Sep. 06, 2010
NewsScientific News

PETRA III Takes Up Research Operation

DESY's new X-ray source PETRA III has taken up operation for the international science community. At the 2.3-kilometres long synchrotron source of the third generation, the first external users were welcomed, thus starting the first official measuring period.

From a total of 54 applications for beam time, 32 scientific workgroups were selected in an international peer review process. In this measuring period that lasts until Christmas, they will carry out their experiments at the first three measuring stations at PETRA III. The range of experiments is widespread, from high temperature superconduction and magnetism to mapping of biological nanostructures. The first external experiment is carried out by a scientists' group of the GSI Helmholtz Centre for Heavy Ion Research in Darmstadt. They investigate atomic structure changes of zirconium dioxide that are generated by heavy ion radiation.

Parallel to the first research activities, the remaining measuring stations in the nearly 300 metres long PETRA III experimental hall are further equipped and put into operation. Apart from the three beamlines now starting user operation, four additional ones are currently running in test operation. Until the end of the year, the PETRA III X-ray light will reach all 14 beamlines. In the coming measuring periods, all PETRA III measuring stations will gradually be made available for user experiments.

PETRA III is DESY's new third generation synchrotron radiation source. With the investment of 234 million Euros, the already existing PETRA storage ring with a circumference of 2.3 kilometres was converted to the world's best synchrotron light source of its kind. In the newly erected 300-metres long experimental hall, it will be possible to carry out up to 16 experiments simultaneously at 30 measuring stations with the highly brilliant X-ray light of the PETRA III accelerator in the final stage. The conversion was funded by the Federal Ministry of Research, the City of Hamburg and the Helmholtz Association.

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