by Dave Macindoe
Not only is the Synchrotron Monash Clayton’s friendly neighbour, providing us with a free and muddy alternative to Blue Permit parking, but it’s also an invaluable piece of equipment for plenty of ground breaking science (obviously I’m using the word ‘invaluable’ pretty loosely here, because if you ask the state government, it’s only invaluable in the sense that it hasn’t got enough value to receive proper funding). In this issue, we’re continuing our series on huge and expensive scientific instruments with everyone’s second favourite Clayton-based centre for academic inquiry.
On a basic level, the Synchrotron produces a beam of light that is a million times more intense than the Sun that it shines onto all manner of materials. This light can give us an insight into the structure of things that are very small. For example, the Synchrotron can be used by virologists investigating the structure of nasty viruses so they can produce drugs capable of fighting that case of glandular fever you picked up over the weekend. Continue Reading