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January 21, 2020

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‘Light source’ upgrade

The Shanghai Synchrotron Radiation Facility, known as the “Shanghai light source,” will close for a month for checks and the addition of new equipment. 

A more stable light source will be provided to users after it opens again, according to the facility.

Featuring a giant nautilus-shaped structure, the facility is the core of a cluster of infrastructure facilities at the Zhangjiang Science City in the Pudong New Area.

It is the first intermediate-energy, third-generation light source on the Chinese mainland. It uses “synchrotrons radiation” technology, by which electrons move in a circle and emit electromagnetic waves in a wide range of frequencies to create beams hundreds of millions of times brighter than a normal X-ray.

It’s like a super X-ray machine and super microscope, allowing researchers to discern the structure of a virus, a protein and even an atom.

Zhang Qinglei, deputy researcher from the Shanghai Advanced Research Institute under the Chinese Academy of Sciences, works as a “guardian” of the facility.

“Our work is to ensure the stable beamlines to users and fix problems such as the drop of luminous flux in time,” he told the Xinmin Evening News.

Now, he and his colleagues are working on the research into a fourth-generation light source, which can take film of molecules and 3D holographic images of living cells.


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