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SNI2018: Focus on research and its future

Report on the German Conference for Research with Synchrotron Radiation, Neutrons and Ion Beams at Large Facilities 2018 (SNI2018) in Garching, Sept. 17-19, 2018

 

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Participants of the SNI2018. Photo: Wenzel Schürmann (TUM)

A wealth of new contacts, ideas and information was taken home by more than 520 scientists who attended the "German Conference for Research with Synchrotron Radiation, Neutrons and Ion Beams at Large Facilities 2018" in mid September 2018. Three intensive days - many participants even came to the welcome reception on the night before the start of the conference in elegant ambience of the Münchner Künstlerhaus am Lenbachplatz. The conference was organised by the user committees KFS, KFN and KFSI in cooperation with MLZ.


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Welcome reception of the SNI2018. Photo: Karin Griewatsch (Kiel University)

The conference was opened by Prof. Dr. P. Müller-Buschbaum in his role as local host from the Technical University of Munich and as scientific director at the Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Zentrum and by Dr. J. Kroseberg from the Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung, who pointed out that the meeting is both a showcase of research on matter and the universe at large facilities and a meeting of an active scientific community. The next highlight was the public evening lecture by Prof. Dr. Tim Salditt on the possibilites of research with Synchrotron Radiation, Neutrons and Ion Beams.

The numerous topics of the meeting reflects the diversity of the scientific field: Functional Materials, magnetism, Soft Matter, Life Sciences, catalysis, nanomaterials, thin films, surfaces and interfaces, structural biology. Due to the common use of large facilites, methods are an important topic as well. In fact, research in this field lives on the development of methods. Therefore, there were sessions on methods and instrumentation, In-situ and in-operando studies and novel developments in time resolved techniques. Research with synchrotron radiation, neutrons and ion beams is crucial for the understanding of matter and leads to important applications, which became apparent in the innovation and industry session. Many partipants took part in the sessions covering future topics: Next generation large scale facilities and digital agenda.

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Postersessions. Photos: Karin Griewatsch (Kiel University)

The future has already begun: First experiments at the European XFEL were presented by Robert Feidenhans'l. This extremlely powerful X-ray beam for research was taken into user operation close to Hamburg one year ago. It serves the European user community by providing the possibility for performing new classes of experiments to investigate the structure and dynamics of matter on the atomic length and time scales. The instrumentation of this source is tailored to these specific opportunities, as it is done at the other projects. Under construction are BESSY VSR at HZB in Berlin, the Extremely Brilliant Source at ESRF (ESRF-EBS) in Grenoble, die European Spallation Source (ESS) in Lund and the Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research in Europe (FAIR) of GSI in Darmstadt and in planning PETRA IV at DESY in Hamburg.

The conference was rounded out by the distinction of young scientists for their excellent research and their presentation. The committee research with neutrons (KFN) awarded the Wolfram-Prandl-Prize 2018 for young researchers to Dr. Felix Roosen-Runge. He received the prize for his outstanding contributions to neutron scattering studies of the phase behavior and dynamics of protein solutions, see https://www.sni-portal.de/kfn/Infos/WPP-Roosen-Runge-engl.php. Poster prizes were awarded to Konstantin Krausert (DESY/University of Hamburg), Michael Leitner (MLZ/TUM) and Matthias Dodenhöft (TUM).

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Awarding ceremony of the Wolfram-Prandl-Prize 2018 at the SNI2018 in Garching.
Left to right: Prof. Dr. Frank Schreiber (Tübingen University), Dr. Felix Roosen-Runge (Lund University) and Dr. Astrid Schneidewind (FZ Jülich, KFN chair). Picture credit: Wenzel Schuermann (TUM)

For the first time in the 30 years the committees have been in place, KFS and KFS met before the conference in a joint meeting. As expected, the common needs of synchrotron and neutron users became apparent.

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Members of the 11. KFN and the 11. KFS. Photo: Karin Griewatsch (Kiel University)

In four years the active and growing science community will meet again, since the format of the SNI-meetings is so successful. We would like to thank the local organisers from MLZ: Dr. Ina Lommatzsch and Ramona Bucher. Not only the scientific highlights of the conference, but also the social events, in particular the conference dinner at the Hofbräuhaus in Munich, will leave a lasting impression.

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Conference Dinner in Hofbräuhaus. Photo: Wenzel Schürmann (TUM)