The SSRL Facility

The Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory (SSRL) was established in 1973 as the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Project. The laboratory is now in the third phase of its existence. From 1973 until 1979 the program was parasitic to the high energy physics program on SPEAR. From 1979 to 1990 the storage ring was dedicated to running for synchrotron research 50% of the operational time. In 1991, after the high energy physics program on SPEAR had been terminated, SSRL completed an independent injector for the storage ring and the facility became a fully dedicated light source. The synchrotron radiation program operates 24 experimental stations for its 600 users. SSRL did much of the pioneering work in the field of synchrotron radiation both in instrumentation, with the development and use of insertion devices (magnets which increase the intensity and brightness of the beam), and in the development of experimental techniques now used by researchers around the world. For example, Extended X-ray Absorption Fine Structure (EXAFS), a standard technique which allows researchers to study near-neighbor atomic arrangements around selected elemental constituents of complex materials, was developed at SSRL.

Presently the high-intensity x-ray and ultraviolet beams produced by SSRL are used by scientists from the fields of biology, chemistry, geology, materials science, electrical engineering, chemical engineering, physics, astronomy and medicine. Recent experiments run the gamut from advancing understanding in high-temperature superconductors to high-resolution crystal structures. Work is being done in studying progressive bone loss in live animals, understanding how certain hazardous substances interact with their environment, and determining the trace impurities in silicon used by the semiconductor industry.

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Last modified 14 Dec 1995 by Henniss.