The Diamond Light Source

Dr Douglas Clarkson describes how a scientific tool in the UK could help extend our knowledge of ocular tissue structure

Figure 1: Aerial image of the Diamond Light Source (Image: Diamond Light Source Ltd 2023)

The Diamond Light Source is a unique scientific research tool in the United Kingdom known as a synchrotron that can produce intense beams of electromagnetic radiation to probe the characteristics of a wide range of materials.

The system serves a broad range of scientific investigations and has been used extensively in medical research. The synchrotron operates by accelerating electrons to speeds very close to that of light and bending the main beam at various stations using electromagnetic lenses.

Induced oscillations of the electron beam at these stages inject intense emissions of electromagnetic radiation into so called ‘beamlines’ where the ultra fine ‘filament’ of radiation produced is used to probe the properties of a wide range of materials.

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