As a result, there was no problem with funding arrangements until a decade ago, when such facilities started to turn up in materials research budgets. The national laboratories, of course, had their own problems and research programs connected with atomic energy in the days of the Atomic Energy Commission. Thus, DOE not only had these internal programs, but became an agency that also provided large research facilities to universities and, more recently, to the industrial community as well.
The synchrotron light source at the Brookhaven National Laboratory is an example of the large facilities available for materials research. The research carried out at these facilities, as opposed to the high-energy physics facilities, remains basically in the small-science mode and in effect provides research opportunities similar to those in the small laboratories.
For neutron scattering, a fair number of research facilities are available: the intense pulsed neutron source at Argonne, the pulsed source at Los Alamos, and the reactors at Brookhaven and Oak Ridge. In synchrotron radiation the DOE-supported facilities are at Stanford and Brookhaven, with National Science Foundation (NSF)-supported facilities at the University of Wisconsin, Cornell University, and elsewhere. In addition, an electron microscope facility is available at the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, a high-magnetic-field facility is available at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and there are others.
All of these large research facilities are open to users, and pressures for their use have grown in the last decade. These pressures have had to be responded to by the agencies that fund research in materials science, as opposed to other areas. In the past, materials scientists were accustomed to working parasitically on either a high-energy physics facility or a reactor facility.
The pressures for increased use of synchrotron radiation sources arise from the relatively simple fact that for many generations, x-ray tubes provided more or less the same intensity. With the advent of synchrotron radiation sources, however, came an exponential increase in the intensity of electromagnetic radiation available for research.
Brookhaven has two synchrotron radiation storage rings—an ultraviolet ring that runs at 750 million electron volts (MeV) and provides radiation up to the soft x-ray part of the spectrum, and a high-brightness x-ray ring that runs at 2.5 billion electron volts (GeV) and provides the harder part of the radiation. There are 16 ports for radiation on the ultraviolet ring, each of which is capable of providing up to four experimental beam lines. Similarly, there are 28 ports with perhaps three experimental beam lines possible on each of those ports.
Thus, it is possible to carry out many experiments simultaneously. This provides important advantages, social as well as scientific, but at the same time produces tremendous problems.
The operation of a facility like this differs considerably from that of a high-energy physics facility (where there is only one primary user of the beam) in