Synchrotron science

Synchrotrons provide flexible, powerful methods for learning about the structure and behaviour of matter at the molecular and atomic level.

The ESRF storage ring. Credit: ESRF/Molyneux Associates.

A synchrotron is a stadium-sized machine that produces many beams of bright X-ray light. Each beam is guided through a set of lenses and instruments called a beamline, where the X-rays illuminate and interact with samples of material being studied. Many countries operate synchrotrons—there are 10 in Europe—but only four worldwide are similar in design and power to the ESRF.

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