3 I H I G H L I G H T S 2 0 2 1
ID27 welcomed its first user group on 24 November 2021, and they could immediately gather excellent data under conditions never before reached in such extreme- condition synchrotron experiments. The ID24 high-power laser facility started user operation on 7 December. EBS beamline BM18, dedicated to high-energy, phase-contrast tomography, has already received beam in its impressive 45-m-long experimental hutch, and the start of user operation is expected in the first months of 2022. The other EBS beamlines are also making very good progress, with construction starting on ID03 for the new X-ray diffraction microscopy beamline, and planning and infrastructure construction advancing for the X-ray coherence beamline on ID18. Plans for the moving and reconstruction of the nuclear scattering beamline on ID14 are also developing according to schedule.
The X-ray science case is rapidly evolving, and besides significant continuing contributions in fundamental research, it is clear that synchrotron science is increasingly addressing important challenges in areas of immediate interest to society. Impressive progress has been achieved recently in health, communication technologies, energy research and the environment. Key contributions have
come from X-ray scientists using synchrotrons and XFELs to study the infinite structures that atoms can create, and connecting their complexity to macroscopic observations and functions in condensed and living matter. In this context, noting that 2022 has been designated by the United Nations as the International Year of Basic Sciences for Sustainable Development, in the coming year, we will have the opportunity and the challenge to highlight the crucial role of basic sciences for sustainable development goals. It will be up to us to show how scientific breakthroughs can contribute to opening new avenues that respond to the needs of humankind.
I am very grateful to all ESRF, CRG and European Photon and Neutron (EPN) Science Campus staff for their dedication, motivation, enthusiasm and very hard work to ensure safe working conditions for all and optimal user activity at the ESRF. The ESRF Science Advisory Committee (SAC), at its last meeting on November 4-5, 2021, commented: SAC commends all ESRF and CRG staff for the first successful year of EBS operation under the very difficult conditions of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. In total, 43 out of 44 beamlines are operational, and ESRF EBS is back to six days per week user operation. Since travel restrictions still apply for user groups, remote access has been enabled at almost all beamlines. This statement summarises very well the hard work and the exciting results obtained since the first use of EBS, and which constitute the bulk of this report. I hope you enjoy reading it and that it inspires you for your next experiment at the ESRF
Francesco Sette, ESRF Director General
EBS is a wonderful result of the international collaboration between scientists, technical staff and industry from ESRF partner countries.