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HomeCalendarScience and Ideas Group: Can We Use Synchrotrons to Change the World? Yes We Can!

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Science and Ideas Group: Can We Use Synchrotrons to Change the World? Yes We Can!

Thursday, January 13, 2022, 3:00 PM until 4:30 PM
Join Zoom Meeting: CA  
Additional Info:
Event Contact(s):
Joseph D Evinger
Interest Group
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Marco Zangrando

RSVP:  Joseph Evinger (

When: Every 2nd Thursday of the month, 3:00-4:30 pm

Where: Zoom

Meeting ID: 848 0146 1083
Passcode: science

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        +1 669 900 9128
Meeting ID: 848 0146 1083 

Open to: All

Science and Ideas Group

Can We Use Synchrotrons to Change the World?

Yes We Can!

Have you ever wondered about that large donut-shaped, dome-roof building located within the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), on top of the hill? Have you ever asked yourself why basic and applied research needs such huge installations, which are now present in most of the developed countries of the world and are also under consideration in the emerging ones?

Light sources, such as synchrotrons and free-electron lasers, are peculiar user facilities where a unique kind of “light” (ultra-bright, ultra-pure, coherent, monochromatic, etc.) is generated and used for advanced experiments in many different fields like physics, biology, medicine, mechanics, etc. Due to the characteristics of the radiation emitted by these infrastructures, it has always been possible to envision new types of experiments leading to groundbreaking discoveries and applications, and this is more true than ever right now.

Dr. Marco Zangrando will guide the audience in a journey spanning through radio- and micro-waves, rainbows, mirrors, interstellar vacuum, Einstein, light speed, X-rays, (mad?) scientists, lasers, magnets, small stars, working night shifts, imaging proteins, … finally arriving to light sources and their applications.

Marco Zangrando, PhD, is an Italian physicist who works at the “Elettra Sincrotrone Trieste” synchrotron and free-electron laser facilities located in Trieste, Italy. He obtained a M.S. in Physics from the University of Trieste and a PhD in Physical Engineering from the Czech Technical University of Prague (Czech Republic). Since 1999 he has been working at Elettra designing, installing, commissioning and operating optical systems dedicated to the transport and diagnostics of x-ray photon beams that are used to carry on cutting edge experiments. First he worked on one of the beamlines of the Elettra synchrotron and then, in the late 2000’s, he moved to FERMI, the new free-electron laser facility that became operative in 2012. At FERMI, he became the coordinator of the photon beam transport and diagnostics group (PADReS), in charge of collecting, analyzing and delivering the radiation generated by the machine to the experimental end stations.

During his career, besides the projects he took care of at the facilities, he actively worked on the creation of international scientific collaborations (US, Europe, China) aiming at the formation of networks of light sources. Moreover, he organized, as well as attended, many conferences and workshops in the x-ray optics/diagnostics/metrology fields. Among the several places where he worked (for limited time), he spent quite some time at the LBNL where he was involved in some projects at the Advanced Light Source, the synchrotron located on top of the Berkeley hills.