Friday, October 31, 2008

SESAME and Argonne's Advanced Photo Source

As Guvenc Akgul goes about learning the finer points of x-ray spectroscopy from his colleagues at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Advanced Photon Source (APS) at Argonne National Laboratory, he represents a bridge between countries that, while separated by culture, distance, or regional factionalism, can find common ground in science at synchrotron x-ray research facilities.

Akgul, who hails from Adana in Turkey, is working toward his Ph.D. by doing hands-on research at the APS. He will use knowledge gained at the APS to help in the development of UNESCO's SESAME, the Synchrotron-light for Experimental Science and Applications in the Middle East light-source facility under construction in Jordan that is bringing together scientists from several Middle Eastern countries.

About SESAME: Located in Allan, Jordan, 30 km northwest of Amman, and scheduled for first light in 2011, SESAME is being developed under the umbrella of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The machine will be a third-generation synchrotron light source facility comprising a 22.5-MeV Microtron, an 800-MeV booster, and a 2.5-GeV storage ring. The ring is designed to store 400 mA and has an emittance of 26 nm-radians. The booster, which comes from the former BESSY-1 light source in Germany, has been upgraded with new power supplies, vacuum pumps, and controls system. The storage ring is completely new. Twelve straight sections will eventually be available for insertion devices, with Phase 1 calling for seven beamlines delivering x-rays that will span the electromagnetic spectrum from infrared to hard x-rays. A major milestone for SESAME is the “soft” inauguration, which will be held at the site on November 3, 2008. It will be presided over by the King of Jordan and the Director-General of UNESCO, with luminaries from around the world in attendance.

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