First light at B18

November 19, 2009

Two days ago, beamline B18 at the Diamond Light Source had its first light – exactly as planned. Here is the picture that Silvia Ramos sent me. It is a view down a vacuum tube. The long strip in the centre of the picture is a fluorsecent screen, beautifully lit up by the X-ray photons. The additional brightness surrounding it comes from reflections on the walls of the tube. Hurray!

B18 is an EXAFS beamline: a technique enabling the elucidation of local structure around atoms of a specific atomic species that exploits the ability of X-ray photons to excite electrons so they get out of the atoms and explore the immediate environment.