(EN) – Synchrotron Glossary | NSLS II

Synchrotron radiation is the name given to light radiated by an electric charge following a curved trajectory, for example, a charged particle under the influence of a magnetic field. Synchrotron radiation is a natural phenomenon that has existed since the Big Bang. It is in the starlight that we see at night, generated by charged particles of matter spiraling through the cosmos. However, a manmade, controllable source of such radiation was not found until the middle of the twentieth century when accelerators for charged particles first appeared. High-energy electron accelerators emerged as viable synchrotron radiation sources because, as electrons approach the speed of light, the synchrotron radiation increasingly is emitted in a narrow, forward-directed cone. Thus, the radiation is concentrated in a small solid angle and can be readily used by researchers.

via: NSLS II Synchrotron Glossary

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