The Info List - European Synchrotron Radiation Facility

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The EUROPEAN SYNCHROTRON RADIATION FACILITY (ESRF) is a joint research facility situated in Grenoble
, France
, and supported by 22 countries (13 member countries: France, Germany, Italy, UK, Spain, Switzerland, Belgium, The Netherlands, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Russia and 9 associate countries: Austria, Portugal, Israel, Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, India and South Africa).

Some 8,000 scientists visit this particle accelerator each year, conducting upwards of 2,000 experiments and producing around 1,800 scientific publications.


* 1 History * 2 General description * 3 Study results * 4 Access * 5 See also * 6 References * 7 External links


Inaugurated in September 1994, it has an annual budget of around 100 million euros, employs over 630 people and is host to more than 7,000 visiting scientists each year.


Top view of the ring

The ESRF physical plant consists of two main buildings: the experiment hall, containing the 844 metre circumference ring and forty tangential beamlines ; and a block of laboratories , preparation suites, and offices connected to the ring by a pedestrian bridge. The linear accelerator electron gun and smaller booster ring used to bring the beam to an operating energy of 6 GeV are constructed within the main ring. Until recently bicycles were provided for use indoors in the ring's circumferential corridor. Unfortunately they have been removed after some minor accidents. But even before this it was not possible to cycle continuously all the way around, since some of the beamlines exit the hall.

Research at the ESRF focuses, in large part, on the use of X-ray radiation in fields as diverse as protein crystallography , earth science , paleontology , materials science , chemistry and physics . Facilities such as the ESRF offer a flux, energy range and resolution unachievable with conventional (laboratory) radiation sources.


In 2014, ancient books destroyed by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 are read for the first time in the ESRF. These 1840 fragments were reduced to the status of charred cylinders.

In 2015, scientists from the University of Sheffield have used the ESRF’s X-rays to study the blue and white feathers of the Jay
and have found that birds use well-controlled changes to the nanostructure of their feathers to create the vivid colours of their plumage. This research opens new possibilities for creating non-fading, synthetic colours for paints and clothing.

In July 2016, a team of South Africa
South Africa
researchers scans a complete fossilized skeleton of a small dinosaur discovered in 2005 in South Africa and older than 200 million years. The dentition of heterodontosauridae scanned revealed palate bones of less than a millimeter thick.


The ESRF site forms part of the " Polygone Scientifique