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Participants of the High Brilliance Neutron Source Workshop at the Rheinhotel Schulz in Unkel. | © Forschungszentrum Jülich
An international workshop with more than 30 researchers in attendance was organized by the Jülich Centre for Neutron Science (JCNS) on 27-28 October to discuss current and future options for compact accelerator-driven high brilliance neutron sources to serve the international scientific community. The workshop in Unkel, Germany, reflected the ongoing concentration of research with neutrons at a few very powerful neutron facilities in Europe, namely ILL in France, ISIS in Great Britain, FRM II in Germany and the future ESS in Sweden. As expressed by Prof. Sebastian Schmidt, Member of the Board of Directors of Forschungszentrum Jülich, and Prof. Thomas Brückel, director at JCNS, in their introductory remarks, these “beacons” of research mainly serve the needs of a limited number of experienced experimentalists, but the smaller or medium flux sources seem to be slowly vanishing, although they are necessary for method development, user recruitment and user education, mere capacity, proof-of-principle experiments or for the operation of specialized instruments and methods.
Attended by experts from France, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Japan, the US and Germany, the workshop presented and discussed the current status and perspectives of the development, potential and design of compact accelerator-driven neutron sources. Such compact sources could serve as national or international medium-flux, high brilliance neutron sources. All aspects of compact neutron production systems, compact target and moderator design, ion sources, accelerator systems, and instrument development were presented, along with news of important activities at the CEA in Saclay in France, the Japanese network of university-based neutron sources, at ESS Bilbao in Spain, JCNS in Jülich, ESS in Sweden and at ENEA in Italy.
The workshop initiated many useful and profitable discussions. The participants strongly supported the idea of the integral optimization of all components of a compact accelerator-driven neutron source, as such an approach offers very competitive facilities at reasonable cost. Furthermore, smaller facilities for training and less challenging experiments will become affordable for “lab-based” experiments at larger universities, thus assisting user recruitment for research with neutrons.
The participants welcomed the idea of establishing a network to push forward research and development at such sources and to continue to exchange information in future meetings.
Text: Thomas Gutberlet, JCNS