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April 2018

Forum: The SESAME Project – Science in the Developing World

When: Sunday, April 01 2018 @ 11:00 AM - - 12:15PM
Where: Humanist House
1180 Coleman Ave.
San Jose, CA 95110

Physicist Herman Winick is professor emeritus at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, and the Applied Physics Department, Stanford University. Sesame ( is a collaboration of 8 Middle East countries (Cyprus, Egypt, Iran, Israel, Jordan, Pakistan, Palestinian Authority, and Turkey) modeled on CERN and under the auspices of UNESCO. It started in September of 1997 with Winick’s suggestion that an advanced synchrotron light source, using accelerator technology, be built in the Middle East using parts of a machine scheduled for decommissioning in Berlin. More than 50 such advanced sources are now in operation around the world, with SESAME adding one in the Middle East. They are called Advanced Light Sources since they provide intense electromagnetic radiation ranging from infra-red to X-rays. With an intensity more than one million times greater than conventional sources, such as medical and dental x-ray machines, these facilities are revolutionizing basic and applied research in many disciplines

This laboratory began operation in Jordan in 2017 and is now used by Middle East scientists to carry out studies in a broad range of science, including structural biology, environmental science, materials science, archaeology, and human heritage. It is an example of Science Diplomacy and a model for the African Light Source ( using science to bring together groups with different ethnicities, religions, etc.

In this talk Winick will cover these projects, as well as light sources in Brazil, Korea and Taiwan, which were started in the 1980’s. These came into operation in the 1990’s, and have since trained hundreds of local students in these many disciplines, and have attracted dozens of their mid-career scientific diaspora to return home.

This talk will cover the main properties of synchrotron radiation and why they are having such an impact in the developed and developing world.

After the Forum, please join us for a lunch at 12:30pm. The lunch is complimentary for first-time visitors and students.

This event is sponsored by Humanist Community in Silicon Valley

(See event web page)

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