Artist's rendition of Wilson Lab (ca. 1977)
showing CESR under the present Upper
Alumni Athletic field.
The Cornell High Energy Synchrotron Source (CHESS) is a
user-oriented National Facility to provide state-of-the-art synchrotron radiation
facilities to the scientific community. Supported by grants from the Division of
Materials Research of the National Science Foundation, CHESS encompasses a multifaceted
research and development program which is partly in-house and partly collaborative,
with a wide spectrum of experimental groups from
Universities, National Laboratories and Industry. Each year, 400-500 scientists and
scientists in training visit CHESS to collect data that comprises all or part of their
research programs. Also, a significant effort of the staff is aimed at developing
synchrotron radiation experimental facilities and methods that utilize the high intensity
photon flux provided by the
Electron Storage Ring (CESR).
CHESS was constructed in the period from 1978 to 1980 as a synchrotron x-ray facility
parasitic to the CESR High Energy Physics program. The original laboratory, CHESS West,
included 3 instrumented beam lines, A, B, and C that provided 6 independent experimental
stations. The total experimental West area is about 1000 square feet. The CHESS East
laboratory was constructed during 1988-1989, adding 2 beam lines, D and F, and 4
instrumented experimental stations. CHESS East contains a biohazard level BL3 facility
(built with funds from the NIH) which is part of the F1 station.
Construction began in
1999 for an addition to the facility through funds provided by Cornell University.
This new addition is the home to G-line and associated 3 additional
experimental stations which were constructed with a grant from the NSF. The
facility is operated in conjunction with CHESS by a Cornell University consortium to
provide additional capabilities for experimenters. The G3 station
constructed with extensive toxic gas handling capabilities advancing the prospects for
in-situ crystal growth experiments.
Other facilities include a well-equipped modern darkroom, cold room for crystal
mounting, experimental laboratories for user set-up, a central computer facility, and a
machine shop with two resident machinists. There are general areas for setting up
experiments which include a chemical room with fume hood as well as user accessible shop
facilities. A user lounge is available to help make a long 24 hour day a bit more
CHESS is located in Ithaca, New York.
Ithaca has "...this magical landscape, its wooded hills, clear
cascading streams, defining gorges, pure upland air, fertile land and
ice-formed lake...", eloquently stated by Frank Rhodes, former
Cornell University President, during his June 10th, 2005 lecture held in
Olin Hall, during an alumni weekend.