- Storage ring sextupole magnets
And that brings us right up to the present day. A huge ring-shaped structure, Diamond Light Source accelerates electrons in a circuit until they are travelling at near light speeds. This causes the electrons to produce a brilliant light, 10 billion times brighter than the sun. Scientists then use this light to study the atomic structure of matter; they can use the facility to research new medicines, develop nanotechnology, study advanced materials, and everything in-between.
There are over 40 synchrotrons around the world, visited by hundreds of thousands of scientists each year. Diamond is part of lightsources.org, an international collaboration of light sources that promotes the science and technological advances taking place around the globe. These machines demonstrate the vast potential of light to act as a tool for human progress. But it’s not just synchrotrons that have a profound connection to light. In the UK, over 40 individuals and organisations representing science, engineering, culture and the arts will unite in celebration of IYL 2015 through an impactful national programme of events and activities.
Professor Andrew Harrison, Diamond’s CEO, comments: “Diamond will be celebrating with a series of large events and campaigns that will bring together members of the public and the scientific community. The Harwell Campus open day in July will see several thousand visitors visit the science and innovation site in Oxfordshire, where they will have the opportunity to see up close examples of world-leading science and technology, much of which depends on light.”
In March, Diamond will also be taking part in special events at the Oxford Science Festival and the ATOM science festival in Abingdon, designed to engage people with the cutting-edge science that’s taking place nationally and around the world. Diamond will also be running competitions for schools on the theme of light, and major research will be presented at the AAAS science meeting in California on 13th February.
Andrew comments “Light has changed the world time and time again, but the story is not over yet. There is still room for improvement in harnessing the full potential of light to explore the structure and properties of materials and the molecules on which life depends. IYL 2015 is a celebration of how far we’ve come and a look forward the future, at the pioneering science and technology that is paving the way for new discoveries. With a vast array of events and activities ahead, it promises to be a dazzling year for Diamond.”