Formal Opening Of XMaS In Grenoble

September 10, 1997

The United Kingdom's most powerful instrument for studying the properties of magnetic materials will be formally opened on Thursday, 19th September) at the European Synchroton Radiation Facility (ESRF) in Grenoble, France.

The instrument, which has attracted one of the biggest single grants made by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, is an X-ray beam line known as XMaS (X-Ray Magnetic Scattering.) It was formally opened by Sir Brian Fender, Chief Executive of the Higher Education Funding Council and former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Keele, Sir Brian Follett, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Warwick, and Professor Philip Love, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Liverpool.

The new beam line will provide opportunities for UK scientists and engineers to study the properties of magnetic materials which could impact on computers, computer storage media, and electric vehicles.

Earlier this year the EPSRC awarded a £2.3 million grant to Professor Bill Stirling, University of Liverpool, and Professor Malcolm Cooper, University of Warwick, for a five year programme of experiments. The beam line generates very intense beams of X-rays, of known wave-length, which will provide information about the atomic and magnetic structure of magnetic materials.

"Magnetic materials are all around us," Professor Stirling said. "Computers and computer discs, body scanners and electric motors in cars are just some examples of their use today. They are likely to be used even more widely in the future, but there is still a lot that we do not understand about properties."

Professor Malcolm Cooper said "The new machine in Grenoble will help us to find out more about the properties of magnetic materials at an atomic level. This will help scientists pursuing research into the fundamentals of magnetism, and it will also help technologists working on the development of magnetic devices such as thin film memories for the electronics industries."

Professor Richard Brook, Chief Executive of EPSRC, said: "This project is an example of EPSRC's support for very basic, fundamental science which in the long term will add important elements to the UK's research and skills base."

Fifteen major UK universities and research institutions are planning projects for the new beam line, and access to it will be open to all EPSRC-funded UK researchers through competitive peer review.

The beam line will be operated by a team of four UK scientists and technicians who will be based permanently in Grenoble. The team will be supporte d by an administrator based at the University of Warwick, and an additional technician at the University of Liverpool.

The ESRF in Grenoble is one of the world's leading research centres for synchrotron radiation research. It is supported by twelve European nations, including the United Kingdom.


Further Information
Professor Bill Stirling Tel 0151 794 3380/3358, Fax 0151 794 3441, E Mail

Professor Malcolm Cooper Tel 01203 523 965 (Warwick) 00 33 476 88 2437, Fax 2455 (Grenoble), E Mail

Geoff Heaford, Press Officer, EPSRC, Tel (01793) 444147, E Mail

1. You are warmly invited to attend the formal opening in Grenoble.

University of Warwick

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