High Energy Photon Source (HELPS): What is synchrotron?

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May 18, 2024

High Energy Photon Source (HELPS): What is synchrotron?

Why in news ?The chinese’ High Energy Photon Source (HELPS) will begin operations by the end of this year. It will be the first fourth-generation synchrotron light source in Asia.

What is synchrotron ?

It is  a powerful machine  used in scientific research.

Particle Accelerator: It’s a type of particle accelerator, specifically designed for charged particles, most commonly electrons.

Acceleration Process: The synchrotron accelerates these electrons to very high speeds, close to the speed of light.

Circular Path: The electrons travel in a fixed circular path inside a large ring-shaped chamber.

Magnetic Field: Strong magnets within the chamber bend the path of the electrons, keeping them on their circular trajectory. As the electrons accelerate, the magnetic field strength also increases to maintain a constant orbit.

Key Feature: Synchrotron Light:

Emission: The most important feature of a synchrotron is the emission of intense light, called synchrotron light. This light is produced when the high-speed electrons are forced to change direction by the magnetic field.

Properties: Synchrotron light is exceptional because it:

Very Bright: It’s millions of times brighter than conventional X-ray sources.

Wide Range: It covers a broad spectrum of electromagnetic radiation, from infrared to X-rays.

Tunable: The specific wavelength of the light can be adjusted for different experiments.

Highly Polarized: The light waves can vibrate in a specific direction, which is valuable for certain research.

 About HELPS:

The High Energy Photon Source (HEPS), also referred to as Gao Neng Tong Bu She Ra Guang Yuan  in Chinese, is a major scientific project currently under construction in China.

About HELPS:

Type: It’s a diffraction-limited storage ring synchrotron light source. This means it uses a specific type of particle accelerator to generate extremely bright X-rays for scientific research.

Location: It’s being built in the Huairou District, a suburban area of Beijing, China.

Status: Construction is underway, with an estimated completion date around 2025.

Significance: Upon completion, HEPS is expected to be one of the brightest synchrotron radiation sources in the world, particularly for hard X-rays.

Benefits and Applications:

Advanced Research: The intense X-rays from HEPS will enable researchers to study materials, molecules, and biological systems at an unprecedented level. This will lead to advancements in various fields, including:

Physics: Probing the fundamental properties of matter and energy.

Chemistry: Understanding the structure and behavior of complex molecules.

Materials Science: Developing new materials with desired properties for applications like electronics, energy storage, and medicine.

Biology and Medicine: Understanding the structure and function of proteins, drugs, and biological materials, with potential applications in drug discovery and medical diagnostics.

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High Energy Photon Source (HELPS): What is synchrotron? | Vaid ICS Institute