Neutron science is fundamental for the advanced materials research needed to address societal challenges of our time. This week more than 770 scientists are meeting digitally to share and discuss neutron research progress in the development of new smart materials, better medicines and sustainable energy and transport solutions.
The research facilities European Spallation Source (ESS), in Lund, Sweden and Institut Laue-Langevin (ILL), in Grenoble, France, together host the European neutron users - researchers from academia and industry - in a major online conference this week.
The globally leading neutron source ILL in Grenoble has enabled crucial scientific discoveries related to materials, energy and health for more than 50 years. The next-generation facility ESS under construction in Lund, will further enhance and consolidate Europe’s flagship role in neutron scattering, providing new opportunities for science through its unprecedented brightness and state-of-the art instruments, delivering cutting-edge materials research from 2023.
“The joint ESS-ILL User meeting is a unique opportunity to interact with the European neutron user community before ESS starts operation,” said Andreas Schreyer, Director for Science at ESS. “We are building ESS with the scientists - for the scientists, enabling European users to maintain their leading position in neutron research.”
The ESS-ILL User meeting, inaugurated today, brings together a record 770 researchers - a great success and proof of the European user community’s strong commitment to neutron science. ILL hosted the first joint user meeting in 2018 and ESS was to host it this year. However, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the three-day-long meeting is for the first time held as a totally virtual conference, and will provide facility updates, highlight recent achievements in research with neutrons in areas such as life science, energy, particle physics and magnetism, and look forward to the scientific opportunities ahead for neutron science.
“While ESS progresses towards the start of its user programme, the ILL is delivering science, innovation, and cutting-edge capability based on its own upgrade programme,” said Mark Johnson, Associate Director and Head of Science Division at ILL. “It is essential that we move ahead together, with our users, and the user meeting is an ideal opportunity. We will explore how the science we do today feeds in to the science of tomorrow."
The next joint user meeting will take place in 2022 at ESS in Lund, providing unique opportunities for the scientists and future users of the facility to see the technical installations and high-performance instrumentation firsthand.