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    Fall 2006 Aladdin Newsletter No. 41

    Posted 10-2-2006

    1. Advances in IR at SRC
      - Hirschmugl Awarded $1-Million from NSF for IR Beamline
      - New IR Microscope Commissioned
    2. State of the SRC — Moving Forward
    3. Summer 2006 Educational Outreach
    4. Important Dates:
      - FEL Workshop: October 18 and 19
      - User's Meeting: October 20 and 21
    5. Davor Pavuna Awarded Tesla Decoration

    1. Advances in IR at SRC

    Hirschmugl (UW-Milwaukee) Awarded $1-Million from NSF for IR Beamline

    With Carol Hirschmugl as principal investigator, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee was recently awarded $1-million to design a mid-infrared (IR) beamline, IRMSI-MED, extracting 320 hor. x 25 vert. mrads2 that will be developed to homogeneously illuminate a commercial IR microscope equipped with a multi-element detector (MED). This will provide the opportunity to obtain chemical images with diffraction-limited (or better) resolution of 35 x 35 micron2 areas in minutes. This design is motivated by a prototype experiment that was completed at the National Synchrotron Light Source by Larry Carr, Randy Smith, and Lisa Miller in collaboration with Tom Tague and Richard Jackson from Bruker Instruments. A description of the approach is described in reference 1.

    From the earliest experiments with optical microscopes, researchers have examined the appearance of microbes and other microscopic plants and animals; they have strived to identify the various organelles and sub-cellular structures evident, helping them to infer their biological function. Beyond the visual appearance of these structures, knowledge of their chemical makeup would provide great insight into how these sub-cellular structures function in a living cell. Moreover, tracking the changes in their chemical makeup would allow scientists to understand the organism's response to changing environmental conditions. The development of a chemically sensitive infrared microscope with multiple, parallel detection channels will greatly expand the ability to examine such biological structures, and to track their changes over minutes.

    In the case of Hirschmugl's work, initial research projects include examining kinetics of living cells (phytoplankton), fungi and bacteria-mineral interactions. But, this microscope will be available for the user community across a wide array of disciplines (e.g. soft matter condensed physics, nanoscience, biology, chemistry, veterinary science, engineering, environmental science and geology), providing a new interdisciplinary tool to the broader scientific community and as a teaching tool for the many pre-collegiate, undergraduate, and graduate students that come to SRC each year as part ofseveral science education programs and in collaborations with faculty mentors.

    [1] "Multichannel detection with a synchrotron light source: design and potential", G.L. Carr, O. Chubar and Paul Dumas, in Spectrochemical Analysis Using Infrared Multichannel Detectors, R. Bhargava & I. Levin, eds. SRC New Infrared Microscope(Blackwell Publishing, 2005) Chpt. 3.

    New IR Microscope Commissioned

    In addition to this new beamline development, Bob Julian reports the installation of a second IR microscope on the existing IR beamline (031), which will accompany the existing microscope that has been used for nearly ten years. The new Continuum (Thermo Electron Spectroscopy Division) microscope has several advanced capabilities and improved capabilities, including: advanced viewing quality, the ability to view infrared and visible light simultaneously, auto focusing ability, motorized apertures, a more precise mapping stage, and the ability to conduct fluorescence experiments.

    2. State of the SRC -- Moving Forward

    A new cooperative agreement is now in place with the NSF, covering the period April 1, 2006 through March 31, 2009. In this past year's climate of a tight federal budget, SRC received only a marginal budget increase for this period, but full 24/5 operations will be maintained. With growing congressional awareness of the importance of basic research to keep the US industrially competitive, there is some reason to believe that the future might be brighter. Initiatives of particular note have included the recent addition of the new U11 undulator as part of a collaboration with the UW Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center, plans for new developments in IR (see above), and finalization of ideas for a sixth undulator, which will feed a new PGM beamline to address the oversubscription of the U3_PGM. SRC has begun serious exploration into the next generation light source to succeed Aladdin. The University of Wisconsin has recently provided seed funds to develop an R&D proposal for a Free Electron Laser (FEL) at SRC. As part of this activity, an international conference will take place on October 18 and 19 at UW Madison. For more information on the workshop and to register, see: http://www.src.wisc.edu/meetings/fel2006/

    3. Summer 2006 Educational Outreach

    As part of its commitment to science education, SRC's office of Educational Outreach had perhaps its busiest summer to date by hosting undergraduate researchers from around the country (Research Experiences for Undergraduates), high school students from around the state interested in learning about the physics of light (PEOPLE), middle school students getting their first experience with scientists, scientific research and a laboratory (Camp Badger), and AP Physics students looking to bridge the gap between the blackboard and the lab bench (Evansville High School and teacher, Rick Cole).

    Due to the success of these programs, along with a concerted effort to enhance and enable science education in the United States by NSF, SRC is exploring more ways to use the facility as a learning tool. For instance, a grant proposal currently under review would transition the SRC-REU program a dedicated site and increase the number of students who benefit from the program from five to ten during the summer of 2007.

    To learn more about any of these programs, see: http://www.src.wisc.edu/outreach/

    4. Important Dates:

    FEL Workshop: October 18 and 19 -- http://www.src.wisc.edu/meetings/fel2006/
    User's Meeting: October 20 and 21 -- http://www.src.wisc.edu/meetings/um2006/

    5. Davor Pavuna Awarded Tesla Decoration

    Dr. Davor Pavuna, EPFL professor and director of the Laboratory of Physics ofPavuna Tesla Award
    Functional Matter, IPMC - FSB - EPFL, was awarded the Nikola Tesla decoration. Prof. Pavuna was decorated on July 5 in Zagreb by the President of Republic of Croatia for his innovative research on novel disordered and electronic materials and for his role in international scientific cooperation.

    Nikola Tesla was born on July 10, 1856 in Smiljan, Lika, Croatia and the Nikola Tesla award is a part of the international celebration of the 150th anniversary of his birth. Tesla is widely recognized as "the father of alternating current", and as a remarkable US inventor (700 patents : http://www.teslasociety.com/biography.htm ). In his honor the international unit of magnetic field induction is called a Tesla.

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