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China to build world’s brightest light source facility

Updated: Jan 23,2017 2:45 PM     chinadaily.com.cn

A file photo shows the Shanghai Synchrotron Radiation Facility (SSRF) project that was put into service on Jan 19, 2010.

China plans to build a next-generation synchrotron radiation facility in Beijing, according to a researcher from Chinese Academy of Sciences, one of the country’s top research institutes.

Dong Yuhui, the researcher, said that the project is expected to start construction in November next year and will be completed within six years. The total investment will reach 4.8 billion yuan ($698.4 million).

The facility, dubbed Beijing Light Source, will meet the national security demands and create aerospace materials among other products. It will provide high-resolution method to know substantial structures better.

Beijing Light Source will be the so-called fourth generation light source, and its key performance indicators would be higher than the third-generation ones.

It will create the brightest X-rays worldwide, 70 times brighter than the US National Synchrotron Light Source II (NSLS-II) and 10 times brighter than Sweden’s MAX IV, the strongest of its kind in the world so far.

Bright X-rays could help measure the atomic structure of various substances, and the higher brightness will help people to see more details of substances, something akin to using flashlight to see things, Dong said.

Currently, China has the light sources from first generation to third generation, such as the first-generation facility BSRF in Beijing, the second-generation facility NHLS in Hefei, Anhui province, and the third-generation SSRF in Shanghai.

Around the world, there are more than 50 such facilities providing support in many research fields. The light source plays an important role in the medical field, helping researchers know mechanisms of tumors and cerebrovascular diseases.

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