A new synchrotron particle accelerator for the MENA
The Synchrotron light for Experimental Science and Applications in the Middle East (SESAME) is one of the most interesting and ambitious MENA research infrastructure projects.
It is a cooperative initiative by scientists and governments to create a synchrotron light source facility by adopting the model of CERN (Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire; European Organization for Nuclear Research).
It is a third generation synchrotron light source which produces very intense pulses of light/X-rays radiation that enable the detailed study of objects ranging in size from human cells to atoms.
This technology is a major factor promoting scientific progress with impact on diverse fields including archaeology, biology, chemistry, environmental science, geology, medicine and physics and covering the full spectrum from protein crystallography, structure of viruses and solid-state physics to improve our computers.
According to Rolf Heuer, Director-General of CERN until 2015, the project idea started in 1995, evolved as an autonomous intergovernmental organization developed under the auspices of UNESCO and the EU and is supported by the International Atomic Energy Agency.
It is a multinational effort with members from Bahrain, Cyprus, Egypt, Iran, Israel, Jordan, Pakistan, the Palestinian Authority, and Turkey.
SESAME will foster scientific and technological excellence in the Middle East, build scientific bridges between
neighbouring countries and foster mutual understanding through international cooperation.
According to the SESAME website, it will be used by scientists based in universities and research institutes across
Press release sesame.org 11-2-2016 ‘In a historic moment for both SESAME and the Middle East, on Wednesday, 10 February, the first of the 16 cells of SESAME’s storage ring was installed in the shielding tunnel in the Center’s experimental hall in Allan (Jordan). Each cell consists of magnets (dipole, quadrupoles and sextupoles) and the vacuum chamber, supported by a girder.
The team responsible for this important milestone was led by SESAME’s Technical Director, Erhard Huttel, and consisted of scientists and technicians from the SESAME region, with help from members of CERN forming part of the CESSAMag (CERN-EC Support for SESAME Magnets) team.
Commissioning of the SESAME machine is expected to start towards the end of 2016 and the laboratory is expected to become operational with two ‘day-one’ beamlines in 2017. These beamlines are the XAFS/XRF (X-ray absorption fine structure/X-ray fluorescence) beamline and the IR (infrared) spectromicroscopy beamline. SESAME will be the Middle East’s first synchrotron light source.'
sesame.org: New Call For Applications IAEA/SESAME Training Fellowships (Call for 2016)
'In the context of Capacity Building, IAEA fellowships for SESAME are available for young scientists from SESAME Members to allow them to develop skills in well-established synchrotron radiation laboratories around the world needed to use any of the aforementioned seven beamlines.'
You may also want to read :
Middle East X-ray factory is a source of hope. Nature 539, 468 (24 November 2016) doi:10.1038/539468a
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