NSRRC 30th Anniversary of First Light

The National Synchrotron Radiation Research Center (NSRRC) commemorated the “30th Anniversary of First Light” on October 23rd. Premier Chien-Jen Chen of the Executive Yuan graced the occasion with his presence and delivered an address. He highlighted NSRRC’s steady and solid progress over the past three decades, from the “Taiwan Light Source (TLS)” to the “Taiwan Photon Source (TPS),” making it Taiwan’s largest R&D platform. Premier Chen envisions NSRRC as a key player in advancing Taiwan’s industry, academia, and research through its unique scientific and technological strengths. He underscored the imperative for NSRRC to sustain its R&D momentum, thus laying a solid foundation for Taiwan’s science and technology sector.

NSRRC hosts over 2,000 researchers annually from 20 countries, totaling 12,000 visits to utilize its exceptional synchrotron radiation capabilities for research purposes. The successful establishment of the TPS experiment facilities boosts utilization. Premier Chen emphasized the vital roles of both TLS and TPS in material development, cancer detection, biomedicine, pharmaceuticals, and achieving net-zero carbon emissions. NSRRC’s diverse contributions solidify its importance in Taiwan’s scientific and technological progress.

In addition to Premier Chen, notable guests included Deputy Minister of the National Science and Technology Council, Minn-Tsong Lin; former President of Academia Sinica, Yuan-Tsehn Lee; and esteemed Academicians Luo-Chuang Lee, Maw-Kuen Wu, Lih-Juann Chen, Chien-Te Chen, and Yu Wang. Also present were the Directors of the Taiwan Space Agency, the National Center for High-Performance Computing, and the Taiwan Instrument Research Center: Jong-Shinn Wu, Chau-Lyan Chang, and Cheng-Tang Pan, respectively. These attendees witnessed the inception, growth, and flourishing of Taiwan’s synchrotron radiation development.

Read more on the NSRRC website

Image: NSRRC 30th Anniversary address by Premier Chien-Jen Chen of the Executive Yuan

Credit: NSRRC

Canadian Light Source’s #My1stLight on the Far Infrared Beamline in 2005

The Queen of England helped us get the beamline operating in May of 2005, while she was visiting Saskatchewan and the Canadian Light Source with Prince Philip. The ring had been operating but the IR beamlines needed vacuum bellows installed due to delays in shipment. These would complete the UHV chambers to the window outside the shield wall. There were no beam outages on the schedule long enough to do this for 6 months into the fall, so the IR operation was being badly delayed.

But! the CLS had to shut down for a day before the Royal visit on Friday May 20*, to allow security screening and preparation for the Royals. So with two days of no-beam, the technicians quickly vented the ring magnet cell and installed the bellows and we had nearly 48 hours to pump down and bake the system. Then on Sat May 21 at 12:30 pm there was beam in the ring (thankfully no leaks from the bellows!) and the search for beam began. The M2 mirror was steered until a spot of light was seen glowing near the edge of the UHV window. This glow was adjusted to line up along one side, and a lateral scan was made while recording a video at the window.

At the controls was Dr. Dominique Appadoo, now at the Australian Synchrotron, who was the Far IR beamline scientist at the time. Assisting were Tim May the optics designer/project manager for the IR beamlines, and Craig Hyett a graduate student working on the IR beamlines. Subsequently the first light was steered out of the window port on the Mid IR beamline.

Image: Tim and Dominique searching for first light

* Read more on the CLS website

First light at Furka: The experiments can begin

It’s another milestone on the path to full operation of the X-ray free-electron laser SwissFEL with five experiment stations in all: “First light” at the experiment station Furka. It clears the way for experimental possibilities that are unique worldwide. Team leader Elia Razzoli explains what the Furka Group is planning to do.

Why is “first light” such an important occasion for your team?

Elia Razzoli: It means we’re in business. Or to be more specific: Now we can begin working on the first experiments.

The general public might imagine that you simply flip a switch, and then the light is there. But presumably it’s not that simple in your case . . .

No, it is a complex task. When we at SwissFEL talk about light, we do not mean visible light, but rather X-ray light with characteristics that are unique in the world. To generate that light, and for research to be able to use it, several teams at PSI have to work together. With the Furka experiment station we are, so to speak, at the end of the food chain. To generate the X-ray light of SwissFEL, electrons must be forced onto a sinuous track with the aid of magnets. In the process, they emit the X-ray light that we need to carry out the actual investigations. The magnets that redirect the electrons in this way are called undulators. And they are precisely what makes the whole thing so difficult, because they have to work exactly in sync; otherwise the X-ray light doesn’t have the quality that we need. The complexity of the system grows exponentially with the number and length of the undulators. That is why first light at Furka is already a masterful technical and organisational feat.

Read more on the PSI website

Image: Members of the team that achieved the milestone at the Furka station of SwissFEL: Eugenio Paris (left), Elia Razzoli, Cristian Svetina (right)

Credit: Paul Scherrer Institute/Mahir Dzambegovic