Funded by the National Science Foundation, Wilson Synchrotron laboratory is built atop of a powerful circular particle accelerator named CESR, that produces high-energy, high-power x-ray beams. The CESR x-ray beams are some of the most powerful in the world, with intensities a thousand to a million times greater than those from medical x-ray equipment.
I think CHESS is the perfect environment to do graduate work because you are always learning. One of the most important skill I learned through my work at CHESS was how to keep calm under pressure. With a short amount of time to collect all of the data that you’ll be analyzing until the next beamtime, you need to work efficiently and to be flexible and creative when challenges arise.
Synchrotron light is produced when the electrons change direction around the ring. In synchrotrons, this happens when they are manipulated by bending magnets, or as they pass through insertion devices. At the points where the electrons change direction, they emit a fan of radiation (known as synchrotron light). This radiation branches off the storage ring, and enters laboratories, or ‘beam lines’. Here it is refined with devices such as monochromators and mirrors, before it is shone on the sample, enabling researchers to obtain detailed data about the sample’s structure and behavior (courtesy of Lightsources.org)