February 17, 2009

New British synchrotron beamline to open

Researchers say a new facility opening later this year at Britain's Diamond Light Source synchrotron may revolutionize science.

Officials said the powerful new experimental station called the Joint Engineering, Environmental and Processing beamline will carry out experiments in a variety of scientific areas, including biology and physical and chemical science.

The versatility of JEEP will open up exciting new opportunities in many fields of science due to its extremely high flux, high energy X-ray beam and its two complementary experimental areas, said Michael Drakopoulos, principal scientist at the facility in Chilton, England.

Diamond generates extremely intense pin-point beams of synchrotron light of exceptional quality, including x-rays, ultra-violet and infrared, said officials. They said Diamond's x-rays are around 100 billion times brighter than a standard hospital X-ray machine or 10 billion times brighter than the sun.