1 ELECTRON GUN
This generates electrons from a heated filament at low energy and directs them to....
Where microwave energy in the Linear Accelerator increases the kinetic energy of the electrons to almost the speed of light.
3 BOOSTER RING
Where the electron energies are further increased by about a factor of 10 by microwave energy.
4 STORAGE RING
Once the electrons reach their target energy they're transferred to the outer storage ring. The electrons are accelerated to their final energy and circulate for many hours confined to the circular orbit by a series of bending magnets, separated by straight sections. In one hour, they travel over one billion kilometres.
As the electrons are deflected through the magnetic field created by the bending magnets, they give off electromagnetic radiation so that at each bending magnet, a beam of synchrotron light is produced.
6 END STATION
The dust-free areas at the end of the beamline where scientists set their experiments, using infrared, ultraviolet and X-ray light emitted by the speeding electrons.
The Synchrotron is, in effect, a giant microscope tens of millions of times more powerful than a conventional microscope.
Current research at Monash University's Centre for Biospectroscopy is using synchrotrons around the world for looking at individual cells in blood disorders, including Malaria and Sickle Cell disease. Identifying individual pre-cancerous cells in cervical cancer. Imaging micro-alga to measure the concentration of protein, silica and carbohydrates as the single cells respond to environmental stress.
This only scatches the surface of what a synchrotron can do. 80% of all new drugs are made with the help of a synchrotron and I haven't even mentioned the other science disciplines that use it. The Monash Synchrotron is to be working by 2007 but Australia could use another in Queensland and Western Australia.
So next time Monash has an open day, go and have a look, ask questions and take your sons and science loving daughters.
I expect to see you there as well, Link.