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Building Long Island's High-Tech Workforce

alternative energy workshop

At the alternative energy workshop, teachers use corn to make ethanol by adding enzymes that help break down the complex sugars to simple sugars. Yeast is then added for the conversion of sugar to ethanol.

In November, 500 local teachers participated in a professional development day, attending workshops at ten science and technology locations across Long Island as part of a Long Island STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) Hub event. Eighty of the teachers visited Brookhaven Lab, participated in hands-on workshops and visited the Lab’s state-of-the-art research facilities. After a brief Lab overview and welcoming address by John Carter of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Brookhaven Site Office, the visitors also had the opportunity to listen to a keynote talk by Lab researcher Thomas Butcher, who works on energy technologies.

The hands-on workshops focused on alternative energy technologies, accelerator physics, structural biology, scientific computation, genetic barcoding, and astronomy. The workshops were customized to build awareness about science and industries that are important to Long Island’s economy. They also examined the role STEM plays in the success of these industries, and how teachers are the champions who can incorporate these research topics into their curriculums, helping to build a workforce for high-tech jobs that drive the Long Island economy.

The Long Island STEM Hub is one of ten hubs formed in New York State as part of the SUNY-led Empire State STEM Learning Network.

For more information on Long Island STEM Hub visit:

2015-6077  |  INT/EXT  |  Media & Communications Office

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LHC Luminosity Upgrade Moves to Next Phase

3D cut of the LHC dipole

3D cut of the LHC dipole. Photo courtesy CERN

Recently, more than 230 scientists and engineers from around the world met at CERN to discuss the High-Luminosity LHC – a major upgrade to the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) that will increase the accelerator's discovery potential.

Luminosity is a crucial indicator of performance for an accelerator. It is proportional to the number of particles colliding within a defined amount of time. Since discoveries in particle physics rely on statistics, the greater the number of collisions, the more chances physicists have to see a particle or process that they have not seen before. 

The High-Luminosity LHC will provide more accurate measurements of fundamental particles and enable physicists to observe rare processes that occur below the current sensitivity level of the LHC. With this upgrade, the LHC will continue to push the limits of human knowledge, enabling physicists to explore beyond the Standard Model and Brout-Englert-Higgs mechanism.

"The LHC already delivers proton collisions at the highest energy," said CERN Director General Rolf Heuer. "The High-Luminosity LHC expects to produce 10 times more collisions over 10 years than the current LHC will in its first decade, and will therefore increase our potential to make discoveries."

The increase in luminosity will mean physicists will be able to study new phenomena discovered by the LHC, such as the Higgs boson, in more detail. The High-Luminosity LHC will produce 15 million Higgs bosons per year compared to the 1.2 million in total created at the LHC between 2011 and 2012. 

To learn more visit:

2015-6078  |  INT/EXT  |  Media & Communications Office

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Brookhaven Lab Wins Two R&D 100 Awards

Two technologies developed at Brookhaven Lab have received 2015 R&D 100 awards, which honor the top 100 proven technological advances of the past year as determined by a panel selected by R&D Magazine. The awards were announced recently at the R&D 100 Awards & Technology Conference in Las Vegas, NV. The winning technologies are the Active Superconducting Fault Current Limited for Electric Grid (aSFCL) and Binary Pseudo-Random Calibration Tool.

"I congratulate the researchers honored with 2015 R&D 100 Awards," said Brookhaven Laboratory Director Doon Gibbs. "The cutting-edge research and development performed at Brookhaven and at other national labs is helping to meet our energy challenges, strengthen our national security, and improve our economic competitiveness." 

Vyacheslav Solovyov, Nathalie Bouet, Peter Takacs

Brookhaven Lab's aFCL, developed by Vyacheslav Solovyov and Qiang Li of Brookhaven's Condensed Matter Physics & Materials Science Department, is a novel superconducting fault current limiter (FCL) that can transmit a large amount of electrical energy during the "on" state without any added conduction losses. FCLs are devices that protect grid equipment from fault currents. The device can rapidly interrupt the flow of energy when an emergency like a short circuit occurs. The devices can be connected in parallel units and programmed to operate at a specified current level. Unlike traditional superconducting FCLs, the fault current trigger of the aFCL can be set to a pre-determined value. These features can be achieved by coupling superconducting elements with a flat radio frequency (RF) coil. When a fault is detected, a RF generator applies a pulse of high-frequency voltage to the RF coil. The coil creates an alternating current magnetic field, which produces large inductive currents in the superconductor. The device is designed to be a compact FCL that can be installed in space-constrained urban substations. It also can be used to stabilize distributed generators for deregulated power systems.

Nathalie Bouet of Brookhaven's National Synchrotron Light Source II—a DOE Office of Science User Facility—and Peter Takacs from Brookhaven's Instrumentation Division developed the Binary Pseudo-Random Calibration Tool together with researchers from Lawrence Berkeley and Argonne national laboratories and Abeam Technologies, Inc. This new technology solves one of the most difficult problems in surface profile and imaging metrology: the quantitative characterization of the measuring instruments. Metrology techniques are used for calibration in practically all branches of modern industry, including scanning and transmission electron microscopes, x-ray microscopes, and atomic force microscopes. This tool is dedicated to the calibration of imaging and profiling systems from the macroscale to the nanoscale, providing the highest resolution ever achieved—1.5 nanometers. It is used to characterize all advanced imaging systems, from interferometers to electron microscopes. 

2015-6079  |  INT/EXT  |  Media & Communications Office

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  • December 10 – Community Advisory Council meeting, 6:30 p.m., Berkner Hall, Room B.

*The events above are free and open to the public. Visitors 16 and older must bring a photo ID for access to BNL events.

2015-6080  |  INT/EXT  |  Media & Communications Office