(Synchrotron-light for Experimental Science and Applications in the Middle East) is a major scientific facility under construction near Amman (Jordan), which is expected to begin operation in 2015. SESAME will foster scientific and technological excellence in the Middle East and the Mediterranean region, build scientific bridges between neighboring countries, and foster mutual understanding through international cooperation. The Members of SESAME are currently Bahrain, Cyprus, Egypt, Iran, Israel, Jordan, Pakistan, the Palestinian Authority and TurkeyAs in everyday life, in advanced scientific research we learn by ‘seeing’ things using light – except that scientists use light that ranges beyond the visible, in the infrared and the ultraviolet, to X-rays and beyond. Advanced sources of light (like lasers and synchrotrons) have become prime factors in promoting scientific and technological progress. In recent decades, the extraordinary power of synchrotron light has made it an essential tool for studying matter on scales ranging from biological cells to atoms, using radiation from the infrared to X-rays. It has had an immense impact in fields that include archaeology, biology, chemistry, environmental science, geology, medicine and physics.
The users of SESAME will mostly be based in universities and research institutes in the Middle East and neighboring region. They will visit the laboratory periodically to carry out experiments, often in collaboration with scientists from other countries, where they will be exposed to the highest scientific standards in a stimulating environment for international collaboration. SESAME’s well-equipped beamlines, experimental end stations, laboratories, and other support facilities will be available to users, and a highly trained scientific, technical and administrative staff will ensure that both experienced and inexperienced users of the Centre are successful in their experiments.Several hundred scientists, working in disciplines ranging from the biological and medical sciences to archaeology, are expected to use SESAME from day-one. This will make SESAME a unique multidisciplinary center in the region. As more beamlines are built, the number of users is expected to grow to 1000 or more.More information on how SESAME works, what it will do and how it will be used and a detailed description of the status and aims of SESAME can be found at http://www.sesame.org.jo/brochure.pdf