Visual Science: The Ultimate X-Ray Generator

To get really high-energy X-rays, you need some really powerful magnets.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010
RELATED TAGS: SUBATOMIC PARTICLES
xrayopener
xrayopener

THE MOMENT: A generator at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) in France powers what are known as “kicker magnets,” which help direct beams of high-energy electrons that whiz around the facility at high speeds. Other magnets wiggle the circulating particle beams, causing them to emit intense X-rays. ESRF’s accelerator is the most powerful synchrotron light source in Europe. Researchers at the facility use this energetic radiation to probe the structures of diverse targets that include superstrong glass, fossils trapped in amber, and proteins produced by malaria parasites.

THE SHOT: Photograph by Peter Ginter using a Canon EOS Mark III, 14mm lens, ISO 200.

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