MAX lights up !
“My soul is in the sky.”
– William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream
On Midsummer Day, which in my mental calendar always falls on 21st June, the sun was at the highest elevation that it reaches here in Lund all year round, at least around midday. The summer solstice ! Of course the same can be said for any place in the northern hemisphere whereas for our southern hemisphere friends it is quite the reverse. They experience the winter solstice and have to learn to enjoy the darkness for a while.
Everything you wanted to know about the summer solstice but didn’t dare to ask [courtesy Wikipedia].
The 21st June was the date chosen for the grand opening of the shiny new synchrotron light source MAX IV that neighbours Science Village and represents one of the main reasons why SVS exists.
MAX IV looking splendid in the summer sunshine next to Vindarnas Park which belongs to Science Village and which has been planted with 30,000 trees. It will be a public recreation area.
For this unique event a really good date was chosen. Some will remember the day, not many years ago, when the first concrete was poured by Jan Björklund, the Research Minister, to mark the beginning of the construction phase of MAX IV. It was one of those truly bitter days in late December when the wind seems to blow through your bones. The Vindarnas Park will help to moderate that winter wind and protect the site. On this occasion however the sun was shining brightly and many hundreds of people in summer clothes celebrated the emergence of another kind of light. Both the Prime Minister and the King of Sweden were present for the opening ceremony and they had a duty to perform – that of closing the final shielding door that completed the safety interlocks and allowed the electron beam to be switched on. It is the electron beam circulating around the synchrotron ring that generates the intense beams of light and x-rays that are used in the many measuring instruments and it can’t be activated until all systems are “go”.
It does look heavy, doesn’t it? Christoph Quitmann, Director of MAX IV, Stefan Löfven, Prime Minister of Sweden and King Carl XVI Gustav get the help of a professional in closing the final door of the MAX IV ring. The door floats on airpads, which helps considerably, but it is the inertia of such a large concrete block that has to be overcome by those four stout fellows!
Of course there were many people present who had played a great part in bringing both MAX IV and ESS to Lund and I was able to catch two of them doubtless reminiscing about the good old days whilst looking ahead to the fruition of other initiatives.
Allan Larsson, former President of Lund university and Göran Bexell, former Rektor of Lund university who were instrumental in securing the construction of both MAX IV and ESS.
The Opening Ceremony was followed by a number of other events and the realisation of MAX IV was a dream come true. As the evening continued it became clear that this was not simply A Midsummer Night’s Dream but it was reality. A day to savour for one and all !