The Synchrotron Radiation Source (SRS) was the longest running synchrotron radiation source in the world. It had been running for over 28 years and continued to provide world class experiments, results and therefore science up until its closure at 13:30 18/08/2008.
At 08:00 on the 02/08/2008 Station 9.8 closed its shutter for the last time.
I had the privilege of being a station science at the SRS in charge of small molecule X-ray crystallography (SMX). During my time there I recorded the station wavelength and schedule, hosting them via my website for external users. Access to this legacy data is still available via the links below.
During the last shift of beamtime on Station 9.8 Dr. Peter Byrne and I undertook some very exciting high resolution diffraction experiments. We also took a little time to do something silly. From which we “X-ray imaged” a snail shell.
It would appear that some other Station Scientist had a similar idea and they made holograms using the last photons produced from the SRS. Captured for all time in projector slides.
There has always been a bit of controversy over who were the actual “last users” of Station 9.8. The last scheduled “user” beamtime was with Dr. Sofia Pascu (University of Bath - award number: 50235). With a team consisting of myself (pink shirt), Dr. Steffi Schiffers (blue T-shirt), Dr. Mark Warren (different shade of blue T-shirt) and of course Sofia herself (pink top).
However the actual final beamtime on the station. The beamtime which saw all the active users on the SRS being called to the “main conrol room” (in joke missing the ‘T’ there) consisted of myself and Dr. Peter Byrne. We also made a few home movies of those final hours.
Over the many years of operation, Station 9.8 and to a less extent 16.2 SMX collected data at a variety of wavelengths. If you are the kind of person who would like to know a wavelength on a particular day then this function will help you. Wavelength Selector
Beamtime was allocated to each station on a 24 hour (3 shift) basis. Each user was given an award number which linked back to their beamtime proposal. The first two digits of the award number defining the allocation period the time was first awarded to.