The SCU installed at the straight section of Sector 6 of the Advanced Photon Source at Argonne National Laboratory. To view a larger version of the photo, click on it. Credit: Argonne National Laboratory

First light from the first high-energy superconducting undulator

February 4, 2013 by Rick Fenner

(—More than eight years of effort by Advanced Photon Source (APS) physicists, engineers, and technicians culminated on Jan. 21, 2013, with the production of the first X-rays from the prototype of a novel superconducting undulator (SCU), which has been installed in the APS electron accelerator and storage ring at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory. It is the first such SCU operated at a third-generation synchrotron X-ray facility.

Superconducting technology has been used before at synchrotron radiation facilities for building powerful wigglers or bending magnets, which are other types of synchrotron-X-ray-producing devices. But making small-period, strong-magnetic-field undulators that meet stringent field quality requirements has been a long-standing objective for accelerator science.

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