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Journal Article

Development of synchrotron radiation as a high-intensity source for X-ray diffraction


Holmes,  Kenneth C.
Emeritus Group Biophysics, Max Planck Institute for Medical Research, Max Planck Society;

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Huxley, H. E., & Holmes, K. C. (1997). Development of synchrotron radiation as a high-intensity source for X-ray diffraction. Journal of Synchrotron Radiation, 4(6), 366-379. doi:10.1107/S0909049597011618.

Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0024-B06D-9
Interest in the molecular mechanism of muscle contraction led to the search for an intense source of X-rays of 1–2 Å wavelength so as to be able to examine the rich X-ray diffraction patterns given by muscles during contraction. This led to the first X-ray diffraction experiments using synchrotron radiation, carried out by Holmes, Rosenbaum and Witz at DESY, Hamburg, in September 1970. In the following years, the EMBL Outstation, to utilize synchrotron radiation for biological structure determination, was established at DESY and preliminary experiments on muscle were also carried out at NINA (Daresbury). The development of time-resolved techniques for muscle diffraction was first started in the MRC Molecular Biology Laboratory in Cambridge, using rotating-anode X-ray tubes, and was then greatly extended at the EMBL Outstation, Hamburg, using the storage ring DORIS. This was a very successful venture, and helped to drive the whole technology development and to interest other potential users in the technique