Workshops, Conferences and Schools 2007

The events marked with an asterisk(*) are supported within the N2 Networking Activity of the I3 Project IA-SFS. The requests for financial support must be submitted through one of the Member Representatives or one of the User Delegates


New and emerging sources of intense beams of particles and short-wavelength radiation*
June 11th - 13th, 2007
Lund - Sweden
I3-IA-SFS and I3-Laserlab Europe (represented by MAX-lab and Lund Laser Centre) will jointly organise a workshop with the aim of exploring new sources for particle beams and emerging concepts for short-wavelength radiation. Equally important will be to start the process of uniting forces from both accelerator science and laser science in this development.

We currently see an intensive development of new particle sources and sources for short wavelength radiation. The common factor in much of this development is the cooperation of laser science and accelerator science. We foresee that this development will increase in importance in the creation of future generations of sources: laser acceleration might replace traditional particle accelerators, Free Electron Lasers will rely on laser technology for stability and mode control, atto second physics will be developed in the laser field and ported to accelerators, new concepts for X-ray generation and much more. In Europe several accelerator sources are under development which all relies on lasers as integrated parts of their designs.

We intend to bring together fore front scientists from the two fields to exchange ideas of the direction of development. The I3-Laserlab Europe and the I3-IA-SFS are positioned in a way that a joint workshop can be extremely fruitful. Important aspects are to bridge the terminology and approaches from the two communities and to find new areas of common research with participation from both fields.

BioXAS Practical Course on metalloproteins and organism tissue*
July 10th - 15th, 2007
EMBL - Hamburg Outstation, Germany
X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy (XAS) is one of the main techniques to study metals in biological systems. The impact of XAS on biology has increased in recent years as indicated by the number of studies reported in top rank journals. As a consequence, the interest on the technique is growing as well as the need to diffuse the method to a larger user community.

XAS allows accurate structural determination of the environment of different elements in systems where other structural techniques are not viable and it is also suited to complete the structural information obtained from protein crystallography or NMR spectroscopy in the perspective of structural genomic projects. Moreover, the range of investigated systems has widened to large protein complexes, whole cells and enzyme catalysis.

The course is intended for students and researchers interested in structural biology and not necessarily having previous experience in the field. The introductory theoretical aspects needed to understand the physical principles of the spectroscopy will be provided, but emphasis will be put on the practical aspects of XAS data collection and analysis by providing a comprehensive "hands on" experience of the technique. The course provides the participants with experience in data collection and procession as well as data analysis and interpretation of the results. International experts giving lectures and tutorials will be available for further discussions. For the interpretation of results lectures on related topics are included (e.g. bioinformatics, metal sites in proteins, mass spectrometry).

Tutorials will address all the aspects from sample preparation and optimization of the experimental parameters to theory and practical interpretation of the spectra (data analysis). The participants are encouraged to bring their own case studies for discussion with the tutors. An option to collect data prior to the course on one sample will be provided on request.

The practical course will cover theoretical principles of X-ray absorptions spectroscopy and their applications, hands-on tutorials ranging from sample preparation to data collection and data analysis, including principle component analysis, EXAFS refinement, and XANES simulation. Applications presented will comprise XAS tomography, new metal-binding motifs in proteins, generation and analysis of reaction intermediates, and XAS as a tool to probe elements in organism tissue.


"Neutron and Synchrotron Radiation for Physics and Chemistry or Biomolecular Structure and Dinamics"
February 25th - March 31st, 2007
Grenoble, France
HERCULES is a course designed for training students and scientists from European universities and laboratories in the field of neutron and synchrotron radiation. It includes a part common to both sessions during a week and a half, followed thereafter by separate parallel sessions which are more specialized. The course ends with common seminars on the last day.
The two sessions are:
  • Session A: Physics and chemistry of condensed matter
    (48 full time and 7 part time participants for HERCULES 2007)
  • Session B: Biomolecular structure and dynamics
    (25 full time participants for HERCULES 2007)

It takes place in Grenoble, at the Polygone Scientifique Louis Néel, close to the Institut Laue Langevin and the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility.
A special one week programme in the Paris area (March 18-25), including lectures and practicals, will take place:

  • either at SOLEIL, Saint-Aubin (St-A), available for session A and session B participants, dedicated to a complementary synchrotron radiation programme including: soft X-rays, ultraviolet and infrared radiation and their new fields of applications
  • or at the Laboratoire Léon Brillouin (LLB), CEA Saclay, available for session A participants and a few session B participants (upon request): experimental reinforced neutron programme.
    On Tuesday 20 March, all participants will follow a common programme of lectures organized at SOLEIL, Saint-Aubin.

The course includes lectures, tutorials, practicals, and visits to laboratories.

VI. Research Course on New X-Ray Sciences
X-Ray Investigation of Ultrafast Processes
February 28th - March 2nd, 2007
Hamburg, Germany

X-Ray Investigation of Ultrafast Processes
  • Sources of ultrashort x-ray pulses
  • Scattering techniques and instrumentation
  • Detection of ultrafast processes

Scientific applications in the areas of

  • Atomic and molecular physics
  • Plasma and condensed-matter physics
  • Chemistry and life-sciences

Free-electron lasers for short-wavelength radiation are a new light source providing extremely high brilliance radiation. These novel sources allow for new experimental techniques, therefore enabling new science to be investigated. The courses shall provide basic knowledge about new directions of X-Ray research and address Diploma student and PhD students and young research fellows. This 6th course is devoted to the investigation of ultrafast processes using short-wavelength radiation. State-of-the-art experimental techniques and key scientific applications will be discussed.

5th European Winter School (NESY 2007)*
March 5th - 9th, 2007
Planneralm, Austria
Neutron and synchrotron radiation have become essential tools in many fields of research, ranging from material science to the biological and biomedical sciences. Students and scientists from the disciplines of physics, earth sciences, chemistry, and engineering should become broadly familiar with the fascinating possibilities of the various techniques offered by world-class facilities in Europe.

New lights on ancient materials 2007*
The European training school on the synchrotron analysis of ancient artefacts
"Ageing, alteration and conservation"
March 12th - 17th, 2007
Synchrotron SOLEIL - Gif-sur-Yvette, France
After the success of the 2004 edition of the SOLEIL training school on the synchrotron analysis of ancient materials, which was oversubscribed by a factor of 3 (87 applications from all over the world), New Lights for ancient materials 2007 will be held at SOLEIL in March 2007. Indeed, a wide interest has recently been demonstrated by the community working on ancient materials (museum institutions, university archaeology departments and natural science departments) for the advanced spectroscopy techniques provided at synchrotron facilities.

The new edition of the school aims at prolonging this fruitful interaction on topics relevant to long-term aging, alteration and conservation. New opportunities offered by synchrotron techniques will be exemplified through the in-depth study of:

  • ageing, corrosion and alteration processes
  • consolidation treatments
  • diagnosis and preventive conservation

A special focus will be given to inorganic materials, primarily stone, glass and metal. However, both organic and inorganic materials can be studied at synchrotron facilities.
Courses will include lectures presenting the current challenges regarding the conservation of these materials, exemples of application of synchrotron techniques in the field and in-depth presentation of synchrotron techniques.

1st School and Workshop on X-ray Micro and Nanoprobes*
June 11th - 17th, 2007
Erice, Italy
In recent years the research activity in novel X-ray optics and methodologies has been very active, fostered by the impressive achievements of the third generation synchrotron radiation sources. Advanced methodologies, as micro and nano-imaging, phase contrast microscopy, microtomography, holotomography, fluotomography (or 3-D fluorescence analysis), microspectroscopy, microdiffraction, etc. are being developed with submicron spatial resolution and currently applied in many scientific fields. Coherent diffraction from non-periodic objects is bridging the gap between diffraction and imaging, with nanometer spatial resolution and extremely interesting perspectives in studies of organic molecules and protein studies.

The fourth generation synchrotron radiation sources like the Free Electron Lasers (FEL), with 10 orders of magnitude higher brilliance than the present one, and pulses as short as few tens of fs, make the possibility of imaging the single (non-crystallised) protein a realistic goal. On the other hand, the great progresses with SR sources had a very positive fall-out also on development of innovative table-top laboratory sources, in particular micro-sources with target dimensions few microns wide and enhanced brilliance with respect to standard x-ray generators. Together with advanced x-ray optics, which provide significant enhancement of flux density, the new sources achieve micrometer or even sub-micrometer spatial resolution, allow phase contrast imaging and provide extremely useful tool in microscopy, microtomography and microfluorescence. Other type of sources, like laser- plasma sources open the way also to in-house experiments with very short pulsed beams. Due to the progress in instrumentation, new methodologies and new applications are constantly developing, making this field very active and stimulating. The great progress achieved and the future perspectives are now enough mature to be applied to a number of different scientific fields, such as life sciences, nanoscience, material engineering, cultural heritage, security, etc., but require new generation of researchers and knowledge exchange between specialists in different fields, with a real multidisciplinary approach.

The proposed school and workshop has the aim to mark the state-of-the-art in these topics, and to provide a useful background to PhD students and young researchers who start their activity in this field. The school, which will take place in the first three days, aims at giving the basic elements of the techniques also to students not familiar with the subject, and the workshop, which will run in the last days, will give an overview of the most recent developments, with participation of the top scientists in the field.

6th PSI Summer School on Condensed Matter Research*
"Correlated Electron Materials"
August 18th - 25th, 2007
Zuoz, Switzerland
The purpose of the Summer School is to give the participants an introduction to the basic principles of spectroscopy, microscopy, and diffraction at synchrotron, neutron, and muon facilities as applied to correlated electron materials. The lectures will cover both theoretical and experimental aspects, with particular emphasis on the utilization of three prominent experimental probes available at PSI: synchrotron light, neutrons, and muons. In addition to the lectures, there will be poster and discussion sessions in which the participants are welcome to present their own results.

Training in methods for Macromolecular Crystallography
M2M-7: From Measurement to Model
November 21st - 28th, 2007
EMBL Hamburg Outstation, Germany
The course will include beamline practicals, computational tutorials and/or lectures on :
  • beamline hardware
  • crystal handling
  • carrying out a data collection experiment
  • data processing
  • model validation
  • phasing and phase improvement
  • model building and refinement

There will also be lectures on synchrotron radiation, detectors, data collection strategy, radiation damage, density modification, use of maximum likelihood and software for structure determination.