This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site you agree to our use of cookies. To find out more, see our Privacy and Cookies policy.
Skip to the content

Share this

Free weekly newswire

Sign up to receive all our latest news direct to your inbox.

Physics on film

100 Second Science Your scientific questions answered simply by specialists in less than 100 seconds.

Watch now

Bright Recruits

At all stages of your career – whether you're an undergraduate, graduate, researcher or industry professional – can help find the job for you.

Find your perfect job

Physics connect

Are you looking for a supplier? Physics Connect lists thousands of scientific companies, businesses, non-profit organizations, institutions and experts worldwide.

Start your search today


Postcard from Campinas – the site of Brazil’s future synchrotron

Artist's impression of Brazil's Sirius synchrotron source.

Artist’s impression of Brazil’s Sirius synchrotron source. (Courtesy: LNLS)

By Susan Curtis in Campinas, Brazil

For the first time this week I woke to a brilliant blue sky, and below my hotel room I could see young Brazilians enjoying a quick game of football in the relative cool of the morning. Away from the traffic jams and unseasonably wet weather of the past few days, this seemed much more like the image of Brazil that’s projected to the outside world.

Today I was in Campinas, the third largest city in the state of São Paulo, some 100 km north-east of São Paulo itself. On the outskirts of the city is the National Center for Energy and Materials (CNPEM), home to Brazil’s synchrotron source as well as three national laboratories for nanotechnology, biosciences and ethanol production – which is a big deal for Brazil, since it offers a way to produce fuel from its abundant sugar cane.

I first visited the site last year as part of my research for Science Impact – Brazil, a special report produced by IOP Publishing in partnership with the Brazilian Physical Society. During that visit I found that CNPEM plans to build a third-generation synchrotron source called Sirius that will rival the best in the world, and I was curious to find out whether the facility is still on track to open to users in 2017.

It was clear when I arrived at the site that some construction had started, with diggers creating huge piles of red-coloured soil in the land next to the existing facility. Antonio Jose Roque da Silva, head of the synchrotron lab, told me that the land works would be completed by early December, ready for construction to start in February. Roque is confident that commissioning of the Sirius source will start in mid-2016, with the first beamlines coming on stream a year later – but admits that funding for the $320m project is not yet guaranteed.

“In Brazil we get the approval first, and then we find a way to make it happen,” he told me. And experience suggests he may be right, since the existing UVX synchrotron was hand-crafted in Brazil to keep the budget to a minimum

That can-do attitude is evident in the current technical team, which is developing and implementing technologies that haven’t yet been deployed in any operational synchrotron. “Sirius will be a major development for science in Brazil,” says Roque. “It shows we can be a leader, not just a follower.”

This entry was posted in Brazil visit 2013 and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.
View all posts by this author  | View this author's profile

One comment to Postcard from Campinas – the site of Brazil’s future synchrotron

  1. Trackback: Postcard from Campinas – the site of Brazil’s future synchrotron | Alin Velea


  • Comments should be relevant to the article and not be used to promote your own work, products or services.
  • Please keep your comments brief (we recommend a maximum of 250 words).
  • We reserve the right to remove excessively long, inappropriate or offensive entries.

Show/hide formatting guidelines

Tag Description Example Output
<a> Hyperlink <a href="">google</a> google
<abbr> Abbreviation <abbr title="World Health Organisation" >WHO</abbr> WHO
<acronym> Acronym <acronym title="as soon as possible">ASAP</acronym> ASAP
<b> Bold <b>Some text</b> Some text
<blockquote> Quoted from another source <blockquote cite="">IOP</blockquote>
<cite> Cite <cite>Diagram 1</cite> Diagram 1
<del> Deleted text From this line<del datetime="2012-12-17"> this text was deleted</del> From this line this text was deleted
<em> Emphasized text In this line<em> this text was emphasised</em> In this line this text was emphasised
<i> Italic <i>Some text</i> Some text
<q> Quotation WWF goal is to build a future <q cite="">
where people live in harmony with nature and animals</q>
WWF goal is to build a future
where people live in harmony with nature and animals
<strike> Strike text <strike>Some text</strike> Some text
<strong> Stronger emphasis of text <strong>Some text</strong> Some text