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Everyday Science

Wednesday, January 18th, 2006 by | Filed Under: Cool Sites

Everyday Science

“The National Synchrotron Light Source is a scientific facility that is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy. Each year, more than 2500 scientists from all over the world come to perform experiments at the NSLS. This website describes some of the everyday science that goes on at the NSLS and how it may impact your everyday life.”

Doesn’t it sound exciting, all those scientist converging in one place to perform experiments? You’ll find navigation on the side menu under the red bar that reads Navigation. You can also click the links to sections that are found in the middle of page with pictures above them

The categories to check out are Synchrotrons, Corrosion, Breast Cancer, Osteoarthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, Catalytic Converters, Hard Drives, Space Travel, Crystals, HIV and AIDS, and Environmental Clean Up. That is a very diverse set of categories, all very interesting and important in their own way. Just click a category for an explanation.

Then it goes onto explain how it works in understandable terms (not incomprehensible high-tech terms) and how it is used. There are pictures, fast facts, and the occasional schematic.

Here are some example fast facts that I found especially interesting:

“Hundreds of pounds of aluminum foil are used to help bake off impurities from the inner walls of the beam lines.”

“A common way to slow corrosion is to add a layer of paint to block contact with the atmosphere.”

“Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among women in the United States and worldwide (excluding skin cancer).”

“About one-fifth of all elements are magnetic, and there are thousands of magnetic alloys and compounds.”

The Synchrotron is the common thread through the sections, and it was really interesting to see all the ways it was being used in their experiments. Whether it was studying the corrosion or breast cancer, it was fascinating.

~ Amanda

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