This presentation explores the significant impact of synchrotron light sources on various aspects of science, research, and diplomacy
The presenter, Gihan Kamel, from SESAME, begins by acknowledging the role of accelerators, specifically synchrotron light sources, in contributing to scientific progress and sustainable development. These accelerators have opened up vast opportunities for investigating different types of matter across numerous applications.
Synchrotron radiation, emitted through the acceleration of particles at nearly the speed of light in a curved path, covers a wide range of electromagnetic radiation, including X-rays, ultraviolet, visible light, and infrared radiation. These properties make it a valuable tool for studying the microscopic world.
Exploring all fields of science
Synchrotrons play a fundamental role in various scientific fields, including physics, chemistry, biology, biophysics, life sciences, and material sciences. They also have practical applications in energy, pharmaceuticals, medicines, public health research, agriculture, environmental studies, and energy storage.
They not only offer insights into the present and future but also allow researchers to explore the past, including cultural heritage, archaeology, bio-archaeology, and paleontology.
Science diplomacy and peace
The presenter emphasizes that science serves as a common language, transcending cultural and national boundaries, fostering common goals and values, and contributing to positive societal impact. Collaboration among scientists, regardless of their background or beliefs, is a driving force in promoting peace and understanding.
The speaker discusses the importance of science diplomacy and its role in conflict-ridden regions like the Middle East. SESAME (Synchrotron light for Experimental Science and Applications in the Middle East) is presented as a model of science diplomacy, promoting cooperation, solidarity, and peace among nations in the region.
SESAME is an inter-governmental organization, with member countries including Pakistan, Iran, Turkey, Jordan, Palestine, Cyprus, Egypt, and Israel. The facility is supported internationally, with observers from various countries and organizations.
The key achievements of SESAME are highlighted, such as its inauguration in 2017, becoming an associate of the League of European Accelerator-based Photon Sources, and its operation powered by renewable energy.
SESAME’s storage ring is 2.5 giga-electronvolt, and it aims to provide 400 milliamps. The facility will offer 24 beam lines for different applications, with a focus on addressing local and regional concerns and promoting capacity building in various forms. In phase-one, only eight beamlines are to be built. Five should be in operation at the end of 2023.
Toward an African Light Source
The presentation underscores SESAME’s role in encouraging gender equality, reversing brain drain, and fostering the growth of the scientific community in the Middle East and beyond.
The speaker emphasizes that the future of particle accelerators lies in establishing an African light source, which can contribute to addressing various public health, environmental, and cultural heritage issues on the African continent.