Bringing Science Solutions to the World
Berkeley Lab develops science and technology solutions for the world by bringing together multidisciplinary teams of researchers, and creating world-class tools for scientific discovery. The following priorities and initiatives will ensure the Lab can deliver on this mission in the decades to come:
World-class facilities for the science of tomorrow
Science with the Advanced Light Source Upgrade
The Advanced Light Source (ALS) upgrade project will transform the ALS into the world’s brightest soft x-ray synchrotron light source, enabling scientists to better understand and develop the new materials and chemical systems that will drive energy, economic, and national security solutions. The upgraded ALS will enable science that cannot be performed on any existing or planned light source in the world.
Breakthrough Science at the Exascale
The increased computational power enabled by NERSC-9, combined with the ability to record, process, transmit, and analyze massive data sets, will accelerate discoveries across the Lab and beyond. In addition, new software tools targeted at exascale simulations will enable higher resolution modeling of accelerators, combustion, chemical reactors, exploding stars, and the early universe. And ESnet-6 will make the world’s fastest science network an even more powerful tool for discovery.
Discovery Science in Fundamental Physics
Berkeley Lab will continue to develop novel instrumentation designed for discoveries at the frontiers of fundamental physics. Highlights include building accelerator and detector upgrades that will enable new searches for physics beyond the Higgs boson at the Large Hadron Collider. The Lab is also completing two new detector projects that will enable discovery science at the cosmic frontier: LUX-ZEPLIN to search for dark matter underground, and the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument to explore dark energy in the universe.
Biological and Environmental Science at the Bayview Campus
The Lab is bringing its biological and environmental science programs together at the Bayview Campus, which is in the center of the main site. The Integrative Genomics Building will bring researchers from the Joint Genome Institute and the Systems Biology Knowledgebase (KBase) under one roof. And the proposed Biological and Environmental Program Integration Center (BioEPIC) will enable scientists to examine and manipulate biological and environmental processes across scales of space and time, from molecules to ecosystems and from nanoseconds to decades. The co-location of these programs with Berkeley Lab’s other facilities will accelerate progress in biological computing and next-generation biological imaging.
Lab-wide initiatives for breakthrough research
Machine Learning for Science
The Lab is developing advanced machine learning methods to analyze complex data sets that arise in DOE science and applied energy applications, such as biology and the environment, materials data from observation and simulation, high-end communication networks, and energy systems. It will also bring this perspective to data analysis problems in cosmology, particle physics, nuclear physics, and other areas. Go here for more information.
The need for sustainable water and energy systems requires new approaches to guide future investments in both energy and water infrastructure, and to ensure resiliency at a range of scales. The Lab has created a community of researchers working on water-energy challenges called the Water-Energy Resilience Research Institute. The group’s focus includes: advanced water treatment and reuse, sustainable groundwater management, and watershed/climate modeling and predictive performance.
Berkeley Lab has been at the forefront of electron microscopy (EM) for four decades, and the EM facility at the Molecular Foundry’s takes great advantage of the Foundry’s strengths in materials synthesis and theory. The Lab will continue its leadership role by enhancing the scientific reach of electron beam-based characterization across a range of length and time scales, combining techniques developed in the microscopy of hard, soft, and biological matter.
An accelerating population of more than seven billion people is severely stressing the Earth’s ability to provide food, water and energy. Microbes – the most abundant and diverse form of life on our planet – may hold a solution. This promise has led to the conceptual development of the proposed Biological and Environmental Program Integration Center (BioEPIC). Other efforts include advancing the development of proto-BioEPIC science capabilities, such as the fabrication of model ecosystems and advancing machine learning for the environment.
Next Generation Microelectronics
Working with the U.S. semiconductor industry, the Lab is reimagining the digital computing paradigm starting from new materials and physical concepts, as well as new architectures and novel technologies that could lead to unprecedented computing efficiency. Berkeley Lab has the ability to leverage its existing core capabilities, facilities, and expertise to advance this important national need.
Quantum Information Science
Berkeley Lab and UC Berkeley have leadership capabilities in the underlying research and technology developments that are needed to capitalize on quantum information science for quantum computing and scientific discovery. This partnership will leverage the broader Bay Area ecosystem to advance U.S. quantum capabilities by conducting basic research, fabricating and testing quantum-based devices, and educating the next generation of researchers.
Solid State Energy Storage
Solid state energy storage can provide high energy density combined with excellent safety, but the technology must overcome diverse materials and processing challenges. Berkeley Lab scientists are developing new ideas to assemble, characterize, and develop materials and devices for solid state batteries. This initiative spans from fundamental research to device fabrication, and requires coordinated efforts in computational materials discovery, machine learning, and advanced characterization and fabrication techniques.
Genetically Encoded Composites (GECO)
Organisms make inorganic-organic composites using less energy and with superior functionality compared to synthesized materials. This initiative seeks to further scientists’ understanding of how these composite materials are produced biologically, with the goal of harnessing the processes to make new materials for environmental and energy applications. Lab scientists will work to identify the genetic controls of inorganic biomaterials, create new ways to engineer the materials, and develop computational models for predicting material properties.