ARGONNE, Ill., May 3 (UPI) — The U.S. Department of Energy says it will spend $300 million to upgrade the photon source facility at its Argonne National Laboratory.
“This is a major step in securing America’s scientific future by taking an already premier facility and preparing it to meet the next generation of scientific needs and discoveries,” said Argonne Director Eric Isaacs.
Officials said the upgrade will be more cost-effective than building a new facility and will make revolutionary improvements in performance needed to address the sustainable energy and health research needs of the future.
“The upgrade will also add new X-ray facilities, make existing X-ray facilities 10 to 100 times more powerful and almost double the number of experiments that can be carried out in a year,” Argonne officials said. “At present, the Argonne Proton Source serves the experimental needs of more than 3,500 researchers each year, more than any other scientific user facility in the Western Hemisphere.”
Scientists said the Advanced Photon Source uses high-energy X-ray beams to explore the atomic and molecular structures of materials and living organisms as small as a few nanometers, enabling breakthroughs such as improved battery technologies, an unprecedented understanding of how engine fuel injectors function, treatment of the human immunodeficiency virus and other diseases, the creation of nanomaterials, and advances in nanobiology, among other developments.
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