Received 2 December 2013
Gabriel Aeppli has been selected to become head of the Department for Synchrotron Radiation and Nanotechnology at the Paul Scherrer Institute in Switzerland. Aeppli is an internationally recognized solid-state physicist with broad interests including spectroscopic studies on magnetism in disordered systems using synchrotron and neutron sources. His recent interest in the field of quantum information focused on the realisation of quantum bits in doped silicon. With the London Centre for Nanotechnology, he has built in a short time a leading science and technology centre in the heart of London. For his scientific work, he has received several awards, including the Oliver Buckley Prize in 2005 and the Mott Prize in 2008. Professor Aeppli will assume his new role in April 2014. He succeeds current SYN Department Head Professor Dr J. Friso van der Veen, who is a main editor of the Journal of Synchrotron Radiation.
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The Board of Trustees of the National Synchrotron Radiation Research Center (NSRRC), Taiwan, is seeking a Director to lead and develop the facilities, including Taiwan Light Source, Taiwan Photon Source and the Center's experimental facilities abroad, plus scientific programs. The candidate should be a scientific thought leader with extensive senior executive experience and should be ready to provide strategic vision and to secure funding. The candidates should have outstanding scientific accomplishments with strong written and verbal communication skills in both English and Chinese. For more information, visit the NSRRC website, http://www.nsrrc.org.tw/english/index.aspx .
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National Synchrotron Radiation Research Center of Taiwan with the new Taiwan Photon Source.
The European Synchrotorn Radiation Facility (ESRF) management has signed an inter-generation contract with three unions (CFDT, CGT-FO and SIEE) to promote and organize knowledge transfer from senior staff to younger members and new recruits. This step recognizes that a significant part of the ESRF staff will be eligible for retirement in the coming years. Many of these employees have unique technical skills and corporate memory with respect to the initial construction and subsequent development of the ESRF. The agreement lays down mechanisms for organization and distribution of knowledge transfer and provides ESRF management with an additional tool to ensure expertise and skills for future users.
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ESRF Director General Francesco Sette with representatives of the three unions at the signing ceremony. Image from Victor Kilsinn.
SLAC Director Chi-Chang Kao announced that plans for the anticipated upgrade to the world's first hard X-ray free-electron laser have changed to incorporate emerging ideas and priorities. In the new plan a 4 GeV superconducting linear accelerator will be built in the first third of the existing linac tunnel. Two new variable-gap undulators will be installed in the existing undulator tunnel: a new soft X-ray undulator and a hard X-ray undulator that will replace the current undulator. The new undulators can be fed by either the superconducting linac for high repetition rate and lower intensity pulses, or by electrons from the existing linac for pulses with high energy, high intensity and short duration. This new and as yet unfunded proposal will require the coordinated efforts of a number of laboratories, but represents `an exciting project which will transform SLAC as a site and as a laboratory'.
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LCLS undulator tunnel.
The dates are set for the 24th Annual Users Meeting of the Brazilian Synchrotron Light Laboratory: 11-12 March 2014. This meeting provides an opportunity to consolidate the LNLS user community with discussions, evaluation and presentations of proposals for the improvement of the research structures and scientific instrumentation of the synchrotron source. Among the exciting topic are the ground-breaking for Sirius, the new third-generation Brazilian synchrotron. Associated with the meeting are four satellite events including a workshop on the Analysis of Small Angle X-ray Scattering Data, the 3rd School on X-ray Spectroscopy Methods, a workshop on Extreme Condition Experiments for Today and at Sirius, and a workshop on Applications of Synchrotron Radiation for Environmental and Earth Sciences.
Dr Stephen Dubsky from Monash University has won the 2013 Australian Synchrotron Stephen Wilkins Thesis Medal for the development of a new way to obtain highly detailed X-ray videos of blood flow and tissue movement in lungs. The method, dubbed four-dimensional lung X-ray imaging, shows changes in three dimensions over time with unprecedented clarity. The method was pioneered at SPring-8 in Japan through the Australian Synchrotron's International Synchrotron Access Program and is now being further developed on the Imaging and Medical beamline at the Australian Synchrotron. Dubsky's achievement was part of his PhD research at Monash University under the supervision of Associate Professor Andreas Fouras and is set to improve our ability to diagnose and treat asthma, lung cancer and other ailments of the lungs.
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Lung image from the new four-dimensional technique.