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Back to the Future with Roman Architectural Concrete | Berkeley Lab
A key discovery to understanding Roman architectural concrete that has stood the test of time and the elements for nearly two thousand years has been made by researchers using beams of X-rays at Berkeley Lab’s Advanced Light Source.

Why has Roman concrete lasted so long?
It turns out that concrete made with volcanic ash is actually self-healing.


For the First Time, Direct Observations Show Increasing Greenhouse Effect

The rising concentration of carbon dioxide at the Earth’s surface is increasing the amount of heat the air can absorb, measurements taken by scientists at the US Department of Energy’s Berkeley Lab have shown. 

This phenomenon, they say, is being caused by rising CO2 levels from burning fossil fuels and fires, and the data fits with models that take into account the effect of human activity on the atmosphere.

“We see, for the first time in the field, the amplification of the greenhouse effect because there’s more CO2 in the atmosphere to absorb what the Earth emits in response to incoming solar radiation,” said Daniel Feldman, a Berkeley Lab project scientist who specializes in comparing climate models with actual instrument observations. He is the lead author of a paper published in the journal Nature on Feb. 25.

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Capturing Love In The Lab

One of the great mysteries in life is what makes a successful, loving relationship.  

The Berkeley Psychophysiology lab (BPL) studies the emotional quality of a couple’s interactions — how they express emotion, how they respond to their partner’s emotions, and how they support each other in times of need. 

Through their research, they hope to find the “secret sauce” that determines whether one marriage is happy and another one is miserable.  

There have been long-term studies of marriages before, but most have been based on questionnaires. Researchers would mail a packet of questions to couples every year and get their views about what’s making their marriage work or not work.

What’s unusual about the research at BPL is that they bring marriages into the lab. 

“Our thought was that to understand a marriage and the emotions of a marriage, we couldn’t just ask people what they felt, or just rely on questionnaires. We had to actually observe marital behavior and look at not only the visible behavior, but we had to also look under the skin and measure their physiology,” explained the lab’s director, Robert Levenson. 

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