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Take a tour of CHESS with Prof. Joel Brock

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November 21, 2016


AEP Professor Joel Brock gave an impromptu tour of the Cornell High Energy Synchrotron Source (CHESS) facilities. CHESS is a high-intensity X-ray source supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) which provides our users state-of-the-art synchrotron radiation facilities for research in Physics, Chemistry, Biology, and Environmental and Materials Sciences. A special NIH Research Resource, called MacCHESS, supports special facilities for macromolecular chrystallography and BioSAXS. CHESS-U is the current upgrade that will extend CHESS's capacity for cutting edge research. 


The development of a new type of accelerator, called Energy Recovery Linear accelerator or ERL, envisioned and invented at Cornell, provides more brilliant beams in shorter pulses, and will move such investigations to new frontiers. 

The goal of the ERL project at Cornell is to create a new type of continuous-duty x-ray source, and to do so requires making ultra-low emittance electron bunches and accelerating and recovering their energy in a superconducting linear accelerator. Scientists from Cornell and across the world bring their scientific projects to our synchrotron laboratory to shine our intense synchrotron x-rays onto their samples. They want to examine how the atoms are arranged in their specimens. Ultimately this leads to a better understanding of how matter functions. This project was sponsored by the National Science Foundation.


Here we see an inside view of the Cornell Electron Storage Ring (CESR) control room, which is monitored 24/7. The operator on duty is Jesse Chandler, a systems operator for CLASSE (Cornell Lab for Accelerator-based ScienceS and Education).


Here, Jesse Chandler shows a cross-section rendering of the CLEO particle detector within the exterior magnet, an upgrade currently underway as a part of CHESS-U. By reconfiguring the magnet structure of one-sixth of the CESR storage ring, while upgrading and expanding 12 independently operated insertion devices for hard x-ray beamlines, these enhanced capabilities will make CHESS the premiere synchrotron source in the U.S. for high-energy, high-flux studies. Construction is expected to be complete in 2018.


Here in the Wilson Lab, workers are removing the current magnets around the CLEO detector (lower left of image), which weigh approximately 30 tons each. (The removed magnets can be seen stacked in the background, to the upper right of CLEO). CLEO is a high-energy physics instrument that detects, measures and analyzes electron-positron collision events generated by CESR. The detector itself is about 6 meters on a side, containing about 900,000 kilograms of iron and over 400,000 individual detection elements.


Here, Professor Brock describes the development and function of a newly installed undulator, the result of a recent collaboration with CHESS and KYMA, a company based in Trieste, Italy.  The undulator has an alternating magnetic field which forces the particles to oscillate, thus creating synchrotron radiation.


Here, a second view of the new undulator.


A view into the CESR Synchrontron tunnel, buried 40 feet beneath Alumni Field on the Cornell University campus. The complete tunnel is 768 meters in circumference. CESR was constructed as an electron-positron collider operating at a center-of-mass energy in the range of 3.5-12 GeV. CESR is now used as an x-ray source for a state-of-the-art x-ray facility.


6-circle Diffractometer with polarimeter. A diffractometer is a measuring instrument for analyzing the structure of a material from the scattering pattern produced when a beam of radiation or particles interacts with it.


There is high demand for use of the facility where only half of beam requests can be granted. The components within a beamline can be tailored to each experiment. Users discuss their needs with CHESS scientists prior to their arrival, and they help set up the beamline to maximize the precious time at CHESS.


Tools outside of the beamline rooms. CHESS is able to work with first time synchrotron scientists who have very little-to no experience at a beamline. The hands-on approach allows CHESS users to leave with a lot of useful data that they are able to interpret to move their experiment forward.


Machinery outside of the Synchrotron ring. As one of the pioneer synchrotron radiation laboratories that was built more than twenty years ago, CHESS has played a significant role in the development of x-ray technology. The scientists and engineers at CHESS and in the accelerator physics and superconducting radio frequency groups are designing, building, and testing novel state-of-the-art technologies that will push forward the capabilities for x-ray science in all disciplines.