Big magnets and frickin’ lasers – thanks and farewell Christine Beavers

When you arrive at work in the morning, and your view is this magnificent vista of the San Francisco Bay Area, it must make it a teensy bit hard to go inside and get your scients on. But our latest curator Christine Beavers does it every day from the Advanced Light Source at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

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We posit that this may be the world’s loveliest view from a synchrotron (RS HQ would like to scientifically assess this hypothesis, if anyone would like to fund our world synchrotron tour so we can collect these important data please send us all your monies).

This week, Christine prompted some interesting discussions on some of the tricker things that are faced by those working in synchrotrons, including the skyrocketing cost of helium (required for cooling magnets) and the skyplummeting financial support for advanced scientific infrastructure in the United States.

We were also permitted an insight into the delightfully named ‘BARF’ (Beamline Activated Ruby Fluorescence) system at the Advanced Light Source …

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BARF (but no pieces of carrot)

… and this majestic beast where x-rays are born.

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Thank you Christine for letting us inside your synchrotron this week! As always, you can catch up on anything you missed on Storify, and you can keep following Christine on twitter @xtalgrrl.

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