Helping the team present the results in a series of clear and understandable images is a new R&S RTA4004 1GHz 4-channel oscilloscope provided by Rohde & Schwarz. Rohde & Schwarz engineers, visiting Harwell, saw the ViSR demonstration being presented on outdated equipment and offered to loan the more modern instrument on a permanent basis.
Making the invisible visible
The synchrotron light does not contain continuous streams of photons, but is in fact pulses occurring at a frequency of
500MHz. One of the demonstrations uses a high-speed optical diode to convert the ViSR beamline to a 500MHz electrical signal, which is then compared with other light sources such as the continuous photon stream produced by an ordinary torch. It’s a powerful visual demonstration of a mostly invisible phenomenon.
The 500MHz signal is not difficult for today’s scopes to capture (figure 2) but, as Diamond’s Chris Bloomer explains, “The R&S RTA4004 is extremely user friendly and easy to figure out. Its large screen is great for doing demonstrations with visitors, and modern connectivity options allow us to pull up the display on larger computer monitors or control the scope remotely.” Diamond hosts regular visits from the public, schools, scientists, and politicians.