Science  11 Mar 2005:
Vol. 307, Issue 5715, pp. 1539a
DOI: 10.1126/science.307.5715.1539a

Particles whipping around inside an accelerator fire off x-rays and infrared andultravioletlight. Once dismissed as an annoyance, these intense beams now help researchers probe protein structure, gauge the strength of materials, and tackle many other questions. The new site, sponsored by 17 accelerator facilities, serves as a meeting place for scientists who work with so-called synchrotron light. By paging through a directory, visitors can find out how to sign up for beam time at, say, the Advanced Light Source in Berkeley, California, or the Photon Factory in Japan. The site also rounds up a wealth of resources, from a phone book of European crystallographers to a database for comparing 3D protein structures, and includes a gallery of images such as a diamond-anvil cell for analyzing samples at high pressure.

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