Berkeley Lab

Lindau Honors for BELLA Center’s Marlene Turner

Marlene Turner in lab

Marlene Turner adjusts optical equipment at the Berkeley Lab Laser Accelerator Center. Click for larger version. (Credit: Berkeley Lab/Thor Swift)

Marlene Turner, a postdoctoral scholar in ATAP Division’s Berkeley Lab Laser Accelerator (BELLA) Center, has been named as a participant in this year’s Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting.

Once every year, Nobel Laureates are invited to meet the next generation of leading scientists: undergraduates, PhD students, and postdoctoral researchers from all over the world. The meeting has been held in Lindau, Germany, but due to COVID restrictions, this year’s event must be virtual. The 600-plus participants will attend lectures and interactive sessions with a record 80 Nobel laureates from around the world June 27 to July 2.

“What I am looking forward to the most,” says Turner, “are the discussions on what enabled successful scientists to make groundbreaking discoveries or technological advances. What do they believe was the most crucial skill they acquired and what enabled them to think creatively and break the knowledge frontier?”

With interests rooted in both high-energy physics and accelerator science and technology, Turner works with the BELLA Petawatt laser and is involved in experiments with “staging”—using the output of one laser plasma accelerator as the input to another, thus achieving higher energies than a single stage could produce. This is a key step on the road to the ultimate goal of an LPA-based collider for high-energy physics. Turner is presently working with BELLA Center colleagues to set up a second beamline to facilitate these and other experiments.

Turner is one of three Berkeley Lab participants in this year’s Lindau meeting; the others are postdoctoral scholar Lindsay Bassman (Computing Sciences Area) and Michael Whittaker from the Earth and Environmental Sciences Area. All three were chosen by the University of California President’s Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting Fellowship program, now in its second year, which includes Berkeley Lab in its selection process.

To learn more…

•  Turner’s personal and technical journey—from a childhood of car projects and robot battles to her present work with laser plasma accelerators—was the subject of a Three Questions For… feature in the February 2021 issue of ATAP News.

•  One of Turner’s fellow BELLA Center postdoctoral scholars, Lotti Obst-Huebl, gave a Lindau alumni presentation last year.

•  Learn more about Turner and the Lab’s other Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting participants at