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Israelis and Iranians will build an electron accelerator in Jordan

Tamara Traubman

The electron accelerator in Germany. The accelerator in Jordan is called "sesame"

Despite the violent conflict between Israelis and Palestinians and the growing tensions
In the region, scientists and politicians from countries in the Middle East, including Israel,
The Palestinian Authority and Iran met last week in Paris with the aim of establishing
An electron accelerator (synchrotron), where scientists from the region will work together.

Synchrotron accelerators are very popular today in the world. They are used
For studies in various fields: from the study of the structure of proteins in the human body
and drug development, to the study of pollutants in the environment, analysis of findings
archaeological, miniaturization of electronic circuits, and research of new materials.

The Middle Eastern accelerator is known as "sesame", English acronym for
Synchrotron-light for
Experimental Science and
"Applications in the Middle East
.” We still haven't found all the necessary funding for its establishment, but the partners
Optim in the project, and recently even arrived from Germany to Jordan, where it will be established
The accelerator, the packages with its parts.

The idea of ​​establishing the accelerator first arose in 1997 at a meeting of physicists
from the Middle East, held in Turin, Italy. Germany was then facing me
Stopping the work of a synchrotron named BESSY-1 (for the purpose of establishing
a new synchrotron on top of it), and offered to donate it to the Middle East,
as a "joint scientific project for the promotion of peace".

"Even then the situation was not calm. (Benyamin) Netanyahu has already come to power,
That's why we met in Turin and not in the Middle East", says Prof. Eliezer
Rabinowitz, a physicist from the Hebrew University, who was present at that meeting
And currently a member of the temporary international council of "Sesame". According to him, although
The ups and downs that have occurred since then in relations between Israel and its neighbors,
"We managed to talk about physics in the meetings and promote the project." the delays
The different ones, says Rabinovitch, were mainly caused by economic reasons, and not

About the last council meeting, which took place in Paris, Rabinovitch says:
"It's like living in a parallel universe. While there is a conflict in Israel,
In the project we manage to cooperate. As a physicist I always dreamed of
Parallel universes, and this is where it comes true."

At the meeting in Paris it was decided that in December the cornerstone laying ceremony will take place in Jordan
- The inauguration ceremony of the previous accelerator, planned about a year ago, was canceled due to reasons
economics. The accelerator is expected to undergo an upgrade that will double its power.

The meetings are held under the auspices of UNESCO, the United Nations Organization for Education, Science
and culture, and besides Israel, members of the Sesame Council also include Iran, Jordan,
The Palestinian Authority, Morocco, Oman, Pakistan, Greece and Turkey. for how many
Other countries have "observer" status in the Council, including Armenia,
Cyprus, Kuwait, Sudan, United States, Germany, Great Britain, France,
Russia and Japan.

The desire of the president of the council, Prof. Herwig Shofer, is to restore the
The success of Saran, the European Laboratory for Particle Physics, which previously stood
in her head Saran was established 48 years ago, out of the ruins of the World War
The second, with the aim of renewing the cooperation between the countries and restoring the
Europe. Germans, French, British, Italians and other Europeans, who are
Or their ancestors fought each other only a few years ago, began to cooperate
as part of a scientific project.

Today Saran is a leading international center in physics, and its scientists work hard
Now about the construction of the most powerful particle accelerator ever built

At a meeting of the Sesame Council it was determined that the countries that want to join must
Officially as a company in Sesame to immediately transfer 50 thousand dollars, to commit
transfer annually an amount to be determined in the future in the project's regulations. between the countries
They have already transferred this amount to Iran.

The Israeli Academy admittedly transferred about 25 thousand dollars about two years ago, but
Now it seems that Israel is not interested in transferring additional sums of money, rather
to pay her share - or at least most of the amount - in other ways, such as
Work of scientists and technicians.

According to the president of the Israel Academy of Sciences, Prof. Yaakov Ziv,
"The Israelis are very interested in the project. To use science as an ambassador of peace
is of great importance"; But from a scientific point of view, Israel is already a partner in the accelerator
A more advanced European synchrotron, located in France. Participation fee
At the European synchrotron they are about a million dollars a year, and for Israel, says Ziv,
It is not possible, and in any case there is no need, to pay a similar amount for companies
in sesame

However, Israeli scientists, mainly biologists, say they mean it
to work in an accelerator, if established. According to them, the overhaul of the synchrotron will turn it around
A "proper" machine and also its relative proximity have an advantage, because it is possible
come to it often together with students.

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