The machine is an assembly of components used to produce, confine and maintain a high energy electron beam in a closed orbit for periods of several hours while the electrons produce synchrotron light for a wide variety of experiments.
Diamond’s storage ring consists of twenty four straight sections angled together to form a closed loop. Large electromagnets (called dipole magnets, or bending magnets) are used to curve the electron beam in the space between adjacent straight sections.
Each of the forty eight bending magnets at Diamond curve the electrons through an arc of seven and a half degrees with a radius of curvature of just over seven metres. The sum of all the deflections totals 360 degrees, producing a closed orbit around the storage ring of over 560 metres. The entire storage ring is maintained under vacuum conditions to minimise electrons scattering off air molecules. Electrons with an energy of 3 GeV complete the circuit in approximately two millionths of a second. That’s nearly 7 and a half times around the Earth’s equator in a single second!
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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