APS User News-at-a-Glance
Issue 54, June 4, 2009

CONTENTS

MESSAGE FROM MURRAY

SCIENCE NEWS
1. High Pressure Synchrotron Science
2. Supercomputing Program Seeking Proposals
3. Science & Research Highlights

USER MATTERS
4. NUFO Holds Annual Meeting at Argonne
5. In Memoriam: Professor Malcolm F. Nicol, 1939-2009
6. APS Science 2008 Now Available

FACILITY NEWS
7. Users Week 2009 in Review
8. New APSUO Steering Committee Members Elected

BRIEFLY NOTED
-- General and Partner User Proposal Deadlines
-- Argonne Public Open House Date Set

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MESSAGE FROM MURRAY

The FY 2009 Omnibus Funding Bill provided the APS with an operating budget for this fiscal year that came very close to the funding request we had made. We are very grateful for the support of President Obama's administration, Congress, and the Department of Energy, as well as for the advocacy of our users.

Furthermore, we are delighted that an additional substantial increase for the APS is included in the President's 2010 budget, which was sent to Capitol Hill on May 7, 2009. The total 2010 budget of $127.1M is needed for adequate staffing, regular equipment funding, and full operation of APS. The large increase is justified as a replacement of the one-time supplemental funding received in 2008, which is not recurring. Although the Obama administration has requested this budget, it must still be approved by Congress, thus making user advocacy about the importance of these facilities and of the president's doubling strategy for science funding even more critical. (You can read more about “The President's Plan for Science and Innovation” here.)

On the Renewal front, we are also very encouraged by the request from DOE to submit a proposal for CD-0 (to approve mission need) on the Renewal project. The proposal is being finalized now. The proposal builds on the many user workshops and technical proposals, especially the APS Renewal Workshop held in October 2009. We hope that the CD-0 proposal, which will be sent out for review, will be well received so that we can proceed with the project as soon as possible. If the proposal is approved and CD-0 signed this summer, then FY 2010 will be a busy time as we work with you to develop the Conceptual Design Report for the project, which could begin in FY 2011.

Check our web page for the most recent updates on the Renewal.

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SCIENCE NEWS

1. High Pressure Synchrotron Science

Researchers from the United States, Europe, and Japan came together for a workshop held in conjunction with Argonne 's Users Week at the Advanced Photon Source (APS) to discuss the ever-increasing role of the pressure variable in synchrotron science. The program, which drew almost 100 attendees, spanned three days and included 35 invited talks that explored the state of the art in high pressure research across a broad range of scientific fields.

The vibrancy of the community was highlighted by the diversity of the talks and a number of notable contributions from areas not traditionally associated with the high pressure research genre. Some examples include observations of a high-density form of liquid water inside protein crystals at high pressure (C. U. Kim, Cornell University), several presentations on the possibilities of coherent diffraction imaging of single particles under high hydrostatic pressures (W. Yang, Carnegie Institution of Washington; J. Miao, University of California, Los Angeles; and I. McNulty, APS), and x-ray photo chemistry under extreme conditions as a way of forming novel materials (W. Mao, Stanford University). Exciting fundamental physics was also represented via dramatic images of transparent, non-conducting sodium (E. Gregoryanz, University of Edinburgh, UK). Shock compression was shown to result in metallization of He at densities exceeding 2.5g/cc (G. Collins, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory). The rich possibilities of high pressure as a means of forming ultrahard materials in the B-C-N system were explored (N. Dubrovinskaia, University of Heidelberg, Germany), as were the structural properties of nano-polycrystalline diamond (T. Irifune, Ehime University, Japan). Geophysics was also a strong theme throughout the meeting: chemical reaction and partitioning at the core-mantle boundary were discussed (L. Dubrovinsky, University of Bayreuth, Germany) as were the implications of the recently discovered spin transitions in iron-based minerals (W. Sturhahn, APS).

The scientific program was strengthened by a backbone of three technical sessions that speculated on the future of high pressure synchrotron research. The capacity for in situ imaging of systems under extreme conditions is emerging as a new field of hierarchical structural/functional characterization. Additionally, a strong drive to push the frontiers of experimentation towards the nanoscale using submicron beam sizes and high-precision stages was discussed. Finally, the application of in situ optical spectroscopy measured simultaneously with diffraction was shown to be an important future direction for geophysical research.

Proceedings of the meeting are to be published in a special issue of Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter. (Contact: Malcolm Guthrie, mgutherie@aps.anl.gov)

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2. Supercomputing Program Seeking Proposals

The Argonne Leadership Computing Facility (ALCF) is calling for proposals for the Innovative and Novel Computational Impact on Theory and Experiment (INCITE) program. This facility was established by the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science and is operated by ALCF staff members to provide leading computing capabilities dedicated to cutting-edge science and engineering advancements. Proposals will be accepted through July 1, 2009.

The INCITE program awards supercomputing time for large-scale, computationally intensive research projects on America 's premier leadership computing facility centers. Over one billion processing hours will be awarded for research in 2010.

About 80 percent of the ALCF 's computer time is allocated through the INCITE program, and researchers at Argonne (including the Advanced Photon Source) are encouraged to apply. Additional information about the ALCF is available at http://www.alcf.anl.gov.

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3. Science & Research Highlights

These and other topics in research conducted at the APS are available on the APS home page:

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USER MATTERS

4. NUFO Holds Annual Meeting at Argonne

The sixth annual meeting of the National User Facilities Organization (NUFO) is being held at Argonne on June 10-12, 2009. NUFO brings together user executive committee/steering committee representatives from national user facilities with facility administrative and managerial staff for the benefit of their collective user communities.

This year's meeting is being hosted by all six of Argonne 's national user facilities: Advanced Photon Source (APS), Argonne Leadership Computing Facility (ALCF), Argonne Tandem Linear Accelerator System (ATLAS), ARM Climate Research Facility (ACRF), Center for Nanoscale Materials (CNM), and Electron Microscopy Center (EMC).

Day One of the three-day meeting focuses on users, user organizations, and the role they play in promoting science at national and international levels. Day Two looks at industrial use of these national facilities and will include descriptions of best practices, barriers to partnering, and potential collaborative solutions. Day Three focuses more deeply on administrative issues with sharing of best practices in a number of common areas.

Links to the working agenda, registration form, and travel information are on the meeting Web site (http://www.aps.anl.gov/Users/NUFO/2009_Meeting/index.htm).

For additional information, contact Susan Strasser (strasser@aps.anl.gov).

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5. In Memoriam: Professor Malcolm F. Nicol, 1939-2009

Malcom Foertner Nicol, Professor of Chemistry and Physics, Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas passed away on May 7, 2009.

Nicol's extensive research in the areas of physics, chemistry, and the electronic properties of materials at high pressure; polymer and photochemistry at high pressure; properties and reactions of energetic materials; dynamics and structures of oxide minerals and compounds; and planetary chemistry took him around the world, including here at the Advanced Photon Source at Argonne National Laboratory. He was the recipient of many honors and awards. A detailed look at Prof. Nicol's career and accomplishments can be read here.

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6. APS Science 2008 Now Available

APS Science 2008 features articles on Advanced Photon Source research and engineering highlights that are written for the synchrotron x-ray, engineering, and broader scientific communities; potential facility users; funding agencies; and the interested public.

To order a CD of a particular issue of APS Science and/or a four-color printed copy, send an e-mail to apsinfo@aps.anl.gov. Include your mailing address and please specify which issue or issues you are requesting. (The 2002 issue is available in print only.)

The CD version of APS Science 2008 has enhanced features including referenced journal articles linked to at least the paper's abstract (depending on subscription requirements), hyperlinks, complete URLs, animations and QuickTime clips, and a list of 2008 APS publications.

APS Science 2003 through APS Science 2008 are also available for download in .pdf format at http://www.aps.anl.gov/Science/Reports/.

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FACILITY NEWS

7. Users Week 2009 in Review

Argonne's 2009 Users Week focused on the topic of APS Renewal. Monday featured scientific highlights and a session on the APS Renewal proposal. In his opening APS update, Murray Gibson reviewed a broad range of topics, including improved-burning fuels, natural solar cells, metal oxide frameworks for hydrogen storage, better batteries, climate change, human health, infrastructure concerns, ancient cultures, high-pressure science, and of course basic science. Many of the results featured in his talk are also presented in the newest annual report, APS Science 2008. Gibson also addressed possible changes to the General User Program to address expertise of judges on the review panels and to better accommodate industrial proposals.

Pedro Montano of the DOE Office of Science painted a promising picture for upcoming funding for facility operations. New funding (in addition to research funding already designated in facility budgets) will also be available for accelerator and detector research. Montano said that the APS Upgrade is a first priority in new construction, but the project must be designed so that it does not impact ongoing science. In terms of the APS Renewal, the goal is to achieve another 10 to 12 years at top performance, and since beamlines become obsolete earlier than machines do, beamlines must be refreshed during this process. In FY 2008, DOE Basic Energy Sciences (BES) facilities served 10,995 users. The light sources are very active, serving 8,492 users (39% of those at APS). The five BES nanoscience centers are also doing very well; all of them have hit the ground running.

In reports from the Center for Nanoscale Materials (CNM) and the Electron Microscopy Center (EMC), Stephen Streiffer and Dean Miller (respectively) highlighted current and upcoming capabilities. Streiffer noted that the CNM is discussing the merits of targeting a 5-nm beam size. Miller noted that the Sub-Angstrom Microscopy and Microanalysis Facility is now complete and operational. EMC has been closely involved in the TEAM project, a multi-laboratory collaboration to develop a transmission electron aberration-corrected microscope. Portions of the new technology are already in use, and the exciting results being obtained with aberration correction were the subject of a Monday afternoon presentation by Bernd Kabius (EMC).

Two other afternoon presentations highlighted recent work at the APS: Janet Smith, (University of Michigan) discussed “Finding Gems in Low-quality Crystalline Proteins with an X-ray Mini-Beam,” and Brian Stephenson (Argonne National Laboratory) spoke on “Chemical Switching of Polarization in Ultrathin Ferroelectric PbTiO 3 Films.” A special session on the APS Renewal proposal included a perspective from the Scientific Advisory Committee, a detailed review of the science drivers (the result of extensive discussion by 10 science teams), a report on proposed accelerator upgrades, and a summary of the overall vision for how the Renewal will be structured.

The 2009 Compton Award was presented jointly to Gerhard Grübel, Simon Mochrie, Mark Sutton for their pioneering efforts in x-ray photon correlation spectroscopy (XPCS), which exploits the coherent properties of synchrotron x-rays to study the slow dynamics of condensed matter at short length scales. Each winner spoke briefly on his perspective on the development and applications of XPCS.

Congratulations are also in order for student users Naji Sami Husseini (University of Michigan) who gave the student invited talk and to poster award winners Jonathan D. Emery (Northwestern University), David Kissick (Purdue University), and D. K. Schreiber (Northwestern University).

Tuesday morning was devoted to talks that explored the pressing research questions in the following areas: the dynamics of life (Keith Moffat, University of Chicago), materials for energy applications (George Crabtree, Argonne National Laboratory, presenting on behalf of Michelle Buchanan, Oak Ridge National Laboratory), materials under pressure (Russell Hemley, Carnegie Institution of Washington), and characterization of real-world materials systems (Roger Leach, DuPont). On Tuesday afternoon, the focus turned to new techniques, with overviews of coherent diffraction and x-ray imaging (Keith Nugent, University of Melbourne, Australia), x-ray microscopy (Chris Jacobsen, Stony Brook University), metrology and optics (Lahsen Assoufid, Argonne National Laboratory), and ultrafast x-ray spectroscopy (Robert Schoenlein, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory). During the morning and afternoon “user visions” sessions, eight users presented their cases for scientific directions for the Renewal.

On Wednesday, users could select from three half-day and three full-day workshops focusing on topics supporting the Renewal proposal: detectors, optics, nanopositioning, high-speed imaging, imaging of biological systems, and chemical science.

A photo gallery of images from this year's meeting can be seen here. Next year's meeting is set for May 3-7, 2010; it will mark the 20th anniversary of groundbreaking for the APS facility.

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8. New APSUO Steering Committee Members Elected

The Advanced Photon Source Users Organization (APSUO) holds annual elections to vote in four new members of the Steering Committee. The committee consists of 12 members total who serve for three-year terms. At the election held during the recent Users Week meeting, the following new members of the APSUO Steering Committee were chosen:

* Dennis Brown, Associate Professor of Physics, Northern Illinois University
Current interests: Condensed matter physics of magnetic systems, Mossbauer spectroscopy and nuclear resonance x-ray scattering, x-ray crystallography.

* Jeremy Kropf, Physicist, Chemical Sciences and Engineering Division, Argonne National Laboratory
Current interests: X-ray absorption spectroscopy (particularly high-resolution or in situ methods), crystal analyzer optics for fluorescence- and inelastic-scattering-based spectroscopies, and applying synchrotron techniques to energy-related problems in catalysis and fuel cell development as well as the nuclear fuel cycle.

* Wendy Mao, Assistant Professor Department of Geological & Environmental Sciences and Photon Science Department, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, Stanford University
Current interests: High pressure geophysics, geochemistry, and petrology; volatiles in planetary systems and hydrogen Storage applications; and experimental mineral physics.

* Alec Sandy, Physicist, X-Ray Science Division, Argonne National Laboratory
Current interests: Dynamics in materials via coherent x-ray scattering, fast area detectors and high performance computing, soft condensed matter, and time-resolved small-angle x-ray scattering.

More details about this year's election and the new committee members can be found at http://www.aps.anl.gov/Users/Meeting/2009/Elections/index.php.

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BRIEFLY NOTED

-- General and Partner User Proposal Deadlines
The submission deadline for new general and partner user proposals for run cycle 2009-3 is Friday, July 10, 2009.

-- Argonne Public Open House Date Set
Argonne 's public open house event is scheduled for Saturday, August 29, 2009, from 9:00 a.m. ‘til 4:30 p.m. Details about this family-friendly activity are available here.

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