First X-Ray Beam in Hall

At 7:13 a.m. on Sunday, March 26, the Advanced Photon Source (APS) delivered its first x-rays down a beamline and into an experimental enclosure. This major milestone took place not only during the centennial of Rontgen's discovery of x-rays but also within a day of his 150th birthday. Of more significance for APS users, staff, and sponsors, this "first light" at the APS was produced nearly a year ahead of schedule and within budget.

The key steps in this phase of commissioning took place during an exciting week in March. Working only at night and in early morning hours to avoid construction activities, APS staff began storage-ring commissioning on Saturday, March 18. On March 25 at 1:55 a.m., the first sustained orbit of electrons inside the storage ring was achieved. On March 26, during the last shift in that particular commissioning window, electrons were again stored and x-rays were permitted to pass down beamline 1-BM to be recorded on radiation-sensitive paper in the first-optics enclosure.

In less than five years, an empty field at Argonne has been transformed into a state-of-the-art national user facility dedicated to the production of super-brilliant synchrotron x-ray beams for scientific investigations across a wide range of disciplines. David E. Moncton, Associate Laboratory Director for the APS, observed, "We are now ready to generate beams powerful enough to let us see the molecular structure of the most complex materials that nature or man can produce."

Click Here The first rays reaching the experimental floor at the APS created a dark bar on a sheet of radiation-sensitive paper. Those present at this major milestone in the machine's development signed their names below.

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