Cornell synchrotron receives $32.6M from NSF for new X-ray beamline

ITHACA, N.Y. – The National Science Foundation has awarded the Cornell High Energy Synchrotron Source (CHESS) $32.6 million to build a High Magnetic Field (HMF) beamline, which will allow researchers to conduct precision X-ray studies of materials in persistent magnetic fields that exceed those available at any other synchrotron.

The HMF beamline, to be located at CHESS’s Center for High Energy X-ray Science (CHEXS), is a partnership with the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory (National MagLab), headquartered at Florida State University, and the University of Puerto Rico (UPR).

“This significant new infusion of NSF funding for Cornell’s CHESS lab will guarantee the preservation and expansion of its revolutionary scientific research in the heart of upstate New York,” said Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-New York, a long-time supporter of the facility whose advocacy in 2012 helped secure an extension of CHESS’s funding from the NSF.

“This facility has played a pivotal role in a multitude of medical discoveries and scientific breakthroughs, including two Nobel prizes, and supports more than 200 jobs,” Schumer said. “That is why I am working to expand CHESS’s partnership with the federal government, including with the Air Force Research Laboratory, in addition to ensuring the NSF continues to have the funding needed for support of CHESS and to maintain America’s global leadership in innovation. This latest funding confirms the tremendous potential the facility holds for unprecedented scientific discovery and I will continue to fight to ensure scientists at the CHESS lab are able to advance their groundbreaking research at this world-renowned facility for years to come.”

The partnership brings together CHESS’s expertise in high-energy X-ray science – which can be harnessed to explore the physical, chemical and structural properties in materials, molecules, organisms and devices – with the National MagLab’s leadership in high magnetic field technology. The HMF beamline will merge these strengths, so that researchers can manipulate electrons using magnetic fields and monitor their response using X-rays.

“This project is a unique opportunity for the NSF to converge the nation’s top national X-ray user facility, CHESS, with a new high-strength magnet to create the most powerful facility of its kind in the nation, leveraging the enormous expertise of the Cornell staff,” Provost Michael I. Kotlikoff said. “This will create an infrastructure that will have immense impacts on the future of our nation’s economy, well-being and scientific achievements.”


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