[ Back to EurekAlert! ] Public release date: 10-Sep-2012
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Contact: Søren Pape Møller
fyssp@phys.au.dk
45-23-38-23-42
Aarhus University

Aarhus University to inaugurate the ultimate source of light:

New particle accelerator in Aarhus, Denmark

ASTRID2 will be one of the world's ultimate sources of x-ray. The 46 meters long ring will have applications in a broad spectre of scientific areas, and will in the future offer possibilities to, for instance, test new medication or play a key role in the research of new and exotic materials, which can contribute to society's technological development.

Physicists at Institute of Physics and Astronomy has worked on the accelerator since 2008, where the Danish Ministry of Science granted approx. 5 million Euro to the construction of the new accelerator. Today it is a proud Head of Centre that can present the outcome of their work:

"Only very few places in the world will be able to offer facilities like the one we inaugurate today in Denmark. In the wavelength area in which ASTRID2 will operate, Aarhus University will now be placed as one of the worlds leading facilities. We will be able to offer the international scientific elite the ultimate source of synchrotron radiation," says Head of Institute of Storage Ring Facilities, Aarhus University, Søren Pape Møller.

ASTRID2 accelerates particles to just below the speed of light, whereby very intense shortwave light is produced. This brilliant light, the synchrotron radiation, is used by scientists to analyse everything from biological systems to to nano technological connections on atomic scale.

In 1991 Aarhus University became the only Danish university with a large particle accelerator of this type, when the first ASTRID was inaugurated. In the 21 years that have passed since, the research team has created a world leading scientific environment at the university campus. Aarhus University still has the only research centre for particle acceleration with high technological equipment at its disposal in Denmark – not only for research, but for education of future scientists as well.

Through the years, ASTRID has been used by a wide variety of international researchers; doctors, physicists and biologists and they have been able to reveal physiological properties that have never been seen before.

Like its predecessor, ASTRID2 will play a vital role in areas like autoimmune illness and in the R&D of future materials like graphen. The step from the old ring to the new one will enable a whole new level of detail and possibilities, explains Søren Pape Møller: "The step we take here can resemble the technological step that mankind took, when we went from hammer and anvil to nanophysics."

According to Søren Pape Møller, the accelerator and the accumulated expertize at Aarhus University can be transferred to other life important areas of health research:

"With our knowledge regarding the construction and development of accelerators like ASTRID2, we will be an essential partner in the R&D of radiation therapy and treatment of cancer patients."

The expectations to the interdisciplinary research at Aarhus University are high. The university has recently employed two international renowned scientists in the fields of medicine and physics, which will strengthen the Danish research in advanced radiation treatment of cancer patients.

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