current events\(\def\hfill{\hskip 5em}\def\hfil{\hskip 3em}\def\eqno#1{\hfil {#1}}\)

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ISSN: 1600-5775

Current events

(Received 12 December 2005; accepted 12 December 2005)

1. SOLEIL and DIAMOND race to get beam

The French and British third-generation synchrotron sources, SOLEIL and DIAMOND, respectively, are making good progress towards achieving the goal of circulating the first electron beam in their respective storage rings in 2006. The two projects have been intertwined from their approval stage to the construction phase.

At SOLEIL the project is slightly ahead, as scheduled, with DIAMOND closely following. In July SOLEIL's full energy booster synchrotron successfully passed its first step of starting and in October it reached 2.75 GeV with a current of 12–14 mA. At DIAMOND the linac obtained its first beam on 31 August and completed its full acceptance tests on 10 November. The 44 girders of the booster synchrotron have been installed and vacuum installation is currently underway.

A similar situation exists for the installation of beamlines. At SOLEIL, for example, the hutches for the optics and experimental area are assembled for some of the first-phase beamlines, and the scientific equipment is expected to be installed in the next two months. At DIAMOND the cabins and hutches for the phase 1 beamlines are under construction and installation of optical elements can soon begin.

In the UK, the community is continuing to enjoy access to synchrotron time at the SRS, where only recently some additional beamlines were added onto high-field multipole wigglers. SRS is scheduled to operate until 31 December 2008.[link][link][link]

Table 1
Storage-ring and beamline parameters for SOLEIL, DIAMOND and ESRF

Electron beam energy 2.75 GeV 3.0 GeV 6.0 GeV
Storage-ring circumference 354 m 561.6 m 844.4 m
Beam current 500 mA 300 mA (500 mA) 200 mA
Beam emittance (H) 3.7 nm rad 2.74 nm rad 2.0 nm rad
Beam emittance (V) 37 pm rad 27.4 pm rad 25 pm rad
Insertion-device straight sections 4 × 12 m 4 × 8 m Variable
  12 × 7 m 18 × 5 m  
  8 × 3.5 m    
[Figure 1]
Figure 1
The optics cabin and experimental hutch for one of the beamlines at DIAMOND.
[Figure 2]
Figure 2
DIAMOND storage-ring tunnel. 60% of the storage-ring girders are installed.

2. Arthur Bienenstock receives Distinguished Associate award from the Department of Energy

Arthur Bienenstock, well known to many synchrotron radiation users and pioneers as Artie, received a prestigious award from Samuel Bodman, US Secretary of Energy. Artie was the director of SSRL from 1978 to 1997. He served as a Senior Science Adviser to President Bill Clinton from 1997 to 2001, which he describes as `the most interesting and demanding job I ever had in my life'.[link]

[Figure 3]
Figure 3
Arthur Bienenstock.

The award's citation read, `In recognition of your many accomplishments, contributions, and leadership in both science and science policy. Your exemplary service to the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center and particularly to the Stanford Synchrotron Laboratory, the Department of Energy, the Nation, and the scientific community has made possible world-leading scientific research across disciplinary and geographical boundaries. You have elegantly brought together diverse ideas, peoples, and institutions to work together. You serve to remind scientists of all ages that one person with a vision can truly make a difference.'

The award, the highest civilian recognition of the Department of Energy (DOE), is a non-monetary award for employees of DOE-owned contractor-operated facilities. Winners must be nominated by DOE program managers and cannot apply for the honour. Keith Hodgson, the Associate Director of SLAC and Director of Photon Science at SLAC, said “SSRL and the broader synchrotron research community owes a great deal to Artie Bienenstock's vision and leadership, both during his years as SSRL Director and through his subsequent work with the US Office of Science and Technology Policy. At SSRL, Artie built a strong foundation for the future of photon science at SLAC through his stewardship of the conceptual design of the SPEAR3 project and his dedication to exploring and promoting the value of linac-based light sources for the next generation of synchrotron radiation production. The LCLS was an outcome of this strategy.”

3. SESAME holds its 4th users meeting

The 4th users meeting of SESAME was held during 6–8 December 2005 at the Dead Sea Hotel, an hour's drive from the SESAME site at Allan. The meeting attracted some 140 participants from the member countries as well as countries that are considering joining this unique project in the Middle East. In addition to attracting some of the big names of the synchrotron radiation world (Michael Hart, Louise Johnson, Hideo Kitamura, Soichi Wakatsuki, Paul Dumas, Wim Bras and Manolis Pantos), it attracted many of the synchrotron experts of the region, most of whom are currently working on sources around the world. These included Ercan Alp (APS), Zahid Husain (ALS) and Mohammed Yousef (Oregon). Many contributions from the SESAME users were heard from experts including Iqbal Choudhary (HEJ, Pakistan), who spoke on natural product resources for the drug discovery programme; Magid Al-sherbiny (Egypt), who talked about schistosomiasis; Engin Ozdas (Turkey), who spoke about structural properties of LiBC; and Joel Sussman (Israel), who gave a talk entitled `Targeted Structural Genomics: Its Relevance to SESAME'. On 7 December participants were able to visit the SESAME site and see at first hand the progress which has been made in the construction of the building which will house the 2.5 GeV SESAME facility.[link][link]

[Figure 4]
Figure 4
Participants at the 4th users meeting at the SESAME site.
[Figure 5]
Figure 5
From right to left: Joel Sussman (Weizmann Institute), Louise Johnson (Oxford) and Samar Hasnain (Daresbury, and Chair of the SESAME Beamlines Committee) standing near the entrance of the SESAME building.
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