Walking across the high-technology hub in Campinas (a city 100 kilometers away from São Paulo) can be a bit monotonous. The pole of scientific innovation is little more than a few concrete buildings, surrounded by immense parking lots. However, now there is one construction which stands out, looking like a sports arena built in the middle of nowhere. It is Sirius, the particle accelerator which is Brazil’s biggest and most complex scientific structure to date. After four years, the state-of-the-art building is finally ready.
Sirius is, more specifically, a synchrotron, a particular kind of accelerator which moves particles around a fixed, closed-loop pattern. In addition to providing a great source of energy, synchrotrons can serve for various applications in the scientific and industrial field. Its wide range of possibilities includes petroleum extraction, research in brain formation, determining the composition of chemicals and geological materials, as well as certain treatments of cancer.