The Synchrotron-light for Experimental Science and Applications in the Middle East [SESAME] is a 3rd-generation synchrotron light source under construction in Allan, Jordan. Like the European Organization for Nuclear Research [CERN], it was set up under the auspices of UNESCO and is now a completely independent intergovernmental organization. The accelerator system consists of a Microtron, a Booster which accelerates the beam up to 800 MeV, and the 2.5 GeV synchrotron ring. Four experimental beamlines are foreseen for ‘Day-One’.
The 23rd SESAME Council Meeting was held on 24-25 November 2013 in Jordan, on the shores of the Dead Sea. It was chaired by the Council’s President, Prof. Sir Christopher Llewellyn Smith, and attended by representatives of the Members and Observer States of SESAME, and intergovernmental and international organizations, among which the EPS, and by the Chair of SESAME’s Finance Committee and the Chairs of the Centre’s Advisory Committees. Giorgio Paolucci, from Elettra, was approved as Scientific Director.
A framework agreement between SESAME and the Italian National Institute of Nuclear Physics [INFN] was signed, sealing cooperation between the Italian Institute and SESAME during construction of the project. Through INFN the Government of Italy is providing €1 million in 2013 for cooperation with SESAME. An updated programme for construction and delivery of the synchrotron elements was presented. This included production and commissioning of the synchrotron ring magnet system and power supplies being led by CERN with the participation of SESAME and several national laboratories thanks to FP7 funding (€5 million) provided through the CERN-EC Support for SESAME Magnets [CESSAMag] Agreement.
The meeting was followed by a visit to the premises of SESAME, where participants in the meeting could witness at first hand the image of the 20 MeV electron beam produced by the injection Microtron on a fluorescent target. The Booster commissioning will start in a few weeks, and the completion of the synchrotron with four ‘Day-One’ Beamlines is foreseen for the end of 2015. An IR microscope is already receiving the first SESAME users, and preparing the user community for the IR Beamline, which will be one of the first to come into operation.
Through the SESAME Travel Award Program, the EPS, together with the American, British and German physical societies, the American Chemical Society and the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics [IUPAP], is providing some funding to help develop the community of synchrotron radiation users in the region.
More information can be found on the SESAME website.