Cornell Synchrotron Begins Two-Month X-Ray Run, Receives Mechanical Upgrades

From last Wednesday to Dec. 8, the Cornell High Energy Synchrotron Source (CHESS), also known affectionately as the “world’s coolest microscope” by CHESS Director Prof. Joel Brock, applied and engineering physics, will be holding a scheduled x-ray run for users around the nation. CHESS is a high-intensity x-ray source funded by the National Science Foundation that is operated and managed by the University, driving research in fields spanning from electron behavior in a superconductor to arsenic poisoning in shrimp. These brief, high-power runs occur only three to four times a year, and a limited amount of time is available to accommodate all the research groups that would like to use the synchrotron for their projects, according to Prof. Kyle Lancaster, chemistry. Once scientists receive beam time, they often stay overnight to get the most out of their allotted time.