This week, Diamond Light Source achieved its first full operating week (144 hours) continuous synchrotron light for researchers.
The ability to run experiments without interruption is vital for Diamond's research community. However the synchrotron is a highly complex machine, and maintaining a continuous beam of clustered electrons travelling around the storage ring at near the speed of light is a significant engineering challenge.
Diamond's technical division comprises leading experts in accelerator physics, vacuum systems, magnetism, optics and metrology. By making continual improvements in the many thousands of components that make up the synchrotron, their work has resulted in a steady increase in experimental beamtime, and a rise in machine uptime from 92.4% in 2007 to 97.4% in 2010.
Richard Walker, Diamond’s Technical Director, said: “This is a significant milestone, and the result of our teams paying meticulous attention to beam interruptions, so that wherever possible we can stop them happening in the future. A system as complicated as a synchrotron, where there are literally thousands of individual systems which can cause problems, is never going to be 100% perfect all the time. However, by remaining vigilant on all our systems and continually striving to improve performance we are confident that we can meet the expectations of the scientists who use Diamond, and deliver world-leading science."
Diamond Light Source is the UK’s national synchrotron facility. By accelerating electrons to near light-speed, Diamond generates brilliant beams of light from infra-red to X-rays which are used for academic and industry research.
Diamond Light Source is the UK's national synchrotron science facility, located at the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus in Oxfordshire.
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