2020 AT THE ESRF
ESRF-EBS opens to users
Following a 20-month shutdown, the ESRF s much-anticipated new Extremely Brilliant Source, the first-of-a-kind, high-energy, fourth- generation synchrotron opened to scientific users on 25 August. Despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the facility opened on time and within budget.
The start of operation of the EBS X-ray source in User Service Mode (USM), albeit in remote access, marks the dawn of a new era for X-ray science: the availability of high-energy X-ray beams with unprecedented brightness and coherence provides new opportunities in imaging condensed and living matter down to the nanometric scale. ESRF-EBS will contribute to tackling global challenges in key areas such as health, environment, energy and new industrial materials, and to unveiling hidden secrets of our natural and cultural heritage through the non-
destructive investigation of precious artefacts and palaeontological treasures. A shining example of international cooperation, EBS has been funded by 22 countries joining forces to construct this innovative and world-unique research infrastructure with an investment of 150 million euros over 2015-2022, lighting the way for more than a dozen projects worldwide, including in the USA and Japan.
The opening of the first high-energy, fourth-generation synchrotron to users is a landmark for the whole X-ray science community. We are all thrilled to envisage the revolutionary science to be carried out and the new applications that will start to emerge. All ESRF staff should be commended for such an achievement, attained on time and on budget in spite of the current circumstances, said Miguel Ángel García Aranda, chair of the ESRF council.
"The novel accelerator technology of the ESRF-EBS opens the door to revolutionary new insights into the molecular machinery of complex materials and biological systems. This is the new tool for the design of future technologies and better drugs and thus of highest relevance for the future of European society," added Helmut Dosch, Vice-Chair of the ESRF council.
This is a moment of pride for the whole of the synchrotron community, said Francesco Sette, Director-General of the ESRF. With the opening of this brand- new generation of high-energy synchrotron, the ESRF continues its pioneering role to provide an unprecedented new tool for scientists to push the frontiers of science and address vital challenges facing our society today, such as health and the environment.
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