The HERCULES 2018 School in Trieste

The practical stage of the European school “HERCULES: neutrons and synchrotron radiation for science" was successfully held in Trieste, hosted by Elettra  Sincrotrone Trieste from March 19th to 23rd, 2018. “We are indeed proud to have contributed to this high-level training project”, explains Dr. Luca Petaccia, the person in charge for the event. “This school, started in 1991and now in its twenty-seventh edition, is aimed at young researchers who want to use synchrotron radiation in fields such as physics, chemistry and biology. Our main focus is to disclose to them the great possibilities offered by the experimental techniques available in synchrotrons, so that they can successfully design and conduct innovative and interesting scientific experiments.”

HERCULES, which stands for “High European Research Course for Users of Large Experimental Systems”, holds a high reputation on an international level. “This year we have welcomed participants from France, Spain, Germany, Great Britain, Sweden, Denmark, Italy, and also from non-EU countries such as India, Pakistan and Japan”, adds Petaccia. “The fact that Trieste is a permanent member in the organization of this event is an implicit recognition to the scientific excellence of our research center, which also hosts the free electron laser FERMI, a unique reality worldwide. Let me take this opportunity to warmly thank those who contributed so generously to the organization and success of this important event and in particular to the teams operating in Trieste and Grenoble.”

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Group picture the Elettra and FERMI lightsources.

One of the most notable feature of HERCULES is the duration of the training course, over a month. Although most of the lessons are held in Grenoble, Trieste has a fundamental role, that is “to organize the practical sessions” explains Petaccia. These sessions represent a topical moment in the students' training. In fact, the students work on a real experiment under the guidance of their tutors, the researchers of Elettra and FERMI. This year, nine beamlines of the Elettra synchrotron (APE-LE, BACH, DXRL, GasPhase, Materials Science, Nanospectroscopy, SISSI, TwinMic, XRD1), four beamlines of the free-electron laser FERMI (EIS, LDM, MagneDYN, TeraFERMI) and other laboratories (NanoLab, T-ReX) in the campus were involved in the organization of the practicals.

During the week spent in Trieste, the students also had the opportunity to speak to researchers in special one-to-one meetings, during which they were able to discuss and develop ideas for their future experiments and research projects.  Their feedback on the teaching has been extremely positive and encourages us to continue on the path we have taken, if possible improving ourselves further. “As in the past editions, we could meet exceptionally talented and highly motivated students”, observes Petaccia: “It was a real pleasure to share our time with them. We look forward to meeting them soon, when they will come back to Elettra and FERMI as users or collaborators.”


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Group picture the Elettra and FERMI lightsources.



Last Updated on Friday, 30 March 2018 15:40