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27 August 12:00 AM

SESAME marks its first anniversary

The Synchrotron-light for Experimental Science and Applications in the Middle East (SESAME) laboratory, a competitive synchrotron light source and the first in the Middle East and neighboring countries, marked on Wednesday its first anniversary since its inauguration in Allan city of Jordan on May 16, 2017.

This pioneering project, established under the auspices of UNESCO, is the result of 14 years of hard work, uniting eight countries around a twofold goal – to consolidate scientific excellence in the region and to build cross-border collaboration, dialogue and understanding between scientists with diverse cultural, political and religious backgrounds, according to UNESCO.

The Synchrotron-light for Experimental Science and Applications in the Middle East (SESAME), is the first international center of its kind in the Middle East. It is a powerful, high-precision research microscope. In it, the electrons accelerate very rapidly up to the speed of light in hollow and magnetized rings. The acceleration of these electrons produces packets of concentrated intense light. These beams are stored and directed to research samples because this light helps to see new and deep dimensions in the researchers' samples. Research areas will range from physics to molecular chemistry and nanoscience, with applications in archaeology, environmental sciences, agriculture, engineering, pharmacology, medicine and industry. In recent years, crystallography studies at synchrotrons have contributed to the award of five Nobel prizes.

Scientists from the Middle East will no longer have to leave their own region to carry out their research in major centers abroad. They will no longer have to abandon their research interests because of a lack of advanced facilities at home. At the SESAME center, they can use synchrotron radiation to study their samples, make new discoveries in different areas of science, analyze their results and exchange data. The center will enable them to establish research networks with other researchers in the region and with those working in over 60 synchrotron facilities in 25 countries around the world. About 50,000 researchers worldwide use synchrotron facilities for their work.

SESAME is an intergovernmental centre in which eight countries are Members: Cyprus, Egypt, Iran, Israel, Jordan, Palestine, and Pakistan. The center is also supported by a group of Observers: Brazil, Canada, CERN, China, European Union, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and United States of America. The total cost of the project to date has reached in May 2017 nearly $ 90 million.

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