The UK’s Diamond Light Source is enabling advances across a range of engineering sectors. Stuart Nathan reports
This ring is, in fact, a polygon composed of 24 straight sections. As the magnets that steer the electrons round the ring bring them to a corner, the electrons lose energy, emitting radiation. The straight sections also contain arrays of insertion devices, which force the electrons to ’wriggle’ along the section; this allows the energy to be tuned to a specific frequency.
The Diamond is currently operating 18 beamlines and aims to increase this to 22 by 2012; however, uncertainties over funding mean this might be delayed.