Paul Scherrer Institute – Swiss Light Source

15 Nov. 2008

On a bright sunny Saturday, 15 November, more than 20 members of the club visited the
Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI) in Villigen, canton Aargau. The main purpose of the visit was to have an inside look of the SLS or Swiss Light Source, an electron synchrotron that is dedicated to producing synchrotron radiation (infrared to X-rays). But firstly, Dr. Joho, our tour guide, provided a presentation on the various research projects that are ongoing within PSI. These include studies of fuel cells for hydrogen-powered cars, radiation therapy using a proton beam, solar energy technology, and nanotechnology. We were then treated to an amusing and instructive 3-D movie explaining accelerators and nuclear spallation. Next came the main purpose of our visit, the SLS. An interesting feature of this facility is that it is housed in a wooden structure, an unusual choice of material by the architect. The accelerator is contained within concrete blocks, but sample models of the beam tube and quadrupole and sextupole magnets were on display. Sixteen light beam lines are provided for the experiments that include participants from Swiss and international universities as well as researchers in industry. The experiments include studies of protein crystals, surface physics, and materials science. We would like to thank organizer Warren Schenler.

Makoto Ikeda

Blandina Nigg

Hans Hagenbuch wondering

High Tech


Model of SLS

One of the experiments

MIT Club at PSI