Research archive

Bancroft Library papyrus, an ancient Egyptian soldier’s letter home, deciphered

Bancroft Library papyrus, an ancient Egyptian soldier’s letter home, deciphered March 7, 2014:

A newly deciphered letter home dating back around 1,800 years reveals the pleas of a young Egyptian soldier named Aurelius Polion who was serving, probably as a volunteer, in a Roman legion in Europe. The papyrus, part of the Bancroft Library’s Tebtunis collection, was recently translated by Grant Adamson, a doctoral candidate at Rice University.

Colored diamonds are a superconductor’s best friend

Colored diamonds are a superconductor’s best friend March 6, 2014:

Physicists Dmitry Budker of UC Berkeley and Ron Folman of Ben-Gurion University show that color centers in diamonds, among the most sensitive magnetic sensors known today, can help researchers learn about the much ballyhooed but still mysterious high-temperature superconductors.

Scientists show which surfaces attract clingy Staph bacteria

Scientists show which surfaces attract clingy Staph bacteria March 4, 2014:

Berkeley Lab and UC Berkeley researchers are investigating how shapes and surface texture influence the adhesion of infectious Staphylococcus Aureus bacteria. Their work could lead to a more nuanced understanding of what makes a surface less inviting to bacteria.

Closest, brightest supernova in decades is also a little weird

Closest, brightest supernova in decades is also a little weird February 27, 2014:

When supernova SN2014J was first noticed in January 2014, astronomers called it the closest and brightest supernova in decades. Berkeley astronomer Alex Filippenko and his team found that it is also weird: it brightens faster than expected for Type Ia supernovae, which are used to measure cosmic distances. The finding may reveal unsuspected new physics inside these exploding stars.

Forever Valentine: Study shows marriage gets better in old age with video

Forever Valentine: Study shows marriage gets better in old age February 11, 2014:

Love, marriage, kids — and then what? UC Berkeley psychologist Robert Levenson looks back on his longitudinal study of 156 middle-aged and older couples in the San Francisco Bay Area who survived the slings and arrows of early wedlock.

Seafloor carpet catches waves to generate energy with video

Seafloor carpet catches waves to generate energy January 28, 2014:

UC Berkeley engineers are developing a seafloor carpet system to capture ocean wave energy and convert it into usable electricity. The system could eventually help lower the cost of converting seawater into fresh water, easing the pressure during periods of drought.

CITRIS joins Newsom in launch of California Report Card

CITRIS joins Newsom in launch of California Report Card January 28, 2014:

How would you grade your state’s elected officials? A new app developed by CITRIS researchers in partnership with Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom will let you voice your opinion with ease.

Scientists to monitor California kelp for Fukushima radiation

Scientists to monitor California kelp for Fukushima radiation January 14, 2014:

Researchers from Cal State-Long Beach, Berkeley Lab and UC Berkeley have launched “Kelp Watch 2014,” a scientific campaign to determine the extent of radioactive contamination of the state’s kelp forest from Japan’s damaged Fukushima nuclear power plant following the March 11, 2011, earthquake and tsunami.