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1976

NSLS Officially Proposed

National Synchrotron Light Source (NSLS) officially proposed as first facility designed and built specifically for producing and exploiting synchrotron light

1978

NSLS Groundbreaking

NSLS groundbreaking; at the end of four-year construction period, project on schedule and within budget of $24 million, both vacuum ultraviolet (VUV) and x-ray rings had beam

Photo Caption: Initial construction of the National Synchrotron Light Source (NSLS) began in 1978.

1979

First Users' Meeting

1980

Ring Assembly Begins on VUV Ring

1981

First Turn of Beam Around VUV Ring

1982

NSLS Dedication

First beam in X-Ray Ring earlier that year

Photo Caption: As pictured in Brookhaven Bulletin of August 21, 1981, NSLS staff gathered in front of facility following circulation of beam in VUV Ring

1984

Concept of High-Gain Self-Amplified Spontaneous Emission free Electron Laser Pioneered

The concept pioneered in 1984 and described in Optics Communications is the starting point for all high-gain FELs developed since. Brookhaven itself did a series of demonstration experiments, first at the Accelerator Test Facility and later at the Source Development Lab (SDL).

Photo Caption: Pictured in the SDL is the NSLS team in 2002 working on a deep ultraviolet free electron laser: (front, from left) Timur Shaftan, Richard Heese Pooran Singh, Adnan Doyuran, Phil Marino and Li Hua Yu; (middle, from left) Joe Greco, James Murphy, Xijie Wang, Bill Bambina, Sorin Pop, Brian Sheehy, Zilu Wu and James Rose; (back, from left) Henrik Loos, Erik Johnson and John Skaritka. Other team members (not shown): Christopher Stelmach, Florin Staicu, Tom Kim, Rodger Hubbard and Michael Caruso.

1985

First X-ray Absorption Spectrum From Copper Foil Taken at Beamline X11

1989

New Method Developed for Determining Transverse Electron Beam Position

New method developed for determining transverse electron beam position through radio frequency receivers; widely adopted at other facilities and basis for a commercial project

1990

With AT&T Bell Labs, Resonant X-ray Scattering Techniques Developed for Probing Magnetism

Also that year, first infrared beamline built to study surface vibrational dynamics

Photo Caption: At beamline X13, (from left) Jerome Hastings, Peter Siddons, Erik Jonson and Chi-Chang Kao align high-vacuum reflectivity apparatus for magnetism studies

1991

Prototype Small-Gap Undulator Developed With SPring-8

Photo Caption: Within first decade of NSLS operations, 14 companies join participating research teams (PRTs)

1992

First Demonstration of Use of Nuclear Forward Scattering to Perform Mössbauer Spectroscopy in Time Domain

Photo Caption: VUV Ring turns 10

1993

Time-Varying Elliptically Polarized Wiggler Constructed and Operated in X-Ray Ring

1994

Groundbreaking for Structural Biology

That same year, pioneering x-ray photon correlation spectroscopy experiment performed using coherent x-rays

1995

High-Energy-Resolution X-ray Analyzers Developed

High-energy-resolution x-ray analyzers developed to extract new information from and improve resolution of x-ray absorption spectroscopy, as well as probe electronic excitations using inelastic x-ray scattering

Photo Caption: This 1991 publication in Physical Review Letters describes an early experiment that led to the work in 1995, when researchers added a better monochromator and made more complete maps of the excitation/emission energy space. They also demonstrated the setup for medium-resolution inelastic scattering.

1997

X-ray Ring Begins Running at 2.8 GeV

Additional power enables reliable 438 mA operation at 2.584 GeV or 250 mA operation at 2.8 GeV

Photo Caption: From the National Synchrotron Light Source Activity Report 1997

1998

Low-Emittance Lattice Operated at X-ray Ring at 2.584 GeV

Photo Caption: X-Ray storage ring

1999

Stony Brook University and IBM Researchers Demonstrate Coherent X-ray Diffraction ("lensless") Imaging

2003

Roderick MacKinnon Wins Nobel Prize

NSLS user Roderick MacKinnon wins Nobel Prize in Chemistry for work done in part at NSLS to explain how class of proteins helps to generate nerve impulses

Photo Caption: Overhead view of a voltage-dependent potassium ion channel shows four red-tipped "paddles" that open and close in response to positive and negative charges. This structure showed for the first time the mechanism by which potassium ions are allowed in and out of living cells during a muscle or nerve impulse.

2005

Critical Decision Zero Status Granted to National Synchrotron Light Source II

U.S. Department of Energy grants Critical Decision Zero status to National Synchrotron Light Source (NSLS-II), establishing mission need for new facility

2007

Center for Functional Nanomaterials Officially Opens

Center for Functional Nanomaterials officially opens; will complement NSLS-II

2008

Nobel Prize in Chemistry Linked to NSLS Work on Green Fluorescent Protein

Photo Caption: Brookhaven's Office of Educational Programs now offers a workshop for middle-school students on protein extraction and purification, during which the students extract and purify jellyfish green fluorescent protein by hydrophobic interaction chromatography. Participants learn how scientists use NSLS to understand protein structure and function.

2009

Venkatraman Ramakrishnan and Thomas A. Steitz Share Nobel Prize in Chemistry

Former Brookhaven employee Venkatraman Ramakrishnan and long-time NSLS user Thomas A. Steitz share Nobel Prize in Chemistry with Ada E. Yonath for pivotal studies of the ribosome

Photo Caption: Thomas A. Steitz and Venkatraman Ramakrishnan

2010

NYS Funds Collaborative Battery research at NSLS

Brookhaven and Stony Brook University team up with GE Global Research to improve sodium metal halide batteries

Photo Caption: GE's new "Durathon™" sodium metal halide battery (Image courtesy of GE)

2011

First Section of NSLS-II Ring Building Completed

With groundbreaking only two years earlier, in 2009, first section of NSLS-II ring building completed and magnet installation begins

2012

NSLS-II Construction Milestones: Ring Building Completed, Linac Commissioned

Within a year of installation, in 2011, new transmission x-ray microscope at NSLS has attracted commercial users because of its ability to capture unparalleled high-resolution 3D images