- What do you think would be the best possible thing that scientists could
invent or discover? Explain your answer.
- How do scientists use beams of light?
- Based on the title of the article, what would you predict this story is about?
- What is a synchrotron?
- Why are atoms important? Why does the author compare atoms to letters in the
- How is the synchrotron’s beamline different from a laser pointer?
- What is one application for infrared light?
- Why might the synchrotron work better than an x ray for treating cancer?
- How can scientists use synchrotrons to solve crimes and mysteries?
- Häusermann describes the synchrotron as a “big toy.” Do you think that is an
accurate description for the machine? Compare and contrast the synchrotron with one of your favorite toys.
- Why do scientists need such a large machine to look at such small things?
- If you owned a synchrotron, what would you do with it? Whom would you allow
to use it? Explain your answers.
- The article claims that synchrotron technology has helped create better
packaging for potato chips. What problems might there be with snack packaging?
How do you think a synchrotron could help improve such a product?
- How do you think the particular wavelength of microwaves helps this type of
energy heat food? For help, see www.howstuffworks.com/microwave1.htm(HowStuffWorks).
- Synchrotrons harness the power of electrons. How else do scientists use
electrons? How do we use electrons in our daily lives? For hints, see en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electron(Wikipedia).
- What is the difference between an electron and an atom?