For 25 years, the Advanced Light Source has been the scientific hub of the Laboratory. Thousands of scientists from inside and outside the Lab have come to the ALS to conduct research over the years – in fact, it draws about 2,000 scientific users each year, and it has played a role in many scientific breakthroughs, from battery chemistry to cosmology, and from new medicines to new materials.
We received word last week that the ALS now has approval to take the next big step in a transformational project that leverages recent technological advances to endow the ALS with world-leading capabilities. The ALS Upgrade project, which will replace hundreds of tons of equipment with cutting-edge accelerator technology, is the single largest undertaking at the Lab since the ALS was built 25 years ago.
The ALS-U project will be a true test of our multidisciplinary, team approach to science and to our historic expertise in accelerator innovations, and will call on many of us here at the Lab to contribute in some way, from engineers to safety experts, and from project managers to physicists and beamline scientists. It will be transformative for the entire laboratory.
It will produce brighter, more focused light that will enable new types of scientific explorations and discoveries.
The ALS-U project will be a multiyear effort, with a total project cost estimated at $368 million. The renewed facility will bolster the Lab’s leading-edge capabilities for the next 25 years, and expand the interconnectedness of our facilities, cementing its unique role in the network of science facilities here at the Lab, across the Department of Energy’s national complex of labs, and among the world’s top science centers.
A 25-year celebration of the ALS, set for 2 p.m. this Friday, Sept. 28, in the Building 50 Auditorium, will also recognize this next important step for the ALS and for the Lab. A reception will follow in the Lab’s cafeteria, and please note that the cafeteria will close at 1:30 p.m. Friday in preparation for the reception.
We hope you can all join us to welcome in this new era.