From Science and Technology Facilities Council: “New high-energy synchrotron now available to scientists”

From Science and Technology Facilities Council

25 August 2020

A new high-energy synchrotron that generates beams 10 trillion times brighter than medical X-rays is available to industrial and academic scientists for the first time. The ESRF-Extremely Brilliant Source (ESRF-EBS) part-funded by the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), will enable the 3D exploration of matter from metre to nanometre scales and help scientists to gain a better understanding of the complexity of living and condensed matter.

ESRF Grenoble, France re-opened as Extremely Brilliant Source (EBS).

The ESRF in Grenoble, France is the world’s most intense X-ray source and a centre of excellence for fundamental and innovation-driven research in condensed and living matter science. The new synchrotron, that will be used by UK research scientists alongside other users from around the world, replaces the ESRF’s historic storage ring that was dismantled at the end of last year.

The new machine was ready to be switched on just before the ESRF site was closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic in mid-March. Since April, researchers have already used the intense EBS beam to study SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic, and the disease’s impact on human organs. Today for the first time the ESRF-EBS is available to general users.

“This is a moment of pride for the whole of the synchrotron community,” said Francesco Sette, Director-General of the ESRF.

“With the opening of this brand-new generation of high-energy synchrotron, the ESRF continues its pioneering role to provide an unprecedented new tool for scientists to push the frontiers of science and address vital challenges facing our society today, such as health, and the environment. ”

The ring-shaped machine, 844 metres in circumference, generates X-ray beams 100 times brighter than that of its predecessor. This intense X-ray beam hails a new era for science to understand the complexity of materials and living matter at the nanometric level.

ESRF-EBS will contribute to tackling global challenges in key areas such as health, environment, energy and new industrial materials, and to unveiling hidden secrets of our natural and cultural heritage through the non-destructive investigation of precious artefacts and palaeontological treasures.

With performances increased by a factor 100, ESRF-EBS, the first fourth-generation high-energy synchrotron will give scientists unprecedented levels of insight and information, such as enabling them to perform a 3D scan of a full human organ or an entire body at micrometre resolution.

The new storage ring is part of the ongoing ESRF-EBS upgrade programme, that will include four new beamlines as well as improvements to instrumentation and data infrastructure. The ESRF owes its success to the international cooperation and collaboration of 22 partner nations, of which 13 are members ( including the UK) and nine are associates.

The new machine will circulate a ribbon-like electron beam two micrometres high and 20 micrometres wide, one-thirtieth as wide as the previous beam. To reach these performances, the ESRF has implemented a brand-new lattice, the Hybrid Multi-Bend Achromat (HMBA) lattice invented by Pantaleo Raimondi, based on a new arrangement of innovative magnets (over 1 000 magnets – nearly twice as many as in the previous storage ring – squeezed into the same 844-m accelerator tunnel). This new magnetic configuration will guide and focus the electrons in order to produce an X-ray beam 100 times more brilliant and coherent than before.

See the full article here .


Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

Stem Education Coalition

STFC-Science and Technology Facilities Council

STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory at Harwell in Oxfordshire, UK

STFC Hartree Center

Helping build a globally competitive, knowledge-based UK economy

We are a world-leading multi-disciplinary science organisation, and our goal is to deliver economic, societal, scientific and international benefits to the UK and its people – and more broadly to the world. Our strength comes from our distinct but interrelated functions:

Universities: we support university-based research, innovation and skills development in astronomy, particle physics, nuclear physics, and space science
Scientific Facilities: we provide access to world-leading, large-scale facilities across a range of physical and life sciences, enabling research, innovation and skills training in these areas
National Campuses: we work with partners to build National Science and Innovation Campuses based around our National Laboratories to promote academic and industrial collaboration and translation of our research to market through direct interaction with industry
Inspiring and Involving: we help ensure a future pipeline of skilled and enthusiastic young people by using the excitement of our sciences to encourage wider take-up of STEM subjects in school and future life (science, technology, engineering and mathematics)

We support an academic community of around 1,700 in particle physics, nuclear physics, and astronomy including space science, who work at more than 50 universities and research institutes in the UK, Europe, Japan and the United States, including a rolling cohort of more than 900 PhD students.

STFC-funded universities produce physics postgraduates with outstanding high-end scientific, analytic and technical skills who on graduation enjoy almost full employment. Roughly half of our PhD students continue in research, sustaining national capability and creating the bedrock of the UK’s scientific excellence. The remainder – much valued for their numerical, problem solving and project management skills – choose equally important industrial, commercial or government careers.

Our large-scale scientific facilities in the UK and Europe are used by more than 3,500 users each year, carrying out more than 2,000 experiments and generating around 900 publications. The facilities provide a range of research techniques using neutrons, muons, lasers and x-rays, and high performance computing and complex analysis of large data sets.

They are used by scientists across a huge variety of science disciplines ranging from the physical and heritage sciences to medicine, biosciences, the environment, energy, and more. These facilities provide a massive productivity boost for UK science, as well as unique capabilities for UK industry.

Our two Campuses are based around our Rutherford Appleton Laboratory at Harwell in Oxfordshire, and our Daresbury Laboratory in Cheshire – each of which offers a different cluster of technological expertise that underpins and ties together diverse research fields.

Daresbury Laboratory at Sci-Tech Daresbury in the Liverpool City Region,

The combination of access to world-class research facilities and scientists, office and laboratory space, business support, and an environment which encourages innovation has proven a compelling combination, attracting start-ups, SMEs and large blue chips such as IBM and Unilever.

We think our science is awesome – and we know students, teachers and parents think so too. That’s why we run an extensive Public Engagement and science communication programme, ranging from loans to schools of Moon Rocks, funding support for academics to inspire more young people, embedding public engagement in our funded grant programme, and running a series of lectures, travelling exhibitions and visits to our sites across the year.

Ninety per cent of physics undergraduates say that they were attracted to the course by our sciences, and applications for physics courses are up – despite an overall decline in university enrolment.