Archives: Tantalus Synchrotron Radiation Collection :: Smithsonian Lemelson Center
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Tantalus Description of the
"Tantalus" Synchrotron Radiation Source Collection
1965-1987
by Alison Oswald

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What is "synchrotron radiation" and how is it used?

Synchrotron radiation is light that is given off by charged particles that circulate in accelerators. Physicists and other scientists used the radiation produced by Tantalus in a number of ways, including:
  • Viewing biological material at a greater magnification
  • Studying atomic structure
  • Observing the behavior of crystal growth
  • Determining atomic arrangement and bonding
Tantalus was the first dedicated synchrotron radiation source.

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Last Update: 16 Jun 2004

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