An advanced research centre which will explore critical issues, such as pollution in the Jordan River Valley to improve public health, has officially opened in Jordan.

SESAME, which stands for Synchrotron-light for Experimental Science and Applications in the Middle East, is a particle accelerator-based facility that uses electromagnetic radiation emitted by circulating electron beams to study a range of properties of matter.

The SESAME Project has been developed under the auspices of UNESCO to provide a major international facility for world-class research conducted by scientists in the Middle East. SESAME promises to be a critically important regional scientific facility, while building bridges between scientists from different nations through international scientific collaboration, including joint training programmes and co-operative research.

The President of the SESAME Council, Sir Chris Llewellyn Smith, said:

“Today sees the fulfilment of many hopes and dreams. The hope that a group of initially inexperienced young people could build SESAME and make it work – they have: three weeks ago SESAME reached its full design energy. The hope that, nurtured by SESAME’s training programme, large numbers of scientists in the region would become interested in using SESAME – they have: 55 proposals to use the first two beamlines have already been submitted. And the hope that the diverse Members could work together harmoniously. As well as being a day for celebration, the opening is an occasion to look forward to the science that SESAME will produce, using photons provided by what will soon be the world’s first accelerator powered solely by renewable energy.”

 Read the press release here.