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X-RAY RUNS: Apply for Beamtime

2017  Nov 1 - Dec 21

2018  Feb 7 - Apr 3
2018  Proposal/BTR deadline: 12/1/17

2018  Apr 11 - Jun 4
2018  Proposal/BTR deadline: 2/1/18

Cornell High Energy Synchrotron Source is committed to advancing our world through synchrotron science. This means that beyond what happens on the front lines here at our lab, we foster a culture of science that transcends the space between our walls. Our public engagement and education team, Xraise, raises interest and awareness in science by letting the science speak for itself. Bathed in photons and electrons our entire lives, it’s easy to take for granted that light is emitted when charged particles are accelerated. While this concept is exploited daily in our hutches by CHESS scientists and users, Xraise, too, leverages the wonders of synchrotron science in its interactions with kids. Sharing the field with K-12 audiences ensures that CHESS affects broader change and inspires tomorrow’s minds.

Kids have an insatiable thirst for finding meaning through directly engaging with real phenomena. Science needs to meet them where they are. With Xraise, they get to manipulate a magnet to change the path of an electron beam, feel the push exerted by a charge-carrying wire, hear the frequency of an oscillating current, see gas ionized by invisible electromagnetic waves, the list goes on. The physics isn’t dumbed-down, it’s simply made accessible.

Our JunkGenies showcase, with 30+ exhibits, is a treasure trove of synchrotron-themed direct experiences in physics. Reaching over 10,000 kids last year, we kicked off 2017 with the rollout of a series of videos to further extend our audience and to bring home the physics for exhibition visitors. Each video highlights a particular exhibit, with topics including: Moire patterns and interference fringes, Faraday cages and electromagnetic waves, cathode ray tubes and glowing phosphor, and many others. Produced by an energetic team of Cornell undergraduates, physics concepts are articulated in an easy-to-understand way, making the connection to synchrotron science more explicit.

 Faraday cage demonstration.

Piquing kids’ interest and curiosity is an important first step, but continued engagement involves follow through, a shared sense of purpose, an authentic connection, and a steadfast commitment. At CHESS, one of the driving forces behind our world-class research is the greater responsibility we have to move society forward. For this we take to heart the work Xraise is doing with the next generation of scientists.

To learn more, check out the newest videos on our YouTube channel. Or experience our exhibition for yourself at the upcoming March APS meeting in New Orleans!

Project video:

Youtube Channel:



Submitted by: Erik Herman, CHESS, Cornell University