From the Director
Dear Colleagues,

At this time, CHESS continues to operate and support user research in remote, mail-in, and joint venture modes.

I want to express my gratitude to our accelerator, x-ray operations, and technical teams. These teams were quick to respond to the needs of the CHESS user community during the pandemic, and it is because of them that CHESS is able to succeed under remote operations.

While mask guidelines are being updated, we are still waiting on guidance from New York state and Cornell University for in-person research at CHESS. We will return to “normal” operations as soon as regulations allow. And, we will continue to benefit from the technology and experience we have gained working remotely.

Registration is now open for the CHESS Users’ Meeting on June 8th, and we encourage users to submit posters for the meeting. This year’s poster session will use a novel software environment. It promises to be an engaging and exciting way to present your research while also allowing the opportunity to network as if we were in-person.

We are also kicking off the CHESS 2030 Workshop series with a Soft Matter workshop on June 10th/11th. This interdisciplinary workshop will identify important fundamental questions related to soft matter far from equilibrium, while highlighting the critical role X-ray-based tools play in answering these questions. We encourage anyone interested in this workshop to apply, while we roll out registration for our numerous other workshops.

A couple of science highlights:

From the CHEXS HPBio beamline, researchers recently published a high-pressure small-angle X-ray scattering study of a protein in solution which allows direct observation of the pressure-induced unfolded state. This is the first reported study of the temperature dependence of the dimensions of the high pressure unfolded state of a protein.

The CHEXS PIPOXS Beamline is highlighted as this month’s "Beamline in Focus", where staff scientist Chris Pollock discusses the two types of X-ray spectroscopy that allow researchers to investigate chemical catalysts and the quest for more efficient processes.

We also highlight some new technical advances available at CHESS, particularly two new detectors from Sydor that are available for user experiments, and the RAMS IV system, the newest gold standard for high-impact, precision in-situ X-ray mechanical testing at high-energy synchrotrons

These are only a selection of the many exciting things happening at CHESS as we move towards the summer here in Ithaca. If you have any questions about operations or how we can help enable your research, please contact us. We also encourage users to reach out to the Users Executive Committee with questions, comments and suggestions.

Thanks and Best Wishes,

Joel Brock, Director, CHESS (email Joel)
Beamlines in Focus: PIPOXS
Chris Pollock is the Staff Scientist at the PIPOXS beamline at the Center for High-Energy X-ray Sciences at CHESS (CHEXS), an NSF-funded facility. Chris helps PIPOXS users plan and conduct their experiments, then analyze and interpret their data. He took us on a tour of the PIPOXS beamline and its capabilities.
Unfolding proteins under pressure
In a new paper, a team lead by Catherine Royer from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute reports a high-pressure small-angle x-ray scattering study of the model  protein CTL9-I98A in solution, which allows direct observation of the pressure-induced unfolded state. 
In-Hutch Commissioning of RAMS IV
In spring 2021, the fourth generation of Rotation and Axial Motion System (RAMS IV) load frame was commissioned with X-rays at the Structural Materials Beamline (SMB). RAMS IV is optimized for simultaneous tension, torsion, and fatigue loading.
Next generation detectors ready for experiments at CHESS
Two new detectors developed by Sydor Technologies are now available for user experiments at CHESS. These detectors, the Mixed-Mode Pixel Array Detector (MM-PAD) and Keck-PAD, were based on prototypes originally created by the Cornell Detector Group.
CHESS staff participate in Expanding Your Horizons annual event
"There is no one way to be a scientist, or an engineer, or a technician. We all have different strengths and success comes from working together." - note Kate Shanks and Katie Moring of CHESS.
2020 CHESS Users' Meeting
The 2021 CHESS Users' Meeting will take place on June 8, 2021, as a virtual meeting with plenary sessions, poster sessions, and workshops held online and accessible for participants remotely. We have many exciting updates to share at this year's users' meeting, and we very much look forward to seeing you again. This year, we are working on keeping things a little shorter, because none of us need to stare at our screens longer than absolutely necessary these days.
Soft Matter Far From Equilibrium - CHESS 2030 Workshop
Registration is open for the first of our series of CHESS 2030 workshops, happening over the next few months. "Soft Matter Far From Equilibrium" will host a focused online workshop to discuss, articulate and report on challenges and opportunities in the study of soft matter far from equilibrium, with particular attention to the critical benefits to this area offered by synchrotron-based techniques.
Issue No. 83 2021.5.17