Lisa: The Australian Synchrotron was officially opened today. The machine produces synchrotron light, a high intensity light millions of times brighter than the sun, which can be focussed down beam lines for specific experiments. These beam lines will be used for a wide variety of experiments, from examining the properties of nanostructured materials such as the carbon nanotube fibres, to determining the complex structures of proteins and assembly of protein complexes.
The SHINE project, created with Bridge8 to introduce the opportunities, applications and challenges of nanotechnology into the high school curriculum, contains a module introducing the potential uses of the Australian Synchrotron.
It’s hoped that investing in world class infrastructure such as the synchrotron will help avoid the “Brain Drain” of talented scientists. The ABC News site quotes Susan Cory from the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute who says “People who previously felt that they needed to work overseas to get access to a synchrotron for their science will be able to rethink their career plans and we will attract scientists from other countries to join us,” she said.