Reports

HERCULES school 2014
Grenoble (France) / Villigen (Switzerland) / Saint Aubain/Saclay (France), 23 February - 27 March 2014
Seventy three participants attended the HERCULES annual session 2014, with 25 participants attending the "Session B: Biomolecular structure and dynamics".

The practical part of the course contained most of the experimental training with beam on instruments at the cutting edge of the
technique during special days (as detailed below, and in the HERCULES Annual Session 2014 Booklet, Annex I)
During the session, a 5 days programme was organized for 20 participants at:

  • Paul Scherrer Institute, SLS, Villigen (10 – 13 March 2014),
  • Laboratoire Léon Brillouin, Saclay (13 – 14 March 2014), for a reinforced neutron experimental programme and a 1 week programme (10‐14 March 2014) in parallel for other 49 participants at:
  • Laboratoire Léon Brillouin, Saclay, for a reinforced neutron experimental programme (mainly practicals and tutorials)
  • SOLEIL Synchrotron, St Aubin, for practicals exploiting synchrotron radiation (including soft X‐rays, ultraviolet and infrared radiation), as well as challenging lectures on free electron lasers and ultra‐fast x‐ray science, and gas phase species interacting with the synchrotron radiation surface studies using synchrotron radiation techniques.

In addition to the training itself, considered as very important for their work by nearly all participants, an important added bonus of the HAS courses is that it helped to build a European network of young researchers using n and SR for condensed matter studies and has greatly contributed to consolidate the communities of the two complementary investigational tools.
During the session, contacts were facilitated between the scientific community of L.I. and the young researchers during the various activities of the course. The poster session was particularly successful with discussions around posters of high quality. This event has gathered the student but also many beamline scientists and instrument responsibles, thus fostering the informal exchange of information with the teaching staff of HERCULES, and with the relevant Grenoble scientific community.

HERCULES school 2013
France / Switzerland, 24 February - 28 March 2013
Seventy seven participants attended the HERCULES annual session 2013, with 22 participants taking part in "Session B: Biomolecular structure and dynamics". This hands-on part of the course contained most of the experimental training with beam on instruments at the cutting edge of the technique being presented during a special programme. This included visits to the Paul Scherrer Institute, SLS, Villigen for 19 participants (17-21 March 2013) and a 1 week programme (15-21 March) in parallel at the Laboratoire Léon Brillouin, Saclay, for 15 participants, for a reinforced neutron experimental programme (mainly practicals and tutorials), and the SOLEIL Synchrotron, St Aubin, for a training in applications of soft X-rays, ultraviolet and infrared radiation (lectures and practicals), challenging lectures on free electron lasers and ultra-fast x-ray science, and gas phase species interacting with the synchrotron radiation surface studies using synchrotron radiation techniques.

An important added bonus of the HAS courses is that it helped to build a European network of young researchers using n and SR for condensed matter studies and has greatly contributed to consolidate the communities of the two complementary investigational tools. Setting up the HERCULES participants’ interactive network on the web also contributed to creating links between the participants of this session as well as between the participants from previous and future sessions. The general evaluation of the session by the young researchers was highly positive and showed that HERCULES 2013 session was greatly appreciated by the participants.
 

HERCULES school 2012 on Neutrons and Synchrotron Radiation for Science
France, 04 March - 04 April 2012
The HERCULES annual session 2012 ran from March 4th – April 5th. Over 80 participants attended the course, with 25 students taking part in "Session B: Biomolecular structure and dynamics". Although the intense training provided by the course is considered essential, the opportunity to establish a multidisciplinary network of young scientists in Europe was also very much appreciated by all participants.
The HERCULES annual session included lectures tutorials, practicals (about 40% of the time of the session), visits to laboratories and a poster session and is structured into two parts. First, a general, common, part of a week and a half brings together the multidisciplinary audience. The common lectures covered the various properties of neutrons and synchrotron radiation beams, and presented the most appropriate methods and instruments for the young scientists' needs in the future, i.e. basic notions on sources, detectors, optics, interaction of neutrons and X-rays with matter, powder and single crystal diffraction, small angle and diffuse scattering, inelastic scattering, absorption spectroscopy and imaging techniques. The complementary nature of X-ray and neutron techniques was particularly pointed out.
The second application part of the course takes ca. 3 weeks and is split into 2 parallel specialised sessions; Session A: Applications to physics and chemistry of condensed matter (48 full time and 9 part time participants), and Session B: Biomolecular structure and dynamics (24 full time and 1 part time participants) supported by BioStruct-X. This application part contains most of the experimental training with beam on instruments at the cutting edge of technology. This year the participants were able to use the whole set of beamlines at PSI and SLS.
In addition to the training itself, which was considered to be very important for their work by nearly all participants, an important added bonus of the HAS courses is to establish a European network of young researchers using N and SR for condensed matter studies and has greatly contributed to consolidate the communities of the two complementary investigational tools. Setting up the HERCULES participants’ interactive network on the web also contributed to creating links between the participants of this session as well as between the participants from previous and future sessions. In addition the interaction between the local scientists and students was particularly encouraged during breaks and the high quality poster sessions.

 
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