More than 300 experts from all over the world are coming to Saskatoon to explore one of the hottest fields in synchrotron science, putting the city on the global scientific map.
“X-ray microscopy is absolutely cutting-edge because both the technology and the applications are developing very rapidly,” says Stephen Urquhart, chair of the XRM2018 conference and a chemistry professor at the University of Saskatchewan. “These microscope techniques are quite powerful for a wide range of areas from scientists studying medicine to scientists studying materials. On the technology side, the developments in light sources also help with the development of more powerful and advanced microscopes.”
Synchrotrons, including the U of S Canadian Light Source, produce light that’s millions of times brighter than the sun. Using the X-ray portion of the electromagnetic spectrum, scientists shine that light on what they are studying and then use specially designed microscopes to study matter at the molecular level. The CLS has five beamlines dedicated to X-ray microscopy.
The X-ray microscopy experts attending XRM2018 will be coming from 24 countries. During the week-long conference, 76 leaders in this field of science will present their research findings. In addition, 200 scientific posters will be on display. “We are doing good things at the Canadian Light Source and by hosting the meeting here we get a chance to highlight the work that we do to people around the globe,” says Urquhart, who adds that the recent shut-down at the CLS due an equipment failure won’t interfere with the conference.