The SESAME Laboratory: Celebrating the Power of Light

This year is UNESCO’s International Year of Light, and it’s a very important one for a project that’s close to my heart. UNESCO’s theme this year is extremely broad, giving us the opportunity to celebrate subjects ranging from the development of LED lighting, honored last year by the award of the Nobel Prize in physics, to projects at CERN that will allow us to increase the brightness of the beams in our flagship Large Hadron Collider, LHC, and thereby enhance its capacity to bring us new insights into the inner workings of the universe we live in.

But the project that I want to talk about here is SESAME, which stands for Synchrotron-light for Experimental Science and Applications in the Middle East. It is one of the most significant new scientific infrastructures being built in the world right now. As a synchrotron light source, SESAME will be a world-class particle-accelerator-based facility for applied research that covers the full spectrum from protein crystallography to understand the structure of viruses to solid-state physics to improve our computers.

My story begins over 60 years ago, not in the Middle East but in Europe, when a group of visionary scientists and diplomats put forward the ideal —> Read More Here


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