Light Source Fortunes Brighten

After five years of rejection, Argonne National Lab has finally garnered congressional approval to begin construction of its $456 million Advanced Photon Source. Wasting not a moment, the lab broke ground just days after receiving $40 million for construction in the 1990 DOE budget, which took effect October 1. The APS, which will be the nation’s second-largest basic science project (after the Superconducting Supercollider) when it is completed in 1995, is designed to produce the brightest X-ray beams in the world. Focused X-ray radiation, with a wavelength as short as 1 angstrom, is used to observe molecular, atomic, and chemical processes with unprecedented detail. APS officials plan to operate the facility like an apartment building, “leasing” 34 experimental areas around the 3,600-foot ring. With a $500,000 initial fee, researchers will be able to reserve a sector for their own use; after that, academic and governmept scientists...

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