2023 has been an important year for Nuclear Science in the U.S. with the roll out of the new NSAC Long Range Plan (LRP) on Nuclear Science “A New Era of Discovery”. The research portfolio and strategic priorities developed for LBNL’s Nuclear Science Division, are well aligned with the priorities and recommendations articulated in the LRP, including the Electron Ion Collider (EIC) and Neutrinoless Double Beta Decay as top construction priorities. LBNL plans to make leading contributions to the EIC ePIC detector and is supporting two next generation Neutrinoless Double Beta Decay experiments, CUPID – as lead lab – and LEGEND. The November Division Retreat was a successful occasion to bring the whole division together and discuss not only our strategic goals but also focus on conversations around People Stewardship. It was great to see so many members of the NSD team in person and the engaged interactions during the session and the breaks.
This issue of the NSD Newsletter introduces the newly formed Neurodiversity Working Group, part of the Lab’s AllAccess Employee Resource Group (ERG), which aims to celebrate that diversity, develop community, and influence lab policy to hire, support, and retain neurodivergent employees.
On the technical side, the Newsletter introduces the recently launched modernized version of the Berkeley Lab Scintillator Library, which provides measured properties of many scintillating materials, and will advance modeling of scintillator response in support of a variety of applications. It also summarizes the exciting technical development of a graphene field-effect transistor (GFET) for applications as cryogenic signal amplifier and photo sensor.
We also learn about the advances in producing a new, innovative closed-loop coil for the MARS-D project, a 4th Generation Electron Cyclotron Resonance Ion Source (ECRIS). MARS-D will be able to achieve stronger fields than the current VENUS source at the 88-Inch cyclotron, further enhancing the already impressive current ion-beam capabilities. The end of the year saw the first delivery of a high-intensity 50Ti beam from the 88-Inch CCyclotron to the Berkeley Gas-filled Separator (BGS), using a new induction oven in VENUS. This sets us up for an exciting year ahead in the heavy element program.
It is great to see these science and technology developments as well as the advancement of our workplace culture. I am looking forward to an exciting year and wish everyone a healthy, safe, and successful year 2024.