Tetsuya Ishikawa
Director, RIKEN SPring-8 Center

Since ancient times when humans first learned how to create fire, the discovery of light sources has sparked new sciences and technologies. Harnessing fire completely differentiated mankind from other animals, leading to many different sources of light including candles, oil lamps and gas lanterns. The invention and commercialization of electric light bulbs effectively made the night shorter, resulting in significant changes to human life-styles.

X-rays, electromagnetic radiation with a much shorter wavelength than that of visible light, were discovered at the end of 19th century. Because of their high penetration capability and theoretical ability to achieve high spatial resolution, X-rays have been widely used in diverse fields of science and technology. Today, most advanced sciences and technologies are based on the fundamental understanding of materials’ behaviors at the atomic or molecular level. Therefore, the use of X-rays as probes into the nano-world has become increasingly important, leading to the search for more intense X-ray sources. We present our progress towards new generation X-ray sources.