In this Issue:
1. Commissioning Progress
2. Beamline Partners News
3. Community News
4. Coming Events
5. Synchrotron science highlights
6. Australian Synchrotron contact details
7. How to subscribe / unsubscribe


On Friday 14 July, at 3.15am, the Australian Synchrotron team captured an image of “first light” (a sustained electron beam in the storage ring generating light), at 1 mA of current. Since then, 10mA of current has been achieved.

First light 14 July 2006

“At about 03:15 this morning we saw the first light from a stored beam in the storage ring. The light in the picture is from the x-ray diagnostic beamline and the reason there are several spots is because we use a pinhole array to get both position and size information. We moved quickly on to establish stacking getting up to 1 mA before reaching equilibrium between the lifetime and the injection.” —Greg Le Blanc, Lead Accelerator Physicist, 14 July 2006

Since the beginning of June the Australian Synchrotron site team has been commissioning the storage ring with beam. All commissioning activity takes place during the evening and often late into the night.

Highlights on the journey towards “first light” have included:

  • 2 June: electrons were transported through the booster-to-storage ring (BTS) transport line into the storage ring tunnel for the first time;
  • 8 June: the ‘first turn’ was achieved (electron beam completes one lap of the storage ring);
  • 15 June: more than 20 turns, without and with RF;
  • By the beginning of July, more than 80 turns had been achieved.

The storage ring optical diagnostic beamline has been installed and commissioned. This beamline provides feedback to help optimise the stability and quality of the beam in the storage ring.
Photographs of milestones in commissioning can be found at /content.asp?Document_ID=4311


New Funding Partners: NSW

A consortium including the New South Wales (NSW) Government has joined the national beamline funding partnership of the Australian Synchrotron.

The NSW Government has teamed with 13 universities from NSW, the Northern Territory, the ACT and Tasmania to contribute a total $5 million towards the Australian Synchrotron.

“This is an important scientific partnership, which will allow researchers to carry out more Australian-based research, without travelling overseas,” the Hon. Frank Sartor, NSW Minister for Science and Medical Research, said.

The NSW consortium includes the University of NSW, University of Newcastle, University of Sydney, University of Wollongong, Macquarie University, University of Western Sydney, University of Technology Sydney, University of New England, Charles Sturt University, Southern Cross University, University of Canberra, University of Tasmania and Charles Darwin University.

New Funding Partners: South Australia and La Trobe University

A consortium including the South Australian (SA) State Government, three SA universities and La Trobe University in Victoria has announced today that it will contribute $5 million towards the initial suite of beamlines at the Australian Synchrotron. The contribution brings the consortium into full membership of the national beamline funding partnership of the Australian Synchrotron.

New Zealand

Across the Tasman Sea, New Zealand’s Minister for Research, Science and Technology, Steve Maharey, officially confirmed New Zealand’s contribution of AU$5 million as a foundation beamline partner on 20 June 2006.

“The synchrotron will ensure New Zealand remains globally competitive across a range of science areas”, Minister Maharey said. “As a foundation partner, New Zealand scientists will have access to a pool of time set aside for those contributing capital to the project…It is vital that our scientists have access to this technology.”
Funding Partnership completed

These latest announcements complete the task that the national science community set out in the Australian Synchrotron National Science Case for the Initial Suite of Beamlines published in January 2004, to raise $49 million for an initial suite of nine priority beamlines. This is the largest amount, by far, ever raised through a science collaboration in Australia.

It is a unique collaboration in the history of Australasian science.

The Australian science community in partnership with New Zealand and all State governments is now seeking to raise sufficient funds from the Commonwealth through the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy to continue the development of the initial beamlines to world-leading standard and to commence additional beamlines.

Beamline Funding Partners

Beamline partners are:

  • Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO)
  • Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)
  • Association of Australian Medical Research Institutes (AAMRI)
  • The University of Melbourne
  • Monash University
  • New Zealand (consortium)
  • New South Wales (consortium)
  • Queensland (consortium)
  • Western Australia (consortium)
  • South Australia/La Trobe University (consortium).

Each of the ten partners has contributed $5 million, totalling $50 million.

The beamline partnership now brings in all States and Territories in Australia, and New Zealand.

The South Australia/La Trobe University consortium comprises the South Australian Government, the University of South Australia, Adelaide University, Flinders University and La Trobe University.

The Western Australian consortium comprises the Western Australian Government, Curtin University of Technology and the University of Western Australia.

The Queensland consortium comprises the Queensland Government, University of Queensland, Queensland University of Technology, Griffith University and James Cook University.

The NSW consortium comprises the University of NSW, University of Newcastle, University of Sydney, University of Wollongong, Macquarie University, University of Western Sydney, University of Technology Sydney, University of New England, Charles Sturt University, Southern Cross University, and—from the ACT, Tasmania and the Northern Territory respectively—the University of Canberra, University of Tasmania and Charles Darwin University.

The New Zealand consortium includes the New Zealand Government, Crown Research Institutes and universities.


Monash Science Centre Exhibition opens

An exhibition to show what the Australian Synchrotron can do for science, industry and the community, opened at the Monash Science Centre, Normanby Road, Clayton. The exhibition targets visitors over 12 years of age. Synchrotron talks and demonstrations for schools groups, including hands-on experiments, are also on offer. Senior high school students can be provided with material relevant to the Year 12 Synchrotron Physics option being offered in Victorian schools.

The Monash Science Centre Synchrotron Exhibition is open to the general public, free admission, Monday–Friday, 10am – 5pm. Bookings for school groups by email:; phone: (03) 9905 1370; Fax: (03) 9905 1312.

Innovative business partnerships

Federal Senator Kay Patterson has announced Regional Partnerships funding of $159,000 to promote innovation and competitiveness in south-eastern Melbourne. These funds will help innovative businesses benefit from capabilities in the technology precinct that includes the Australian Synchrotron, Monash University and CSIRO.

Synchrotron contractor wins award

Synchrotron contractors Nilsen Electric won an Award of Excellence from peak industry body the National Electrical and Communications Association (NECA) on Friday 14 July. Nilsen’s work on the Australian Synchrotron project met all the requirements of the Industry category award criteria for an outstanding example of a major, complex and multi-disciplinary high-tech installation.

Nilsen Electric’s Ray Buckley said, “On completion, the huge Synchrotron will provide incredibly accurate research results across the whole spectrum of science, from fighting cancer to nanotechnology. Our team felt privileged to contribute our skills to this important project.”

The NECA judges described Nilsen’s work on the Synchrotron project as “A total first class installation.”

State winners are automatically entered into the NECA National Awards to be held on 9 November in Sydney.

Australia to host SRI 2009

The Australian Synchrotron has been selected to host the next meeting of the premier international conference on synchrotron radiation— SRI2009. Richard Garrett, Director of the Australian Synchrotron Research Program, headed the winning bid team at SRI2006 in Korea. The conference brings together synchrotron scientists from around the world who are involved in developing new synchrotron equipment and techniques.

ASRP Internship Program 2006

The Australian Synchrotron Research Program (ASRP) will be running the synchrotron internship program again in 2006–07. Current or prospective PhD students can spend 3 months stationed at the ASRP beamlines at the Advanced Photon Source, Chicago, or the Photon Factory, Japan. The application form and program guidelines can be downloaded from the ASRP website ( or by direct link ( Up to 3 internships will be awarded. Deadline for applications: Friday 1 September 2006.

2006 ASRP Thesis Medal: Best Life Sciences

The ASRP Thesis Medal is awarded annually to the PhD student judged to have completed the most outstanding thesis under the auspices of an Australian University using any synchrotron light source. The eligibility alternates each year between PhDs in Life Sciences and in Physical/Chemical Sciences. Nominations for 2006 Medal in Life Sciences close 1 September. More at

Sculpture installed in foyer

A work of art by sculptor Vincas Jomantas was installed in the foyer of the Australian Synchrotron on 28 June. An official unveiling by the Director of the Monash University Museum of Art, Max Delany, was attended by the sculptor’s widow, Mrs Laima Jomantas, and representatives of the arts community. The sculpture “Sun Temple” was donated for installation at the synchrotron by Mrs Jomantas in recognition of her late husband’s interest in science and engineering, and the similarity of concept behind this work and the light-generating synchrotron.

Science Teachers Workshop

A workshop was held on 7 June at the Monash Science Centre for Victorian science teachers, to introduce them to the physics behind the Australian Synchrotron, and to present a range of teaching aids and curriculum support.

The professional development workshop was run by the Science Teachers Association of Victoria and the Australian Institute of Physics (Vic) Education Committee, with assistance from the Australian Synchrotron.

Teachers enjoyed a site visit to the Australian Synchrotron, and a presentation by Greg LeBlanc, Lead Accelerator Physicist.

Some of the comments received included:

  • I found the hands on activities excellent and the tour was excellent. The opportunity to speak to other teachers and share ideas was invaluable.
  • It has been a very good session. Well organised and very informative. Great !
  • Excellent program, opened my eyes.

Teachers who were unable to attend the workshop and who would like support in teaching synchrotron science are invited to contact the Australian Institute of Physics (Vic) Education committee via the website at or contact the Australian Synchrotron at email:

The Australian Synchrotron website has a section designed to support teachers and students accessible from the home page or at: /content.asp?Document_ID=153

Australian Synchrotron Operator

The Request for Tender for the Australian Synchrotron Operator has formally closed for the two tenderers: CSIRO and ANSTO/WorleyParsons Joint Venture.

Decadal Planning for Synchrotron Capabilities

The consultation paper on the 10-year plan for synchrotron science in Australia and New Zealand is available online at: /content.asp?document_id=4293.



ABIC 2006: Unlocking the potential of agricultural biotechnology
6 – 9 August 2006, Melbourne Exhibition and Convention Centre, Melbourne, Australia

The Agricultural Biotechnology International Conference (ABIC) is the major global conference for agricultural biotechnology. It is expected to attract more than 1,000 national and international delegates.

A comprehensive program featuring leading global scientific and industry speakers will focus on the innovation and commercialisation of agricultural biotechnology to achieve maximum benefit for the global community.

The Australian Synchrotron will have a display stand at the event.

AIP 17th National Congress 2006
3–8 December 2006, Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, Queensland
Australian Institute of Physics National Congress.
Excellent plenary speakers already confirmed. Email:


SRMS-5, 5th International Conference on Synchrotron Radiation in Materials Science
30 July – 2 August 2006, Chicago
Biennial conference bringing together leading-edge synchrotron x-ray researchers in the materials sciences. More at:

9th International Conference on Biology and Synchrotron Radiation
13–17 August 2007, Manchester, England. .

ICIEAA-10: International Conference on Electronic Spectroscopy and Structure
28 August – 1 September 2006, Foz do Iguacu, Parana, Brazil

AUSHEP 2006: Australasian High Energy and Medical Physics Conference
17 – 20 October 2006, Christchurch New Zealand
Topics include: HEP: ATLAS/CMS/Belle, Particle Astrophysics, Particle Theory, Simulation, Medical Imaging, Radiation Therapy, GRID computing.
More at:

VUV 15TH International Conference on Vacuum Ultraviolet Radiation Physics
July 29 – August 3, 2007, Konzerthaus Berlin, Germany
Bringing together scientists from countries all over the world working in the field of developing synchrotron, laser, or plasma based VUV and soft x-ray sources as well as applying photons in this spectral range.
More at:


News and recently published research assisted by synchrotron science

Water quality improvements likely using new understanding of ion interaction

Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory have discovered new ways that ions interact with mineral surfaces in water, opening a door to new knowledge on how contaminants travel in the environment. The insight, published in a recent issue of Physical Review Letters, leads to a better understanding of the factors that determine water quality.

Water—colorless, odorless and tasteless—may seem simple, but its interactions with minerals can be difficult to study. The more scientists can understand about the interaction of minerals with water and ions, the more effectively they can control water quality in our environment.

Using the Advanced Photon Source at Argonne, the team was able to take advantage of the synchrotron’s spectroscopic sensitivity to identify the way specific ions interact at mineral–water interfaces and to visualise the phenomena directly. More at:

Observation of gas adsorption process in nanochannel of a micro-porous material

Researchers have succeeded in the first direct observation of the gas adsorption process in the nanochannel of a metal-organic porous material which provides us with a relevant gas storage mechanism.

Microporous coordination polymers are crystal materials with perfectly ordered nanochannel structures and have attracted attention for their applications in gas storage, gas separation, and heterogeneous catalysis.

The research team included the Japan Synchrotron Radiation Research Institute. The use of high brilliance synchrotron light at the Powder Diffraction Beamline BL02B2 in SPring-8 led to the team’s success in the elucidation of precise structure in the adsorption process including chemical bonding nature.

The work was reported in the science journals, Nature, Science and Angewandte Chemie International Edition, 30 June (online). More at: and Angew. Chem Int. Ed 45 (2006) Full 3-D image of nanocrystals’ interior created by shining X-rays through them
A vital step towards the ultimate goal of being able to take 'photographs' of individual molecules in action has been achieved by researchers at the London Centre for Nanotechnology.

They report in the journal Nature on a novel method of obtaining a full 3-D image of the interior of nanocrystals.

Using a process known as coherent x-ray diffraction imaging, they were able to build a picture of the inside of nanocrystals by measuring and inverting diffraction patterns.

The researchers found that coherent x-ray diffraction imaging was an attractive alternative to electron microscopy because of the better penetration of the electromagnetic waves in materials of interest, and often less damaging to the sample than electrons.

University of Melbourne researcher Garth Williams, School of Physics, was a contributing author to the article in Nature, 6 July 2006, “'Three-dimensional mapping of a deformation field inside a nanocrystal'”. More at:


A list of Australian Synchrotron Project personnel can be found at /content.asp?Document_ID=129.


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