Synchrotron radiation research—An overview

Authors(s):Arthur Bienenstock and Herman Winick Publication:Physical Review Publication Date:June 1983 Publisher: American Institute of Physics Citation:Physics Today 36, 6, 48 (1983) Link:

Synchrotron radiation, with its remarkable properties and eminent suitability for scientific and technical applications, is having a profound effect on the many disciplines that make use of radiation in the x-ray and vacuum ultraviolet regions of the spectrum. Indeed, the rapidly increasing availability of this radiation is revolutionizing some fields and is leading to a variety of new interdisciplinary collaborations. Seeking to take advantage of this incisive tool, scientists around the world are requesting time at synchrotron radiation facilities in such large numbers that the fast-paced construction of new sources—including several in less-developed countries—has yet to bring the level of availability up to that of demand.

In May 1981, PHYSICS TODAY devoted a special issue to synchrotron radiation research. Four articles reviewed facilities, applications and the then newly developed wiggler and undulator sources. In the intervening two years there have been very significant changes in the nature and availability of synchrotron radiation sources. Five new facilities have begun operation, and a similar number of facilities already in operation have undergone major expansions. The nature of synchrotron radiation research has also changed significantly, as have our expectations. Consequently, PHYSICS TODAY will publish a series of articles describing these changes in detail.