synchrotron radiation abbr., SR (rus. синхротронное излучение otherwise магнитотормозное излучение abbr., СИ) — deceleration radiation emitted by charged relativistic particles in uniform magnetic field. This radiation is due to particles' acceleration caused by distorting action of magnetic field on their trajectories.


Synchrotron radiation (SR) was originally observed from electrons travelling in circular accelerators, in particular in synchrotrons, which gave name to this radiation.

The differences between the SR and the X-ray tubes radiation are as follows:

-SR has a wide continuous spectrum;

-it is highly polarised and highly collimated;

-it is of intermittent character;

-its brightness is many orders of magnitude higher than X-ray tubes' radiation.

SR of cyclic electron accelerators is used to generate intense beams of polarised electromagnetic radiation in the ultraviolet region and in the region of "soft" X-rays.

X-ray SR beams are used, in particular, in spectroscopy (see "X-ray spectroscopy", EXAFS), X-ray structural analysis (see "Small-Angle X-Ray Scattering"), research of fast reactions mechanism and excitation of luminescence, etc. Synchrotron radiation is also used in photolithography to manufacture integrated circuits.


  • Naymushina Daria A.


  1. Synchrotron radiation // The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (in Russian), 3rd. Edition // Moscow: Sovetskaja ehnciklopedija, 1969–1978.
  2. Synchrotron radiation // Chemical encyclopedia (in Russian) V. 4. — Мoscow: Bol'shaja Rossijjskaja ehnciklopedija, 1995. 357–359 pp.

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