University of Saskatchewan

September 30, 2014   

Canadian Light Source at the U of S Canadian Light Source at the U of S

A Century of Innovation on Campus

The Science of Small

Our Canadian Light Source synchrotron is a source of pride and great excitement in Canada’s research community. The expertise to build this versatile unique-in-Canada research tool grew out of more than 70 years of sub-atomic and particle accelerator research.

Then and Now: Sub-atomic Research

Opening of the linear accelerator
laboratory, November 1964 Opening of the linear accelerator laboratory, November 1964

1948:Canada’s first betatron, a particle accelerator used for sub-atomic physics and cancer treatment, is obtained. Leon Katz continues development of expertise in sub-atomic research with a linear accelerator—the ‘linac’ in 1963. Research evolves with North America’s first “pulse stretcher” ring, EROS (Electron Ring of Saskatchewan), a “mini synchrotron” in the 1980s.

2004: Canada’s only synchrotron, the U of S-owned Canadian Light Source (CLS), opens on campus.

Nobel Laureate Gerhard Herzberg Photo: U of S Archives Nobel Laureate Gerhard Herzberg Photo: U of S Archives

Nobel Laureates

1971: Former U of S professor Gerhard Herzberg receives Canada’s first Nobel Prize in chemistry for “contributions to the knowledge of electronic structure properties of molecules, particularly free radicals.”

Nobel Laureate Henry Taube Photo: U of S Archives Nobel Laureate Henry Taube Photo: U of S Archives

“Do science for the sake of human culture and knowledge,” Herzberg says late in life. “There must be some purpose in life that is higher than just surviving.”

1983: One of Herzberg’s students, U of S alumnus Henry Taube, claims a Nobel Prize in chemistry.

“Each new insight into how the atoms in their interactions express themselves in structure and transformations, not only of inanimate matter, but particularly also of living matter, provides a thrill,” Taube says.


U of S Firsts: Cobalt-60

1951: The world’s first non-commercial cobalt-60 cancer therapy unit opens at the U of S. It was designed by Harold Johns. The therapy, still in use today, has helped millions of people around the world. The first person treated with the U of S machine was cured of cervical cancer and lived to be a grandmother of 92 years.

Protein Puzzles

Canada Research Chairs Louis Delbaere (Structural Biochemistry), Soledade Pedras (Bioorganic and Agricultural Chemistry) and other research teams are revealing more about the structure and function of proteins and phyto-chemicals. This knowledge may lead to advances such as designer drugs for plants and improved diagnosis and treatment of bacterial and viral infections and cancer. Delbaere, team leader for the CMCF-1 beamline at the CLS, is a world leader in research on the structure and function of proteins.

Soledade PedrasLouis Delbaere Soledade Pedras                                                                  Louis Delbaere

The visit of HM Queen
Elizabeth II on May 19, 2005
attracted 2000 spectators to
the CLS The visit of HM Queen Elizabeth II on May 19, 2005 attracted 2000 spectators to the CLS Photo: Gene Hattori, f11 Photographic Design