European Synchrotron Radiation Facility
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
2 General description
3 Study results
5 See also
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
University of Sheffield have used the
ESRF’s X-rays to study the blue and white feathers of the
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 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
On December 6, 2017, the journal Nature unveils the discovery at the
European synchrotron of a new species of dinosaur with surprising
characteristics and living about 72 million years ago. It is a biped,
mix between a velociraptor, an ostrich and a swan with a crocodile
muzzle and penguin wings. With a height of about 1.2 meters (4 ft) and
with killer claws, he could hunt his prey on the ground or hunt by
swimming in the water, which is a novelty for scientists in the study
The ESRF site forms part of the "Polygone Scientifique", lying at the
confluence of the rivers Drac and Isère about 1.5 km from the
centre of Grenoble. It is served by
Grenoble tramway system and local
bus lines of Semitag (C6, 22 and 54). It is served by
Grenoble–Isère Airport and Lyon–Saint-Exupéry Airport.
The ESRF shares its site with several other institutions including the
Institut Laue-Langevin (ILL) and the European Molecular Biology
Laboratory (EMBL). The Centre national de la recherche scientifique
(CNRS) has an institute just across the road.
List of Synchrotron Radiation Facilities
European Research Area
European Research Area (ERA)
TANGO (control system originally developed at the ESRF)
^ "Members and associates". ESRF.
^ nature.com 29 March 2016, 24 hours at the
^ "Facts and figures". ESRF.
^ "Ancient books destroyed by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius 'read'
for the very first time".
^ "Des papyrus antiques carbonisés déchiffrés à la lumière des
rayons X". Le Monde.fr. (in French)
^ "Nature's unique way of controlling colour explains why birds never
go grey". sheffield.ac.uk.
^ htxt.co.za Tiny Karoo fossil scanned by world’s largest X-ray
^ bbc.com Paul Rincon, X-rays reveal complete dino skeleton.
^ www.eurekalert.org, Synchrotron sheds light on the amphibious
lifestyle of a new raptorial dinosaur.
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24 hours at the
X-ray factory by Richard Van Noorden on Nature
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