Research archive

Observations confirm link between massive stars and weird supernovas

Observations confirm link between massive stars and weird supernovas May 21, 2014:

Nearly three decades ago, UC Berkeley astronomer Alex Filippenko observed a weird supernova that puzzled him and his colleagues. Some theorized that it was caused by the explosion of an aged but massive star called a Wolf-Rayet star. A supernova observed last year confirms this suspicion.

Study finds hazardous flame retardants in preschool, childcare settings

Study finds hazardous flame retardants in preschool, childcare settings May 15, 2014:

A new study led by UC Berkeley researchers finds that flame retardants are prevalent indoors in preschools and daycare centers, potentially exposing young children to chemicals known to be hazardous.

Research on the literal edge of 2D semiconductors

Research on the literal edge of 2D semiconductors May 1, 2014:

Researchers at Berkeley Lab and UC Berkeley have recorded the first observations of a strong nonlinear optical resonance along the edges of single layers of molybdenum disulfide. The existence of these edge states is key to the use of molybdenum disulfide in nanoelectronics, as well as a catalyst for the hydrogen evolution reaction in fuel cells, desulfurization and other chemical reactions.

Map of fruit fly’s active genes has implications for understanding stress

Map of fruit fly’s active genes has implications for understanding stress March 19, 2014:

A group led by scientists from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has conducted the largest survey yet of how information encoded in an animal genome is processed in different organs, stages of development and environmental conditions. Their findings about the fruit fly paint a new picture of how genes function in the nervous system and in response to environmental stress.

Fierce solar magnetic storm barely missed Earth in 2012 with video

Fierce solar magnetic storm barely missed Earth in 2012 March 18, 2014:

UC Berkeley physicist Janet Luhmann & former postdoc Ying Liu report that a rapid succession of coronal mass ejections – the most intense eruptions on the sun – sent a pulse of magnetized plasma barreling into space & through Earth’s orbit on July 23, 2012. Had it hit Earth, it could have disrupted the electrical grid, satellites, GPS & our increasingly electronic lives.

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.