Once the electrons reach their target energy in the booster synchrotron, an injection system transfers them from the booster to the storage ring where they circulate for hours. The electrons travel in an aluminum vacuum chamber with fewer atoms per unit volume than outer space (the pressure is about one trillionth that of the atmosphere), so there are almost no collisions to slow them down.
 
  The storage ring is roughly circular with 12 arc-shaped sections (about 10 meters long) joined by 12 straight sections (about 6 meters long). Hundreds of precision electromagnets focus and bend the electron beam as it circles the storage ring more than a million times a second. Electrons curving through the ring's 12 arc sections emit fanlike beams of photons, like cars rounding a bend at night. Between these curves are straight sections where multi-magnet devices called undulators and wigglers wiggle the electrons back and forth to form a narrow beam of light 100 million times brighter than conventional x-ray sources. The synchrotron light emitted by the electrons is directed to beamlines through the round beam ports.
   
  ALS Components
  The Advanced Light Source--A Tool for Solving the Mysteries of Materials
   
 

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