From the Director – Working towards a new era

Content Image InlineWelcome to the first Lightspeed for 2012. Judging by the networking buzz at the User Meeting in December 2011, our users and staff are looking forward to another year of productive research collaborations.


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Up to Speed

Content Image Inline This month our short interview features Lauren Baird, database officer at the Australian Synchrotron.


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2011 User meeting report

Content Image Inline The 2011 Australian Synchrotron User Meeting attracted an enthusiastic crowd of synchrotron experts and users. Reported highlights included: a protein superfamily that could lead to new ways to prevent transplant rejection, deep earth science for predicting natural disasters and finding natural resources, superconductors and synchrotrons, and how identifying chemicals in paintings can reveal artistic secrets.

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Superconductivity and synchrotrons

Content Image InlineOne hundred years since the discovery of superconductivity, and 25 years since the first high-temperature superconductor (HTS) was discovered, HTS materials are being used in synchrotron instruments and magnets – and synchrotrons are helping to reveal the very complex physics of HTS materials.

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Beamtime applications

Beamtime submissions for round 2012/2 (May-August 2012) close on 15 February 2012.

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2011 AS thesis medal winners

Content Image InlineThe joint winners of the 2011 Australian Synchrotron Thesis Medal are Kaye Morgan (Monash University) and Corey Putkunz (PhD from La Trobe University, now at Melbourne University).

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Neutrons and x-rays: Why stop at one shining light?

Content Image Inline "To do really interesting science, you will have to use both neutrons and x-rays."

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Microbeam radiotherapy experiments at IMBL

Content Image InlineA promising experimental radiotherapy technique uses finely divided synchrotron x-rays to destroy tumours without seriously affecting normal tissue.

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Young Tall (synchrotron) Poppies

Victoria's six Young Tall Poppy scientists for 2011 include two Australian Synchrotron users: Matthew Hill from CSIRO and David Turner from Monash University.

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Photo competition - enter now

The Australian Synchrotron has an ongoing photo competition for staff, users and visitors. The rules are simple: your photographs must have been taken at the Australian Synchrotron, and professional photographers are not eligible to enter the competition. The next deadline is Friday 16 March 2012. (All photos submitted since December 2011 will be included in this round of judging.)

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Events Diary

Synchrotron-related events in Australia and overseas.

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Reader Feedback

Lightspeed welcomes your comments and suggestions. Please send these to: with 'Lightspeed comments' in the subject line.

Use of Lightspeed Material

Material from Lightspeed may be reproduced for non-commercial purposes provided the source is acknowledged, e.g. 'This material first appeared in the Australian Synchrotron's Lightspeed newsletter, February 2012'.

Careers at the Australian Synchrotron

The Australian Synchrotron offers a unique working environment for a wide range of specialists. For information on job postings, go to:

Staff List