The first user to stay in the new AS guesthouse says it’s “a great facility”.

Expert users will be invited to apply to use the synchrotron’s extended imaging and medical beamline capabilities later this year in preparation for general usage in 2013.

Synchrotron technical staff involved in constructing and installing new equipment for the extended and upgraded imaging and medical beamline have received a helping hand from the Australian National University’s Nuclear Physics Department.

Maintenance officer Gordon Spratt retired in February 2012 after three years and six months service at the AS.

In April 2012, the Australian Synchrotron hosted a Geosciences Industry Workshop to explore the potential of synchrotron science for the mining and minerals sector.

Welcome to the first Lightspeed for 2012. Judging by the networking buzz at the User Meeting in December 2011, our users and staff are looking forward to another year of productive research collaborations.

This month our short interview features Lauren Baird, database officer at the Australian Synchrotron.

The 2011 Australian Synchrotron User Meeting attracted an enthusiastic crowd of synchrotron experts and users. Reported highlights included: a protein superfamily that could lead to new ways to prevent transplant rejection, deep earth science for predicting natural disasters and finding natural resources, superconductors and synchrotrons, and how identifying chemicals in paintings can reveal artistic secrets.

One hundred years since the discovery of superconductivity, and 25 years since the first high-temperature superconductor (HTS) was discovered, HTS materials are being used in synchrotron instruments and magnets – and synchrotrons are helping to reveal the very complex physics of HTS materials.

The joint winners of the 2011 Australian Synchrotron Thesis Medal are Kaye Morgan (Monash University) and Corey Putkunz (PhD from La Trobe University, now at Melbourne University).