Berkeley Lab

Latest ATAP News



Director’s Corner

Cameron Geddes

Cameron Geddes

In the latest edition of ATAP News, you can read about Qing Ji, a highly respected colleague and renowned researcher appointed to lead the Berkeley Accelerator Controls & Instrumentation Program. Qing’s appointment recognizes her significant contributions to advancing accelerator science, particularly in advanced accelerator concepts, ion beam technology, ion source applications in accelerator front end, neutron generators, and semiconductor manufacturing, as well as her commitment to advancing the mission and values of the Lab.

This September saw the first X-rays from the recently upgraded Linac Coherent Light Source X-ray free-electron laser—commonly referred to as LCLS-II—at the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. ATAP played a leading role in providing critical components for LCLS-II, the world’s most powerful X-ray laser, which is set to revolutionize our understanding of atomic-scale, ultrafast phenomena, with potential applications in several fields, including quantum materials, clean energy, and medicine.

ATAP-led research is poised to extend the capabilities of Associated Particle Imaging, a technique that uses neutrons and gamma rays to accurately measure the elemental composition of materials. The innovation could enable the measurement of surface carbon content in soil on agricultural lands, making it an important tool in the fight against climate change.

Researchers from ATAP and the Engineering Division have successfully wound over 2,200 kilometers (1,367 miles) of superconducting wire into cables for new magnets for the High-Luminosity Large Hadron Collider (LHC) Upgrade Project. This significant milestone in the project will increase the number of collisions in the LHC, potentially furthering our understanding of some of the biggest mysteries in physics, such as the origin of mass and the nature of dark matter and dark energy.

The BELLA Center at ATAP has received a share of $28.5 million in new funding from the Department of Energy Office of Science for LaserNetUS—a network of user facilities across the U.S. and Canada that operate ultrapowerful lasers. The funding will support experiments on BELLA’s two user facilities: the BELLA Petawatt laser and the Hundred-Terawatt Thomson laser.

Congratulations to ATAP’s Sam Barber, Asmita Patel, and the WarpX team for being honored in the 2023 Director’s Awards. The three awards will be presented at a November 8, 2023, ceremony in the Building 50 Auditorium at the Lab. Congratulations as well to Lieselotte Obst-Huebl from the BELLA Center, who was awarded the Outstanding Mentor Award for 2022, and Arianna Formenti and Edoardo Zoni from ATAP’s Accelerator Modeling Program, who were honored with the 2023 Outstanding STEM Volunteers Award. And congratulations to Eric Esarey, senior scientist and director of the BELLA Center, who was honored with the 2023 Department Merit Award by Michigan Engineering at the University of Michigan.

From September through October, we celebrated Hispanic & Latin American Heritage Month by raising a banner on September 15 in front of building 65A at the site’s main entrance. This and other events appreciate our Hispanic and Latino American colleagues and their contributions to advancing and supporting science.

Safety is integral to everything we do. ATAP partnered with colleagues from the Engineering Division, Fermilab, and Brookhaven National Laboratory for the 2023 Multi-Lab Safety Week. Held from October 2–6, 2023, the weeklong event supported and advanced our workplace safety culture, and this year included three SAFE workshops.

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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 (