Berkeley Lab

ATAP News, August 2023


Director’s Corner

Cameron Geddes

Cameron Geddes

Advances in particle accelerators and the research and applications they enable depend on increasingly powerful, reliable, and cost-effective superconducting magnets. In this month’s issue of ATAP News, read about the work that a team led by Ian Pong, a staff scientist in our Superconducting Magnet Program, is doing to help build new magnets that use superconducting cables made from niobium-tin. These magnets promise to extend the capabilities of today’s and future accelerators and realize the potential of fusion.

Researchers from our Fusion Science & Ion Beam Technology Program, working with colleagues from the Lab’s Materials Science Division and Molecular Foundry and the Departments of Electrical Engineering & Computer Sciences and Materials Science & Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley, have demonstrated the first on-demand quantum light source using silicon. The technology could lay the groundwork for quantum networking devices that could one day form the backbone of a quantum internet.

In ongoing efforts to address climate change, a team of researchers led by scientists from ATAP is developing a new technology for measuring the carbon content of soil. The technology promises a more accurate and cost-effective way of quantifying soil carbon. It could be an important tool for fighting climate change and developing more ecologically friendly forms of agriculture. The work is supported by funding from the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management and Office of Technology Transitions.

The same technology is also being used by a team of researchers from ATAP and NASA to develop a powerful new imaging tool for probing the surface composition of planets. Supported by funding from NASA’s Planetary Instrument Concepts for the Advancement of Solar System Observations, the project aims to develop the next generation of nuclear spectrometers capable of imaging a planet’s surface. It could help answer some fundamental questions in planetary science, geochemistry, and astrobiology.

We are happy to announce that ATAP’s Sam Barber and Lucas Brouwer have recently been selected by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science to receive funding through the Early Career Research Program. Our congratulations to Sam and Lucas!

As part of the Lab’s commitment to supporting our military veterans and expanding the diversity of people we hire, four representatives from across the Lab attended the Travis Air Force Base Career Fair in June. They were looking to actively recruit veterans with the skills, expertise, and experience that align with the needs of the Lab.

Following the success of last year’s Multi-lab Safety Week, ATAP is partnering with the High-Luminosity LHC Accelerator Upgrade Program team at Fermilab, the Magnet Division at Brookhaven National Laboratory, and the Engineering Division at Berkeley Lab for a 2023 Multi-lab Safety Week. The event will be held October 2–6, 2023, and this year will include a SAFE workshop. So, save the dates!

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Written by Carl A. Williams or other authors as credited.

For more information on ATAP News articles, contact Carl A. Williams (