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  • Berkeley Lab Names New Advanced Light Source Director
Aug 2006
BERKELEY, Calif., Aug. 16, 2006 -- Roger Falcone, a physicist whose specialty is the use of ultrafast pulses of x-ray and laser light to study phenomena in condensed matter, molecular and atomic physics, has been named the new director of the Advanced Light Source (ALS) at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, effective Sept. 1.

RogerFalcone.jpg“Roger Falcone has been a leader in the fields of ultrafast science and x-ray studies of advanced materials,” said Berkeley Lab Director Steven Chu in a statement announcing the appointment. “He has a broad understanding of the fields of interest to the ALS user community and is extremely well poised to lead the ALS into the future of soft x-ray science and technology. As former chair of the physics department at UC-Berkeley, Roger has proven leadership experience. We look forward to a wonderful and exciting new era at the ALS under his direction."

Falcone succeeds interim ALS director Janos Kirz. In June 2004, Kirz replaced Daniel Chemla, who was sidelined by illness.

Berkeley Lab’s ALS is an electron synchrotron radiation source designed to accelerate electrons to relativistic speeds (near light speed) and energies of nearly two billion electron volts (2 GeV), focus them into a hair-thin beam, and send the beam around the curved path of a storage ring for several hours. Beams of photons, primarily x-rays, are extracted from the electron beam in the storage ring through use of bend, wiggler, or undulator magnetic devices. These beams service a wide range of research, including protein crystallography, nanotechnology and femtosecond spectroscopy.

As a US Department of Energy national user facility, Berkeley Lab's research capabilities are available to qualified researchers throughout the world. Thousands of scientists have done research there since it was opened in 1993, including Falcone.

Among other achievements, he was the co-author, along with Robert Schoenlein, of a proposal that brought in beamlines 6.0.1 and 6.0.2, dubbed the "Ultrafast X-Ray Facility," which are optimized for the generation of femtosecond x-ray pulses. A femtosecond represents one millionth of a billionth of a second, and is the timescale upon which chemical bonds are formed or broken, or materials transition from one phase to another. The Ultrafast X-Ray Facility is the first such facility at a synchrotron radiation source.

“I have been involved with the ALS as a user for 10 years and with the Berkeley campus and lab community for over 20 years,” Falcone said. “I greatly enjoy working with the people here, from the staff to visiting scientists. We have an exceptionally committed and talented group at the ALS, and a world-class facility that our supporters in Washington recognize as a national treasure.”

Falcone earned his undergraduate degree in physics at Princeton University in 1974 and his MS and PhD in electrical engineering from Stanford University in 1976 and 1979, respectively. Following a three-year fellowship with the applied physics department at Stanford, he joined the faculty of UC-Berkeley’s physics department in 1983. He became a full professor in 1991, and served as department chair from 1995-2000. Currently, he is co-director of UC-Berkeley’s participation in California Teach, a statewide program aimed at producing 1000 new science and math teachers each year for the California K-12 classrooms. He is also the director of a new UC multicampus research program, the Institute for Materials Dynamics Under Extreme Conditions. This program supports activities in ultrafast and high energy density sciences at all UC campuses and laboratories.

Falcone is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, the Optical Society of America and American Association for the Advancement of Science. He has also been an active member of the synchrotron light source community; he became a faculty staff scientist at the ALS in 2004. He also serves as a consultant for the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and chairs the science advisory committee for the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS), now being built at Stanford. When completed in 2009, the LCLS will be the world's first x-ray free electron laser.

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A charged elementary particle of an atom; the term is most commonly used in reference to the negatively charged particle called a negatron. Its mass at rest is me = 9.109558 x 10-31 kg, its charge is 1.6021917 x 10-19 C, and its spin quantum number is 1/2. Its positive counterpart is called a positron, and possesses the same characteristics, except for the reversal of the charge.
Electromagnetic radiation detectable by the eye, ranging in wavelength from about 400 to 750 nm. In photonic applications light can be considered to cover the nonvisible portion of the spectrum which includes the ultraviolet and the infrared.
The emission and/or propagation of energy through space or through a medium in the form of either waves or corpuscular emission.
A device that uses superconducting magnets to bend or accelerate charged particles. It can be used to etch very fine high-density patterns on integrated circuits.
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