About Us

The Center for Advanced Radiation Sources (CARS)

As a visiting physicist and consultant to Brookhaven National Laboratory in New York, University of Chicago professor Joseph Victor Smith helped develop a microprobe for precision X-ray analysis of environmental and planetary samples. In the eartly 1990’s. he organized a multi-institutional, multi-disciplainary group of scientists to found the Consortium for Advanced Radiation Sources (CARS) to use The Advanced Photon Source at Argonne National Laboratory, for research. Joseph Smith was director of CARS until 1993.

The Center for Advanced Radiation Sources (CARS)  developed x-ray beamlines at the Advanced Photon Source and made them available to scientists to conduct frontier research in biology, earth science, chemistry and materials science and other disciplines.  Since the mid 1990’s, CARS has operated three sectors at the APS: GeoSoilEnviroCARS (sector 13), BioCARS (sector 14), and ChemMatCARS (sector 15), each sector with multiple beamlines. Thus, CARS is a large, multi-disciplinary research center that offers to the scientific community a broad range of synchrotron expertise and access to a wide range of x-ray sources and instrumentation. The advantages of this multi-disciplinary approach include scientific flexibility, economies of scale (scientific, fiscal and administrative), and promotion of interactions and collaborations. Operations of the CARS beamlines are supported by federal agencies including NSF, NIH, DOE, and NASA. CARS beamline scientists, in collaboration with other scientists and students, are devoted to the entire research stream including development of experimentation ideas, experimental approaches, data collection and interpretation, and publication of results.