversaw the task of sending prisoners back to their hometowns by train. He recalled that the POWs from eastern Germany would try to avoid getting sent back to that region, where they would be under the control of Soviet soldiers.

After a bout with appendicitis, Glen finally came home in 1946, and was able to resume his undergraduate studies at the University of Colorado.

Westward to the subatomic realm

At 22, Glen went to UC-Berkeley, where he earned a Master of Arts degree in physics. He began work toward his doctorate, but never completed it, as he was recruited by Berkeley Lab in 1949 and found accelerator technology to be a compelling interest.

Those years also brought a blind date with Betty Jean Smith, a graduate student at Berkeley. They married in 1950 and would remain together until she passed away in 2017.

Bill Wenzel, Bruce Cork, Glen Lambertson, and

L-R: William Wenzel, Bruce Cork, Glen, and Oreste Piccioni, discoverers of the antineutron in 1956. (LBNL photo)

Glen’s career began as an operator at the 184-inch Synchrocyclotron, occasionally with the Lab’s founder and director Ernest O. Lawrence reaching over his shoulder “to turn up a knob.” (Lawrence, a hard driver, wanted to push things to the point where they started to spark.) Moving to the new Bevatron, then the world’s highest-energy accelerator, he might have been part of the Nobel Prize-winning discovery of the antiproton in 1955, but a competing team went first. The following year he was a member of the team that used the Bevatron to discover the antineutron.

That would have been a promising start to any particle physics career, but the technology that provided the beams was in an exciting era of rapid progress as well. It was the beginning of the “Big Science” era, a concept born at Lawrence’s lab, in which interdisciplinary teams worked together on projects whose scale was uniquely suited to a national laboratory.

Glen’s career became more and more focused on accelerator technology. In the late 1960s, he helped invent a means of resonant extraction that could better divert beams out of the circular Bevatron and through evacuated tubes into an external particle beam hall. The “Lambertson septum” is used for beam injection and extraction in essentially all of today’s most powerful and important accelerators, such as the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. His inventions over the next four decades trace the history of advanced accelerators.

When Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory was formed in the 1960s, he was recruited by Robert Wilson, but soon returned to Berkeley. His association with Fermilab would remain long and productive, though, contributing to proton-antiproton (p-pbar) collider development, particularly in beam cooling (techniques to make a particle beam more orderly for sufficient interaction rate at experiments). In the late 1970s, following shortly after the developments by Simon Van der Meer of CERN in stochastic cooling, he and his team from Berkeley were the first to demonstrate the feasibility of stochastic phase-space cooling of antiprotons in a pilot experiment at the 200-MeV Fermilab cooling test ring. This technique would be an essential part of Tevatron p-pbar operation. He worked with Alvin Tollestrup of Fermilab in developing an electronic feedback system for stochastic cooling, based on a detector called the Schottky pickup. This work helped enable the Tevatron users’ independent validation CERN’s discovery of the W and Z Bosons at CERN and ultimately Fermilab’s discovery of the top quark. His techniques were adopted for rings at Brookhaven National Laboratory as well.

Glen Lambertson at bellows connecting beamlines

Making connections

In the mid 1970s he led the Experimental Superconducting Accelerator Ring (ESCAR) project, a first attempt to build a small (4 GeV) superconducting accelerator. The goal of ESCAR was to obtain data and experience for planning the larger superconducting machines of the future. While funds were not available to complete the project, two quadrants of dipoles were built and successfully tested, along with the necessary cryogenic and control system infrastructure. Part of the ESCAR legacy at Berkeley Lab is one of the world’s leading programs in superconducting magnets.

Glen also contributed to the design of the Superconducting Super Collider, numerous Snowmass studies for particle physics, analysis of feedback control of space-charge instabilities at Berkeley Lab’s Advanced Light Source, and radiofrequency devices and system design for control of beam instabilities at PEP-II. Berkeley Lab’s Jose Alonso, whose scientific and management career had a long overlap with Glen’s, described him as “one of those people we all looked up to, the guru for instrumentation and beam dynamics.”

Mentoring and inspiring a new generation of scientists and engineers

The mentorship that Glen had enjoyed in his early days at the Lab, he gave in turn. Generations of accelerator scientists and engineers have benefitted from his gentle and unassuming guidance. Longtime Berkeley Lab colleague Swapan Chattopadhyay, now at Fermilab and Northern Illinois University, was one of his protégés as a graduate student at Berkeley in the mid 1970s. He recalls Glen as a great teacher and mentor who could not only apply physical intuition to difficult subjects, but explain them very lucidly, and who taught at the US Particle Accelerator School on many occasions.

SLAC’s John Seeman worked with Glen in the conceptual design phase of the PEP-II B-meson “factory,” an extremely challenging electron-positron collider built at SLAC in the early-mid 1990s and operated through 2008. He recalls how Glen helped with very detailed calculations and designs for the electromagnetic characteristics of some the most high-powered and beam-interactive components of the storage rings. These devices included megawatt copper RF cavities with higher-order-mode loads and also kilovolt stripline beam feedback kickers; the difficulty was making sure that the ampere beam currents did not destroy these in-vacuum components. Seeman recalls how “Glen’s ability to visualize the electromagnetic effects and their consequences made him crucial for our project. He had a tremendous grasp of the resulting beam heating and pulsed effects on the components and, thus, knew what to do about them.”

He adds, “In addition to being an excellent accelerator physicist, he was a very personable fellow and a great friend to the whole project team.”

John Corlett, now Berkeley Lab’s project management officer, recalls his days as a young scientist, when Glen was a personal and professional role model to him. He cites Glen was very influential in understanding beam stability in storage rings, and in designing broadband feedback systems that control the charged particle bunches in these rings. Early days at the ALS demonstrated high-frequency feedback systems, for which Glen’s contributions in design were critical. Following these demonstrations, Glen was a leading participant in the team that designed and built feedback systems for PEP-II, which were essential to maintain the high current beams stored in the B-Factory rings.

Though he left formal employment in 1991, Glen was one of the many Berkeley Lab scientists to continue their contributions in retirement, working on an impedance study of the LHC Y-Chamber, as well as the muon accelerator program. He remained a contributor to particle accelerator science and technology via conferences and workshops into the 21st century.

Berkeley Lab scientist Harvey Gould, who worked with a long-retired Lambertson on a team developing focusing and decelerating elements and a storage ring for neutral polar molecules, recalls, “At 80 years old, he was just about the fastest learner I have worked with and had the best grasp of effects and consequences. We presented a poster at an accelerator conference and were visited by most of the big names in the field, including a Nobel Laureate or two. They had come by in hopes of finding and talking to Glen. Glen was, of course, at one of the sessions seeing what new things he could learn about.”

Hiroshi Nishimura, who worked with him at the Advanced Light Source and then on atomic and molecular beams, adds, “Glen was generous with his time, kind in his explanations, and skilled at bridging the generational gap. All who were privileged to work with him will miss him.”

Recognition of his contributions included election to Fellowship in the the American Physical Society (1989), the US Particle Accelerator School Prize for Achievement in Accelerator Physics and Technology (1991), and the Robert R. Wilson prize of the American Physical Society (2006).the American Physical Society’s 2006 Robert R. Wilson Prize for Achievement in the Physics of Particle Accelerators. Berkeley Lab’s Lambertson Beam Electrodynamics Laboratory was named in his honor.

A life in full

Glen, Jean, and grandchildren

Glen, Jean, and two of their seven grandchildren at Donner Pass

To colleagues, so many of whom he would call friends as well, he was a figure of towering capability, yet a delight to work with. To his family, he was gentle and kindly Grandpa Glen, a man of good nature and bad puns.

Tali recalls life at their Art Deco home in the Oakland hills as a parade of visiting scientists from around the world. Along the way came a sabbatical at CERN in Geneva, along with a trip to Russia that Tali remembers as a major influence on him. The influence of his stay at CERN includes his taste in cars; he drove a series of Citroens, and enjoyed working on them over the weekends. His experiences in Europe influenced their taste in food and drink (he was a lover of fine wine) as well; and he and Jean traveled the world in retirement.

An avid skier until age 82, he taught the sport to all seven of his grandchildren. In 1969 he designed an A-frame cabin and had it built near Donner Pass, “every surface finished to perfection,” as Tali recalls, much as if it were one of his RF devices at work.

Glen was preceded in death by his wife Jean and his siblings Wayne Lambertson, George Lambertson, and Mary Draper. He is survived by children Tali Pinkham and her husband Daniel Pinkham, Roy Lambertson and his wife Leah Lambertson, and Dean Lambertson and his wife Mary Gaines, along with grandchildren Hannah Pinkham, Claire Pinkham, Andrew Pinkham, Clayton Lambertson, Elena Lambertson, Kelly Lambertson, and Trevor Lambertson.

The input and assistance of family members Tali Pinkham and Roy Lambertson, and colleagues Jose Alonso, John Byrd, Swapan Chattopadhyay, John Corlett, Ben Feinberg, Harvey Gould, Derun Li, John Seeman, and John Staples, was invaluable in preparing this appreciation of Glen’s life and work. Photos courtesy Tali Pinkham and Roy Lambertson except as noted.



Alan Jackson

Alan enjoying retirement in Florida.

On September 28, 2020, retired ATAP accelerator physicist Alan Jackson died of cardiac arrest while visiting family in the UK. A longtime leader in the accelerator physics community, Alan had a hand in building synchrotron light sources the world over.

Alan began his career in 1968 at what would become the world’s first dedicated x-ray synchrotron light facility, the Synchrotron Radiation Source (SRS) in Daresbury, UK. In 1985, he came to Berkeley Lab, where he headed the accelerator physics group of the ALS during its design, construction, and early years of operation.

More …

Alan Jackson in his Daresbury years

The Daresbury years. Left: When Alan started there in 1968, Daresbury was a high-energy physics laboratory, and he worked on a diamond target for NINA, a 5-GeV electron synchrotron. Intended for particle physics, NINA soon came to be used as a synchrotron radiation source. The SRS, first purpose-built synchrotron light source, was approved for construction in 1974 and produced first light in 1980. Right: Celebrating the last SRS magnet to be measured at their new computer-controlled magnet measurement facility, ca. 1979. (From “Accelerator Science at Daresbury—the early years,” a slide presentation by Vic Suller of Louisiana State University)

Jay Marx, Ronald Yourd, Brian Kincaid, and Alan Jackson at the ALS construction site. (Marilee B Bailey/Berkeley Lab)

“He was one of the founding fathers of the ALS,” recalled Howard Padmore, ALS photon science development lead. Other colleagues had a ready list of his numerous accomplishments and contributions.

“Alan had a major impact on the ALS in the design, construction, commissioning, and early operations phases,” said David Robin, now director of the ALS Upgrade Project. “He encouraged the accelerator team to push the boundaries of the accelerator to see what was possible. Almost everything we tried was new and we learned so much,” he added.

Alan’s work was at the very root of the ALS in the mid-1980s—pioneering the third generation of synchrotron light sources—and he played a key role in the team effort that led to its smooth commissioning and operation. Fernando Sannibale, current ALS deputy for accelerator operations, explained, “Following up on an original idea by Gaetano Vignola, Alan refined and implemented the novel triple-bend-achromat lattice at the ALS.” This type of “lattice,” or array of magnets that steer the electron beam in its orbit, was later adopted for a number of high-brightness synchrotron light sources worldwide in the energy range of the ALS.

“Yesss!” Alan Jackson (right), ALS accelerator group leader, along with Ben Feinberg, ALS head of operations, and accelerator operator Cheryl Hauck, cheer the moment the ALS ceased being simply an electron accelerator and became a working light source. Time: 11:34 p.m., Oct. 4, 1993. Photo courtesy David Atwood, Berkeley Lab.

The intricacies of designing such a machine were compounded by the realities of repurposing a historical building atop a hill and near a fault line, but the team persevered, and the ALS achieved first light in 1993. Alan’s expertise in accelerator design continued to prove essential as the ALS moved to expand its portfolio. Together with Werner Joho of Paul Scherrer Institute, he had another idea that would greatly extend the user service at the ALS: installing superconducting bend magnets.

Each of the 12 sets of triple-bend achromats was made up of a series of three magnets, the magnets on either end mirroring each other. This symmetrical arrangement enabled the center magnet to be replaced without undesirable effects, so superconducting dipoles were substituted in the center position in three sectors of the storage ring. The three Superbends were commissioned in Fall 2001 and have provided light for Nobel-prize-winning work and world-leading programs in structural biology, high-pressure diffraction, microdiffraction, chemical crystallography, and tomography ever since.

Alan served as deputy director of the Accelerator and Fusion Research Division and as head of its Superconducting Magnet Program before his retirement from the Lab in 2008. His experience made him the natural candidate to lead the development of the Australian Synchrotron. Impressed with their visit to Berkeley Lab, a senior delegation from Australia asked Alan to be the technical director for their design task group.

“Alan was highly regarded in his field,” wrote Dean Morris, head of operations for the Australian Synchrotron. Alan’s four years there helped the project quickly design a storage ring and achieve first light in a relatively short period of time. “He made a lot of friends when he was in Australia and will be sorely missed by many,” said Morris.

Former Director of the Accelerator and Fusion Research Division Bill Barletta encapsulated Alan’s personable and effective management style, saying, “He had superb relations with the technical and administrative staff and was an ideal source of ‘ground truth’ when those who knew firsthand would generally clam up to ‘the management.’” Robin agreed, saying, “Alan was a dynamic and supportive leader. As a young accelerator physicist, I remember those first few years of operation being tremendously exciting, fun, and fruitful.”

The global accelerator community mourns not just the loss of Alan’s expertise, but also his friendship and joie de vivre. Besides his distinguished contributions to accelerator physics, Alan greatly enjoyed life away from work and was an avid sailor, sports car enthusiast, and center of a wide network of friendship. Padmore said, “He was a larger-than-life person who lived life to the fullest and was the life and soul of ALS in its early years.” Kem Robinson, retired senior physicist and former head of the Lab’s Engineering Division and Project Management Office, concluded, “Alan wasn’t afraid to take on whatever needed to be done for the greater good. Yes, he will be missed.”

Alan, Ina Reichel, and Christoph Steier at a get-together of the ALS Accelerator Physics Group.

After an article by ALS Communications, with contributions by Joe Chew, John Corlett, Steve Gourlay, Cindy Lee, Howard Padmore, Ina Reichel, David Robin, Fernando Sannibale, and Tony Warwick. Top photo courtesy Christine Jackson.


Please see the Publications tab of this website for a complete listing.

S.K. Barber, J.H. Bin, A.J. Gonsalves, F. Isono, J. van Tilborg, S. Steinke, K. Nakamura (LBNL); A. Zingale, N.A. Czapla, D. Schumacher (Ohio State University); C.B. Schroeder, C.G.R. Geddes (LBNL); W.P. Leemans (presently DESY); and E. Esarey (LBNL), “A compact, high resolution energy, and emittance diagnostic for electron beams using active plasma lenses,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 116, 23 (11 June 2020), 234108;

Xiaorong Wang (LBNL); Dmytro Abraimov (National High Magnetic Field Laboratory); Diego Arbelaez, Timothy J. Bogdanof, Lucas Brouwer, Shlomo Caspi, Daniel Dietderich (LBNL); Joseph DiMarco (Fermilab); Ashleigh Francis (NHFML); Laura Garcia Fajardo, William Ghiorso, Steve Gourlay, Hugh Higley, Maxim Marchevsky, Maxwell A. Maruszewski (LBNL); Cory S. Myers (Fermilab and Ohio State University); Soren Prestemon, Tengming Shen, Jordan Taylor, Reed Teyber, Marcos Turqueti (LBNL); Danko C van der Laan, and Jeremy D Weiss (Advanced Conductor Technologies and University of Colorado, Boulder), “Development and performance of a 2.9 Tesla dipole magnet using high-temperature superconducting CORC® wires,” Superconductor Science and Technology (accepted 19 October 2020, in press),



— Staying safe amid the second wave of COVID-19


"Swiss Cheese" metaphor from Cleveland Clinic

The Swiss Cheese metaphor explains multiple layers of protection. (Cleveland Clinic)

As we have seen in Lab Director Mike Witherell’s e-mails, the Bay Area has been doing well at “flattening the curve” even as a second wave of the pandemic begins nationwide. Alameda County has one of the better records, and Berkeley is even better than the county in general.

COVID-19 visualization courtesy CDC


This is the context that has allowed Berkeley Lab to progress into the Pilot 2c phase of an interim new normal, with some 61 ATAP people individually approved by management to work onsite on any given day, after training on hygiene and social-distancing protocols and self-monitoring for symptoms.

Let’s keep going in the right direction! Wear a face covering, maintain social distance, and pay attention to hand-washing… not just at work, but when out in public places as well. For more information on how Berkeley Lab is re-opening safely and what you can do, visit

COVID-19 precautions at the Lab

Berkeley Lab precautions for working onsite. Click for details.

New Safety Training Module

A new training module, LBL 0014, “ISM Briefing for Return to Work” is now available. It is “recommended” training for all staff until the end of January 2021, at which time it will become mandatory for all staff.

Don’t Forget Your Flu Shot

The Lab is encouraging all personnel to get a flu shot. If you work on any Lab site and need to receive a flu vaccine, call Health Services at 510-486-6266 to schedule an appointment. If you are a teleworker, check with your personal health care professional and local pharmacies for your flu shot.

Working Onsite Means Emptying Our Own Personal Waste Bins

Recycling bins

In furtherance of social distancing and building occupancy limits, custodians are no longer entering offices and other individual workspaces to empty personal waste bins. If you come onsite to work, please sort your own materials into the centralized recyclables, compost, and landfill bins.

The Berkeley Lab Waste Guide shows what should go into each bin.

Eating At Your Desk Without Making Plastic Waste

Cutlery set

Reusable > disposable

To help reduce the use of disposable utensils when we are usually eating in our own offices, Sustainable Berkeley Lab is providing free stainless cutlery sets (one set per person) that come in a handy zippered pouch. Fill out the form, and one will be sent to your mailstop.