MLZ is a cooperation between:> Technische Universität München> Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht> Forschungszentrum Jülich
This blog has a history.
Between February and August 2014, the research neutron source was shut down due to a maintenance break. On March 2nd, 2004, the reactor had gone critical for the first time, and ten years after this event several tests were mandatory. In short: No neutrons, no positrons for around six months. This meant to us: No users the User Office could take care for! With our blog, we wanted to answer the question what we did instead and thus the readers could take a look behind the scenes always on fridays.
The maintenance break ended on August 22nd, 2014. In the mean time, blog writing became a lot of fun and therefore we decided to carry on. And this is why this blog still exists!
And new from cycle 38a on: Here we inform you about unexpected shutdowns. On more reason to subscribe to our feed!
On time for the last long weekend (in Bavaria, Corpus Christi) is a holiday), the weather forecast is really positive – we wish sunny days to all our readers!
During April, we gave a detailed report about the exchange of the beam plug. But until now, a photo auf the truly built-in plug was missing. In the meantime, our Neutron Optics Group calibrated and adjusted it and built in three neutron guides.
By the way: In the next newsletter that will be published in July, we will show exclusive photos of the installation in the Experimental Hall – the User Office had only been allowed to take photos during the training…
Did you submit your proposal last week? Then you deserve some time out. Now, lean back, enjoy the view, and wait – while we work diligently behind the scenes.
Our referees will meet on June 30th and July 1st – you will informed about the results during the following two weeks via email.
We thank all proposers and wish everybody a nice long weekend!
Oops, it is high time to submit a proposal to MLZ before the deadline today!
Just read the Call for Proposals and start:
For instruments supported by TUM, Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht, and Max-Planck-Gesellschaft:
The digital FRM II User Office
For instruments supported by Forschungszentrum Jülich:
The digital JCNS User Office
You have one week left to submit your proposal for beam time at the MLZ: Our next deadline is on Friday, May 6th.
Please note that in beautiful Bavaria there will be a holiday on Thurdsday (May 5th) – on that day nobody will be available!
We are looking forward to receiving your proposal!
After the shielding flask had been positioned in front of the pulled out beam plug, it is screwed on thightly. Now, the plug can be divided into two parts – that one in the shielding flask and the other one. Why are we doing that? Because the whole thing would be too heavy and it would not be possible to transport it. For the same reason, the new beam plug is assembled within the Experimental Hall!
Well wrapped, both removed parts had been transported to the Neutron Guide Hall East and waited for collection – you can see the containers on the photo below. In the Experimental Hall, the colleagues of the Neutron Optics Group meanwhile adjusted the new plug’s neutron guides.
Last week, we learned how to pull out a beam plug. During the whole process, our radiation protection department stays there and checks any radioactivity so that no limits will be exceeded. In order to protect the project team, a shielding wall had been constructed. Beforehand, several cameras had been installed in the Experimental Hall and now they can use them for their work. This way, the crane as well as the machine for the exchange of beam plugs can be operated.
For the plug’s front part, a special shielded flask had been constructed – you can have a look inside in the picture at the top of the left. Once the plug is on the machine’s sledge, the shielding flask is positioned by using the crane and put down on the plug.
This week the time has come for the beam plug’s exchange! Due to safety reasons, we can’t do a live report – but we got the opportunity to take part in a training session at the mock-up (we had introduced that in February) and will therefore explain the procedure in more detail in the next few entries.
First of all, the machine for the exchange of beam plugs is located in the Experimental Hall directly in front of the beam plug (above on the left: the machine; on the right: the (training) plug). It pulls out the plug by using the sledge it is mounted on (you can see the sledge above on the left). Once the plug is pulled out, the shielding gate that had been positioned directly at the reactor’s wall, is closed (below on the right).
In order to make room in the Experimental Hall for the neutron guides that will provide neutrons to the Neutron Guide Hall East, for example the three axes spin echo spectrometer TRISP had to be dismantled. When it will be reconstructed in the new hall, it won’t need its cladding tubes anymore. Yesterday, a special transport fetched them (they are in that yellow box). They will be stored temporarily before the conditioning.
Since we casted an eye over GALILEO’s building site that is located directly in front of our area, five months have gone by (it was on Oct. 30th, 2015) and quite a lot has happened: They digged. They digged very deep. And then a little deeper…. But now they are obviously deep enough: In the picture at the bottom left, you can see that the next construction phase started with the first part of the floor slab.
By the way, this very deep pit shall once contain a two-storey underground car park!
It’s March and the ducks are back again!
We dedicated our fourth blog article to them, we were happy when they came back last year – and in the meantime, they are a trio instead of a couple! Two drakes escort the lady across the pond. They are out to impress at least our cat – she looks a little bit scared, doesn’t she?
On our own behalf: Will we meet next week? The User Office will be at the DPG Spring Meeting at Regensburg – find our booth in the “Lichthof” (booth no. 11) from Tuesday on.
A rare view: Looking up from the bottom of the moderator tank (photo during construction phase, 2000, still without heavy water.) © MLZ
Although we announced April 12th for the FRM II’s restart, we have to shift it to July 19th. That means, one of the planned cycles will be dropped. Delays in the schedule for the change of the beam plug as well as the long delivery time of the thimble-type tubes is to blame for this.
The tubes are located inside the moderator tank and contain elements to measure the heavy water’s temperature. Due to an ullage, one of them had been removed. By endoscope one could find similar results on the other – identical – tubes. Thus, all of them have to be replaced. For sure, this was not planned! Unfortunately, you can’t buy such tubes off the peg but they have to be manufactured individually.
Luckily, we have had the material in stock since 2012 but due to the production time we have to wait now…
(Thanks to our Reactor Department for information and picture!)
Invitation to and audience at the celebration at Jülich, Feb. 17th © Forschungszentrum Jülich + MLZ
For the last ten years, JCNS has successfully developed and operated world-class neutron scattering instruments at the best neutron sources worldwide. At Garching for example, ten and a half instruments (BioDIFF is a joint instrument of TUM and FZJ) wait for users and their experiments – and there will be even two more in the new Neutron Guide Hall East.
Our machine for the exchange of beam tubes is already used diligently. All has to go well once it is show time! For this purpose, a mock-up had been constructed in the Neutron Guide Hall East. In the meantime, the team responsible for the exchange practises here. The process has to be fixed well in advance and furthermore has to be checked officially.
Our picture shows the shielding gate (blue) that will be constructed directly at the reactor’s wall. On the left, there will be the reactor pool – here you can see the “built-in” beam plug (light grey). The machine for the exchange of beam tubes is on the left outside the image section.
In our entry on January 15th, a mysterious machine was visible in the background. That is our machine for the exchange of beam tubes. It is not new but was shaken out of its sleepy way of life: During the construction of the FRM II it had already been used to fit the beam tubes into the reactor pool. Since then, the customised design had dozed in an external warehouse. Quite a while ago, it was fetched back, modified, and now waits for the mission. It not only loiters about – but that story will be told next week!
To all readers celebrating carnival: Alaaf and Helau!!
On January 31st, the current NMI3 project ends. Via this project, we granted the financial support for European users until now. We are working on a continuation project but in the meantime, the MLZ partners will bridge the gap. Although the budget is limited, we like to support as many experiments as possible. Therefore we will reimburse the expenses for only one person per eligible experiment in the future.
You are keen to learn more? You find detailled information on our web page. We will also be happy to answer all your questions – just contact us!
After we celebrated the beam plug’s arrival last week, maybe some of our readers wondered about why we are in need of such a new plug.
The current plug has only two beam channels. But 40 m away, in the Neutron Guide Hall East, four instruments are eagerly waiting for neutrons. Of those, POWTEX and SAPHiR will share a neutron guide. Therefore we need three neutron guides and thus three beam channels. Unfortunately it is not possible to gouge a hole into the plug later: A new one had to be manufactured.
Further news: The planned reactor cycles for 2016 are online!
The User Office team managed the turn of the year quite well and we hope that you did this, too!
But not only the team is present again – the new beam plug had also been delivered! Our current break is mainly due to the exchange of this plug at beam tube 5 because this will create the possibility to provide the Neutron Guide Hall East with neutrons. Thus, we will have a closer look on this topic here on the blog during the next weeks.
First of all the spectacular arrival of the beam plug on January 8th, 2016. By the way, it was manufactured at the Forschungszentrum Jülich by the Central Institute for Engineering, Electronics and Analytics (ZEA) – Engineering and Technology (ZEA-1) during 2015.
You are now able to rummage online in our latest newsletter. In the feature, we present the possibilities of small angle neutron scattering at the MLZ. Furthermore, we have a look at the new chopper at SPHERES and are in at the opening of the primary cell – just mentioning two topics among many more!
The printed copies are shipped to our subscribers next week. You are no subscriber but like to get a copy? Just send us an email!
The next deadline for proposals is fixed. You will be able to submit your proposal until May 6th, 2016 at the latest. Please do not forget to contact the instrument scientists in advance – they will have a handful of insider hints for you!
Even earlier is the deadline for Rapid Access proposals: It will be on February 23rd, 2016.
Detailled information about the whole process can be found on our webpage.
While working on the light weight hall still goes on (it is not as easy as the name seems to suggest…), we were able to inform all users who had submitted a proposal for the last deadline on September 11th about the reviews’ results. You have not yet received an email? Just have a look at your spam folder – or just contact us!
Congratulations to all those who received beam time, we are looking forward to seeing you in Garching next year. BTW, the period for the first cycle after our longer break is fixed now – but please be aware that it can be shifted on short notice!
The fog stepped aside for a nice golden November – and we take full advantage of the sunshine. The next building is put up! This time, it is a light weight hall – storage capacity is always needed!
Looking around on our site and also outside, sometimes the thought touches one that maybe we all are only figures in a real-time strategy…
For sure an unfounded suspicion….
View from the User Office: No neutrons, no users…. nothing at all???? © FRM II/ TUM
Autmn keeps a firm hand on Garching and it does its popular nickname Niflheim justice.
It dates back to the first students participating in the lectures and seminars on the TUM’s Garching site. Due to the lack of tubes as well as buses, they had to march across the fields or ride a bike. Doing this, one often had to fight ones way through thick fog. The river Isar is not that far away!
Compare the dimensions by looking at the Atomic Egg! © www.graf-flugplatz.de
Between our site and the underground station, GALILEO is built up industriously this year. It will become a large complex hosting a hotel, a boarding house, conference rooms, a main lecture hall as well as shops.
In fact, this is a really impressive building site and it can be best seen from above. It looks a little bit as if the kids forgot to tidy away toys after playing wit them…
Nice contrast: 0 MW power and preparations for the review panels’ meeting © FRM II/ TUM
This week’s Tuesday saw the last neutrons before next spring time. This planned longer break will be used to prepare the new Neutron Guide Hall East instruments’ supply with neutrons.
Despite the lack of neutrons, the review of the proposals submitted for Round 20 is in full swing since yesterday. It will lead to the distribution of available beam time – you will learn within the next two weeks, if – and in case “yes” – how many beam days you will get.
We push for all our users!
That’s really fast, isn’t it? It took just one morning and our site got one more building. No, unfortunately it won’t offer offices – it is a transformer installation. The housed transformer had been outside until now and moved to the MLZ site.
After the foundation had been laid some time ago, the little house was delievered completely assembled. It just had to be lifted to the right position with the help of a big crane.
Now, cables have to be laid and finally, a nice covering will be installed – it will match our other small buildings then!
… but a SWEET cat photo was still missing!
Just before the trend sinks into oblivion, we like to make our quick contribution to it. Since a few months, a cat has materialised on the site every now and again. And she stands out due to her curiosity and her desire to cuddle!
(Bavarian for “Beer is available” at the start of the Oktoberfest)
The famous Oktoberfest is in full swing and rules whole Bavaria. Whole Bavaria? Yes, even Garching. To several users’ great surprise, it is impossible to organise hotel rooms at an affordable rate on short notice. This year, many users were really smart and applied for their visit well in advance. Thank you for that – our colleagues at the Visitors’ Service are really happy that they managed to find a bed for all of them!
Short information on our own behalf in order to prevent further enquiries: No, we are not able to book tables at the Oktoberfest. The same goes for next year :(
Easy guess: Which photos are from the DyProSo (© FRM II/ TUM), which from the LabCourse (© A. Steffen/ JCNS)?
While the User Office Team wades through so many submitted proposals (Thank you!), the 35th DyProSo (Dynamical Properties of Solids) conference took place at Freising. Despite a lot of talks and posters, there was enough time for lively discussions – for example during the Bavarian conference dinner on Wednesday evening.
At the same time, the annual JCNS LabCourse took place here at Garching. More than 50 students from different disciplines used our instruments in order to put their theoretical knowledge (won at the lectures at Jülich last week) into action.
That was really a thrilling week!
Did you cancel all appointments for today and withdraw to your desk? Experience shows that many proposal are submitted on the last day…
In case you forgot your password or have any question: Please don’t hesitate to send us an email or give us a ring!
We are looking forward to receiving your proposal :)
Yesterday evening all participants gathered for the conference dinner. Spanish wine and food as well as a lot of small talk made it a really nice evening. There was also the opportunity to dance afterwards – who could say no to that?
We will build down our booth today. From and to Zaragoza, is only left to say muchas gracias and ¡adios!
Today, half of the conference is already over. That mens, it is time for the official conference photo. Those photos are not so easy to take: The crowd has to be arranged in order to be seen, the photograph has to be rescued from falling down the ladder…
That beautiful red brochure by the way is a common one of the German neutron scattering facilities. It was inserted into the conference bags – but many participants take another one from our booth. Do you want to have a look at it even if you are not at Zaragoza? No problem, you can find it online!
Our second day in the beautiful city of Zaragoza.
We are located at booth no 3. This number is used in the map as well as in the booth’s title. And after reading it, most of our visitors have to laugh (including ourselves)….
Those who overlooked that have to smile after discovering the new HZB bags. Nobody can resist to offer a new home/ castle to such a sweet little “Forschergeist”!
Summer break is over! What will we do now?
First flying above the Alps – what a thrilling view! From Barcelona we went to Zaragoza by train and finally reached the Auditorio. Here the ECNS takes place and we had to build our booth yesterday.
How about you? Are you also in Zaragoza? Just pay us a visit if you like!
This week, the User Office team had to unpack a lot: all the brochures we had worked on during the last months and weeks were delivered. We had to store three pallets… Now we are so happy looking at the new “Blue Book”, our compilation of instruments and facilities open to users! In addition there is a common introduction of all MLZ partners including the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin about Neutrons in Science in Germany. 800 copies will be sent to Zaragoza where they will be inserted into the conference bags. We will be there for the ECNS during the first week of September and look forward to all visitors at our booth!
This afternoon, cycle 38a will end and the neutrons will start their summer holidays – and the blog will join them happily. We will be back online from the ECNS and by then, we wish a sunny August to all our readers!
A look behind the scenes (top right: M. Hermann/ Tricklabor; rest: Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH)
A touch of Hollywood in the Neutron Guide Hall West last month: powder brushes, searching looks, commands, and heavy camera equipment were the props. Requested by JCNS, film recordings with instrument scientists were done at BioDiff and DNS.
Why? Because two movies of about five minutes shall explain basics of quantum mechanics to students and everybody else interested in this topic in order to promote and present neutron scattering. To apply the explanations to scientific research at JCNS, the recording was done at Garching – to make everything a little more juicy…
We are looking forward to the result!
Due to the prevailing temperatures here in Bavaria, one can only
1) search for a shady spot,
2) slurp some ice tea, and
3) read something exciting.
You have to take care for points one and two yourself – but for point three, we like to provide you with the new MLZ newsletter.
We hope our subscribers have a lot of fun reading it! It is also available as a PDF here – and in case you have not been a subscriber yet, just send us an email and we will be happy to provide you with it!
Since noon, experiments are running again!
Good news: Everything looks very fine and therefore we expect to see neutrons again during the course of Wednesday (July 22nd).
The world was so beautiful on Wednesday afternoon! In the morning, everything was put up for this years’ summer open air under an overcast sky. But in the afternoon, the sun presented its best side.
At that moment, we were all very happy about the successful start into the new cycle…
Unfortunately there will be no more neutrons this week. We will inform you as soon as a new start date is fixed.
Due to technical reasons, the FRM II was shut down around 19:30 today and will not be available for scientific experiments during the next days. Further information will be available here as soon as possible.
Four weeks ago, a huge crane was needed to climb up the Atomic Egg. This became far easier at the new sports field of TUM kitty-corner of the MLZ site. There, a reproduction of the Atomic Egg (ok, inspired by….) invites to boulder. And don’t be anxious, it is really suitable for beginners! BTW, you can also play beachvolleyball or basketball there.
In case you have to wait during your next measurement – give it a try!
This weekend, the department of building inspection will conduct a power off at the whole research campus Garching. The FRM II is also affected by this – and therefore, we have to say goodbye to the virtual world from today at 11 o’clock. Our computers and networks will already be powered down before we all have to leave the site at noon. Our Online User Office System will not be available from then on, the same goes for the MLZ-website as well as the User Office team: emails as well as calls will be to no avail.
We allow ourselves a good weekend of Digital Detox – and from Monday (July 06th) on we will be available again on all channels!
Tomorrow, the public can dabble in everywhere on the research campus Garching. Of course, there are also the famous and popular tours of the FRM II! One has to register at the Physics Department before entering the site with a group. Today, the tent is already put up – it will be used as the cloakroom tomorrow.
Like every year, we are looking forward to many visitors!
At present, we are producing printed matter like crazy. We already reported about the revised experimental facilities brochure, furthermore we are working on the newsletter, and some more….
It is always such a pleasure when something had been finalised and the printed copies are delivered. This was the case this week: The new flyers (in corporate design!) arrived! They inform about the cooperation partners forming the MLZ and present our suite of instruments on a folded plan.
And once again sitting at the User Office and letting the gaze wander over the small kingdom – when suddenly someting caught the eye: people climbing around an the Atomic Egg !
First, they only had a look, after that a crane was mounted and a working platform installed before work could be started: The Egg’s top had to be remediated. The building is not that new anymore and the top had started to leak. During this week, it was cleaned (look at the photo below right: it is really shiny now!) and properly sealed.
In case one dares to go up with the crane, the view is fantastic – the most of you will recognise the Allianz Arena!
Many thanks to K. Frey-Grottenthaler for sharing that view!
The User Office team signs off for four days off – hopefully in brilliant sunshine here in Bavaria!
A little treat for all of those not being on holiday: Even in 1973, one thought of us bloggers… Or is there any other explanation for this photo of a stork on the Atomic Egg?
If you have ever been on-site, you maybe realised our cooling towers. They are one part of our three cooling circuits. They are explained very well on the recently relaunched webpages of the FRM II.
At night, they are an amazing eyecatcher: They are illuminated by spotlights using changing colours.
When conducting your next nightly measurements at Garching, just use a wait for a short visit!
Today we will not only wish happy Whitsun to all our readers – and hopefully better weather conditions than those this week here at Garching.
At the same time, we celebrate our most silent User Office colleague’s birthday: Five years ago, a grateful user presented us with this Ficus microcarpa. It was a cute bonsai and since has developed into a real (small) tree; it exudes a pleasant sense of calm, never asks annoying questions but listens carefully, and each spring it delights us with new leaves – although it has suffered several dry seasons during its time with us…
We have not yet introduced these inhabitants of the FRM II site to you, have we? In the pond in front of the Neutron Guide Hall East not only mallards and edible frogs (see our blog on June 20th, 2014) feel really comfortable but obviously also fishes or to put it more precisely: common rudds.
They swarm near as soon as somebody gets close. By now, they have learned that the probability is really high to be served some breadcrumbs each time such a tall and frightening shadow appears on the edge.
This we resolved to do at the User Office this year. Therefore we have already started working on the third edition of our Experimental Facilities brochure. We plan to distribute it from late summer on, for example at the ECNS in Zaragoza.
It is easy to see that the brochure is redesigned to meet the MLZ Corporate Design – but we have not yet chosen the cover….
Matching Labour Day, a photo of building sites (once again….). At the moment, shallow pits are digged on several places on-site. Looks a little bit strange, but it is for a good cause! Comfortable parking lots are created there and they are already hot-selling.
Therefore, first sneak previews are carried out. Und guess, who also takes the opportunity? Our couple of ducks. Meanwhile, it got luckily access to the pond (see April 10th, 2015) and is now especially interested in the nearest parking lots.
Make your guess: For which of them will they opt – and what sort of a car do ducks drive? Let’s think about it during the long weekend!
We already took you for a trip to one or the other building site – mostly on the MLZ site. Today we head outside, because there a whole road had been moved. Doing this, spare room for the buidling of a media canal was provided. The media canal will once supply the complex of the “Neue Mitte” (see our entry on November 4th, 2014).
What does this mean to us? Sometimes breakneck jumps into bushes trying to escape from disoriented car drivers, and every lunchtime a much longer walk to the canteen. But hiking shall be very healthy!
Sharp eyes are in demand in order to spot the ducks hanging around in a small puddle. About a year ago (on March 07th, 2014), we introduced them here on the blog. Then, they visited our nice pond in front of the Neutron Guide Hall East.
Why do they have to make do with the puddle this time? We are afraid, but it is true: They did not give enough notice for their visit. Different departments are involved in all the preparations necessary to grant access to our site. They need some time and forward planning.
Therefore we like to remind all ducks to apply for a visit via the User Office Online System three weeks in advance. Please note that we aim for equal treatment: This is valid not only for ducks but also for all our users!
Although the User Office stayed at Berlin last week, our colleagues at the MLZ were not be idle. Of course, the total eclipse of the sun thrilled everybody! Equipped with suitable devices they set out for the event’s observation. Some were kind enough to remember the blog and took some pictures. For example on their own desk or on the annual report’s back cover…
Important news for our users: The reactor cycles for 2015 had been updated. The longer break – in the first place planned from May on – is shifted to October.
While at Garching the FRM II had a (meanwhile finished) short break, the User Office had travelled to Berlin for the DPG Spring Meeting and represented the MLZ there.
It was spring time in the capital – quite suitable for this conference! At our booth, we could explain the unbeatable advantages of experiments at a research neutron source to a lot of curious visitors. Furthermore we were happy to meet well-known users and colleagues – there was no time to be bored!
And for what reason this time? Because next Monday, the User Office will go to Berlin for the DPG Spring Meeting. With our booth, we participate in the exhibition of physical equipment and literature. We look forward to meeting many users and users-to-be! Just drop in and visit us in the foyer on the ground floor. The photo shows it: We will have ballpoints on ourselves!
Furthermore, we like to congratulate all users who got beam time from proposal round 19! The emails were sent on Wednesday – in case you have not received a feedback on your proposal yet, please check your spam folder!
You may remember that we stayed at Ismaning last week during the User Meeting. Now we are back there for the review. Since yesterday, all proposals submitted for round 19 (401!) have to be reviewed.
The referees are diveded into seven groups. During the last weeks, they participated in the online reviewing procedure: They worked the proposals through and formed an opinion. Now, they are meeting for the discussions. They will lead to a common suggestion for the distribution of the available beam time. This suggestion will be presented to the MLZ directors – and they will made the final decision.
This means to all users who had submitted a proposal for this round: You will receive your application’s the result in two weeks at the latest!
Last week you could glance briefly at the abstract booklets. In the meantime, the boxes are packed with all the things we will need at Ismaning during the two days. Apart from this, we designed, printed, and prepared the participants’ badges (it is always tricky to insert the paperbadges into the plastic holders…) and finalised the programme.
To speak frankly: Now we can really kick off!
Next week, we will be completely busy with the last preparations for the User Meeting that will take place on February 23rd and 24th. One thing is already history: The printed abstract booklets were delivered!
Did we go to trouble with it? Hardly ever: We developed a layout, arranged the submitted abstracts, set them, looked for special characters, standardised affiliations, corrected typos, produced a table of contents, a list of participants, an index, and finally processed everything for the printery…
Now, the copies are dozing in cartons and dreaming of all the readers – they will get their copy at the conference office in a few days!
On December 12th, we wrote about the the first delivery for the detector chamber of TOPAS, the thermal time-of-flight spectrometer with polarisation analysis. The others arrived this week on a really beautiful but ice-cold winter’s morning here at Garching.
In the Neutron Guide Hall East, a mobile crane had to be installed in order to be able to unload the heavy duty truck. You can see that the colleagues of JCNS had their hands full before everything arrived on the spot.
Unfortunately, the parts will have to wait a while. But we will keep close to it and report as soon as there are news!
On July 18th, 2014 we reported about the start of the preparatory construction work on the new buildings. In those days, our big meadow had been teared up in order to construct a walkable supply route.
It took until the end of last year – but now dust can settle a little bit. Until it will go on with the work dedicated directly to the new office and laboratory buildings, because they shall be ready for occupation in 2018!
We are back to work after a nice long time off and we hope that our readers enjoyed the turn of the year!
We arrived early at the office this morning because it is proposal deadline and there is always a lively athmosphere on this day. The phone rings, the mail programme plings, and there are many questions we are happy to answer.
The six most frequent questions – including yours?
Well, have you already submitted your proposal?
Phew, that was really exhausting! This morning, the printery had delievered the newsletter’s thirteenth issue. Then it was the time for action: nearly 1000 copies had to be provided with address stickers, to be sorted according to destinations, and to be placed into the post boxes. And don’t forget to take care about the wastepaper!
We hope our subscribers have a lot of fun reading it! It is also available as a PDF here – and in case you have not been a subscriber yet, just send us an email and we will be happy to provide you with it!
December 9th – a foggy morning in the North of Munich. A heavy duty truck shunts carefully on-site. It doesn’t park under the Christmas tree, it transports its mysterious freight right into the Neutron Guide Hall East. The colleagues of JCNS can’t tame their curiosity and peep underneath the tarpaulin. It tips the scales at 9.7 t – that’s really hard work!
But what is it?
It is the first delivery for TOPAS, the thermal time-of-flight spectrometer with polarisation analysis: a part of the detector chamber. The detector itself will consist of 289 3He position sensitive tubes.
You will find us near the main entrance. © DPG, revised by FRM II/ TUM
No, we don’t have a suitcase at the capital – but a conference booth at the DPG Spring Meeting in Berlin between March 15th and 20th, 2015. The booths at the exhibition on industry and literature are always really popular and therefore they are allocated very quickly after the online booking portal opened. This year, it was on December 02nd at ten o’clock. We are still more than happy, that our typing training during the last weeks was so successful that we were able to conquer a booth within seconds!
We are looking forward to meeting a lot of our users there!
Today, we like to invite you to the MLZ User Meeting on February 23rd and 24th, 2015. Deadline for registrations is on January 08th, for the submission of abstracts January 21st. All abstracts will be accepted as posters.
You may have already recognised: this time it will be a different Meeting compared to the former ones. The talks will be held by invited speakers and they shall initiate the discussion about our users’ wishes and demands on us. Our goal is to work out a road map for the next decade: How can we improve our instrument suite even more? Which methods will become more interesting? What has our sample environment to be able to do?
Use the opportunity! Register immediately: Registration
By the way, what are we doing at the moment?
On the one hand, the reactor delivers neutrons to the instruments again since Tuesday and we are happy about a lot of users just dropping in at the User Office for a short chat. On the other hand we are preparing the online registration for the next User Meeting in February. It will be opened next week – so watch out for our circular!
And finally the next newsletter shall be sent out before Christmas. So we are collecting articles, correct, rewrite, shorten, extend, and typeset them before we can sent out the proofs, incorporate amendments, improve photos…. It is a mound of work – but we enjoy doing it!
Today, we invite our readers for a tour outside. Let’s have a look at the New Centre (“Neue Mitte”)! This is a very ambitious plan that aims for establishing a lively campus: congress centre, hotel, a main lecture hall that can also serve as a concert hall or a cinema, shops selling everyday necessities, catering trade, and even a doctor’s surgery are planned.
At the moment, all of this is not easy to imagine. During the last weeks, the soil was cleared away and since a few days, pipes have been laid out, and there is the usual chaos at building sites. We just show this picture because we hope that users whose beamtime is allocated in the last cycle 2014 (= from next week on), won’t get that anxious when they come up from the underground!
Fresh and new on the MLZ web pages: Our new publication database iMPULSE (= MLZ PUblications Library SystEm – we still accept suggestions for the meaning of i). It is based on the open source software INVENIO developed at CERN and among others used by the library cooperation project JOIN2 (GSI, DESY, Forschungszentrum Jülich, RWTH Aachen, DKFZ, MLZ). The project is open for new partners!
Just have a quick check if all your publications resulting from experiments at the MLZ have already been added. In case not – just provide your local contact with the data and don’t forget the DOI. It will be really easy for him to update the database: entering DOI – controlling the automatically completed mandatory fields – ready!
We are looking forward to receiving many publication data!
This week the moment has finally arrived: The new MLZ flag was delivered and could be hoisted. Now it is fluttering in front of the entrance building together with those of the partners Technische Universität München, Forschungszentrum Jülich, and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht as well as that of the FRM II.
The design came from the User Office and therefore we were very, very keen to see the result in real life. We like it very much – and what do our readers think?
Today we have only a very small picture for our readers – but it shows a really large number for us: Our User Office database deals with a total of 10.000 proposals now!
The number is composed of the external ones submitted by our users for the two deadlines per year, of those for internal research and of those for things like maintenance work or improvements at the instruments.
Imagine this: Sitting in the User Office, working on emails, claim forms for travel expenses etc., and enjoying the calm early morning. But suddenly from the corner of your eye you recognise persons! That would not be that surprising if you are not aware of the three long stairs you have to climb every morning to reach your desk. So: floating villains, scoundrels, riff-raff?
No, quite the opposite: it is the fire brigade. They bring their own elevator and have a glance into the office. The reason for their excursion was maintenance work at the reactor building’s exterior wall. Wearing helmet and safety harnass, the worker was directly driven to his site of operation.
Today, the last preparations have to be done for the Open Day at the research campus here at Garching tomorrow. The FRM II will open its doors from 11 o’clock on and everybody can participate in a guided tour.
These tours are fully booked really fast – many like to cast an eye over the neutron source and listen to explanations of its and the instruments’ functioning. The scientists who guide the groups enjoy this day, too – it is always a pleasure to bring ones own work home to the public.
The User Office is responsible for all graphic issues and our colleagues of the Visitors’ Service organise and coordinate the tours. An exhausting day!
Today, we celebrate the Day of German Unity that reminds on the reunifcation of the two German states in 1989. Have a nice day!
We digged really deep in our achives and found this thrilling view – only suitable for those who don’t suffer from vertigo! The photo was taken from the hghest point of the Atomic Egg. On the right you can see the reactor pool on the highest floor. The instruments are located deep down.
As announced last week, we travelled to Bonn for the SNI2014 from September 21st to 23rd. Now we are back with a lot of photos!
At the bottom left you can see the conference centre. It was really tricky to get a nice photo of it because of all the building sites around. On the right you look into the impressive foyer where breaks and poster sessions took place.
It was our booth that was in the centre of attention, what else? We can’t think of another explanation for all those users and colleagues who looked in on us in order zu say “Hello”!
At the top on the left the participants flock into the plenary hall. It was a really special feeling to take a seat on the former chairs of the members of parliament – or even give a talk there like Winfried Petry, one of the Scientific Directors of the MLZ (on the right).
Can you recognize what the photo shows?
Just rack your brains! You solved the mystery? Then just pay a visit to the MLZ booth at the SNI2014 at Bonn between Sunday and Tuesday and fetch your prize – we are looking forward to welcoming many visitors!
After all those quiet weeks of the maintenance break, we are very busy this week! The User Office is located in the Hall East and it is here where once a year the participants of the JCNS LabCourse set up there one-week-camp. This time, 55 students from Germany, Russia, Italy, Sweden, the US, etc. take the opportunity. Divided into handy groups, they work on the different instruments after they haerd about neutron scattering in theory at Jülich last week.
And this is what it looks like at half past eight in the morning: The white coats can take a rest for another half an hour – then their temporary owners will arrive and the last day of experimenting starts!
After all those dull days, yesterday noon even the sun became curious and watched closely (together with the notorius User Office) a very special delivery’s arrival here at Garching.
First, the roof was lifted. The transport containers inside were taller than a man and they could only be opened with cohesive forces. Their lids had to be removed with the help of a crane, too.
And what was inside? Each one contained one new converter plate for the FRM II’s converter facility. It is explained in detail here. There you can also learn what the dimensions of such a plate are: only about 18 cm x 25 cm! In the midst of this impressive delivery scene it lost its importance…
Upps, and there is one more… In case you you need to recreate a little bit – how about learning some Bavarian words? © FRM II/ TUM
On time for the restart, our new HOW TO cards were published! Right when you arrive you find them at the reception and on-site in the users’ offices. Or you pay a visit to us at the User Office and fetch them here.
What is this about? One card deals with the most important places on-site, another one with the possibilities to find something to eat. In case you have a smartphone, you can even use the qr-codes to rummage for the meal planes. Two cards are dedicated to the public transport, explaining how to reach the hotels at Garching as well as the airport and main station. Qr-codes for the vending machine at the underground stations shall help to provide you always with the right ticket.
Do you have feedback? Don’t hesitate!
Keeping your fingers crossed was really helpful: Neutrons and positrons are back again! This morning, our radiation protection team does the clearance measurements at the instruments and thus, operation starts again.
A big thank you to the reactor division: They did a really great job during the last days and especially the last night!
And what about this blog now? The User Office can now again take care for the users – work ist back… But we came to like blog writing and therefore we decided to continue :)
At the FRM II, the restart procedure has just been initiated.
Now is the time for keeping the fingers crossed – and also all readers of this blog are in demand! If we try hard to do so, 20 MW will be reached tonight and user operation reopened tomorrow.
Theoretically, the restart of the FRM II had been planned for August, 19th.
“Theoretically” sounds a little bit suspicious, doesn’t it? You are right…. Our reactor devision is working at full stretch but after the break of six months we have to wait a few more days. This blog will update you as soon as there are news – just have a look during the next week!
It’s always good to have something to look forward to – and we try to shorten this waiting time for you with the latest newsletter, published online today. Next week, printed copies will be sent to the subscribers.
You have not subscribed yet but like to get your copy? Just send us an email!
Wednesday afternoon, the door opens and a voice asks: „By the way, are you fond of animals?“ With that, a special adventure started for some of our colleagues. The User Office was happy to accompany this as press photographer (we are really interested in anybody who could be an external user….).
At the bottom of a light well, a snake had curled up. After a visiual inspection – in everybody’s opinion, it was a harmless grass snake being in difficulties – and a short discussion, a task force was formed quickly and the intrepid rescue operation introduced. After climbing carefully in the light well through a cellar window, the reptile could be directed into a bucket. Only a few metres away, liberty lured. It was released near the fence that borders on the surroundings of the river Isar.
Applause to all persons involved!
Today we will look ahead. This photo was taken on the visitors’ gallery of the Neutron Guide Hall East. In future, visitors will stay here and listen to the explanation of the instruments.
Some things you can already recognise: on the left in red and white the six anvil press for high pressure radiography and diffraction SAPHiR and in the centre a green object – there the thermal time-of-flight spectrometer with polarisation analysis TOPAS is constructed. In the background, at the end of the hall, there is the EDM, the neutron electric dipole moment measurement.
Neutrons will come from the right, via the guides from the reactor building traversing the connecting building.
And by the way: The User Office is located directly above the hall!
During the last weeks, the User Office team and much more the IT-group (a big thank you to them!) worked diligently: Two new features should be ready before the end of the long maintenance break.
On the one hand, it will be no more possible to carry out an experiment without entering all samples in our new Sample Tracker beforehand. When doing this you will be immediatly informed about which samples you have to register with our radiation protection team personally.
On the other hand, we abolished the instruction movie. Instead of that, wie provide a slide-based instruction. You can easily access it online and carry it out before visiting us in Garching.
All information can be found here.
Any of your queries regarding these two new features will find an answer at the User Office – just contact us!
Two weeks ago, we pointed out at the mysterious pit in front of the Atomic Egg. Today, the secret is disclosed: It is the first step towards our new office and laboratory buildings!
Within the pit, a walkable media canal is constructed. Cables for electricity, data, communication and steering technique as well as pipes for heating, fresh and waste water need quite a lot of space – even more because in case of necessity, repair work shall be easy and comfortable. It will also connect the two planned buildings to the prevailing system. The photo shows the start of planking.
We are really looking forward to the new buildings – but what was teared up there was the meadow where our summer party always took place. That makes us a little bit sad….
It was yesterday afternoon, when we spread the results of the proposals’ review via email. The main proposers were informed which of their proposals had been accepted and which had been rejected. For accepted proposals, allocated days and instrument were told. In case the proposal had been rejected – please keep in mind that our instruments are heavily overbooked! – the email gave you a hint regarding the reason. You got the abbreviation “E1”? Then you will get another email explaining the reason in detail in the next days.
Congratulations to all users who received beam time – we look forward to meeting you at the MLZ after the long maintenance break!
An announcement on our own behalf: The User Office System will be offline for about one hour on today’s Friday between 13:00 and 15:00. Please accept our apologies for this inconvenience!
Today, we take the credit for somebody else’s efforts.
Rainbow and Atomic Egg – und both in the evening of the soccer game Germany vs. Algeria in the round of the last sixteen! Our colleague could not resist the subject and therefore whipped out her mobile phone on Monday. She was so kind to give us permission to use it here. Now we hope it will be a lucky charm for tonight’s game of the German team against France…
By the way, if you are wondering about the strange pit in the foreground: That will be next week’s topic!
Yesterday and today, the review panels’ meeting dealing with round 18 took place. That means, 60 scientists meet and discuss all proposals very concentrated during these two days. When scheduling the meeting, nobody could guess that the German soccer team had to play against that of the USA this Thursday evening .
Therefore this time they had to be focussed even more. By this, we managed to watch the second half between the end of the first day’s discussions and the traditional dinner. Fortunately, the conference centre offered public screening and we could keep our fingers crossed and finally celebrate like the other guests!
By the way: The User Office team keeps its fingers crossed also for all our users. We hope, you will celebrate, too – when we spread the review’s results via email in about two weeks!
Not only a couple of ducks (see our blog on March 7th, 2014) enjoys the assets of the little pond in front of the Neutron Guide Hall East. Edible frogs are its main beneficiaries. During the hot days last week, we all became really envious!
But we are envied, too: Receiving a call at the User Office with the window wide open, the callers often ask suspiciously our whereabouts. The loud craoking is quite audible also on the phone! So everybody imagines us enjoying ourselves sitting comfortably by an enchanted lake.
Fine it would be, were this the case!
The offices within our area are bursting at the seams. Therefore, preparation work for the construction of two new office and laboratory buildings started. In August, two old buildings from the fifties, will be teared down. But what to do with those colleagues thus loosing their workspaces?
The answer: “Off to Container!” And this is why there had a new container building been errected just behind the TUM’s Physics Department. During the last few weeks, the teams of MEPHISTO, NEPOMUC, and RESEDA had moved to the country.
For safety reaasons, the building is monitored by closed-circuit TV – but (unfortunately?) a live link-up is and will not be provided…
The annual summer festival took place on Wednesday. With a cool drink, not quite as warm temperatures and an even cooler ice cream it is always really nice to chat with colleagues of other departments who one normally doesn’t meet that often. Also many retired employees seize the opportunity to talk about old times.
This year it was a special party because we invited also the families. Many accepted the invitation and therefore it became a really nice and splendid party!
On May 19th and 20th, science at the Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Zentrum was reviewed for the first time. All colleagues were involved: For example, the instrument teams presented their machines in talks and live during the tour of the halls. The science groups’ leaders dealt with highlights, and young scientists answered to the international reviewers. The goal was not only to show what we had done so far – those reviews are very helpful to get new impetus and suggestions how to improve even more.
And what did the User Office do? Apart from countless statistics dealing with user operation, we designed and produced the whole event’s style: One could find it from the report of nearly 400 pages to the name badges.
Yesterday and today, a workshop intended to provide a theoretical and practical introduction on how to avoid Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) and Electromagnetic Interference (EMI) issues at our instruments by following a strict concept and guidelines. Since this concept does not only include electrical installations, but also IT, media, as well as structural and mechanical components, all those aspects must be considered during planning and implementation of instrument infrastructure.
Invited by N. Arend, head of the Project Group “Electronics/Instrument Control and Detectors”, about 80 participants discussed lively between the talks given by K.-H. Otto (Sachverständigenbüro Otto), P. Göttlicher (DESY) und G. Vehres (JCNS-1, Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH). Practical demonstrations by Mr. Otto illustrated the theoretical concepts.
(Details: N. Arend)
Yesterday, the connection building’s scaffolding could be dismantled after the front had been finished during the last days.
From a distance it looks like a simple black wall. But on closer examination, it turns out to be a sophisticated crosswise textured plaster. You as this blog’s reader are always really close: Form an opinion about it by clicking on the picture!
Today is proposal deadline’s day! That ist always one of the most thrilling days at the User Office during the year, because most problems occur last-minute. Forgetting the password, the web is broken down – or there is a question of vital importance…
UO: MLZ-User Office, hello!
User: Hi, I am just completing the proposal form and there is a question.
UO: How can I help you?
User: I shall decide if I like to get internal beam time or not.
UO: You have to check “no”. As a normal user you don’t have access to internal beam time.
User: That is not very nice, I think. I understood that the next beam time will be scheduled in winter time.
User: That will be really cold if I have to be outside for the whole experimental time. What can I do to get beam time inside?
Have you already submit your proposal?
(The call’s content is in accordance with the facts, but it is no recording.)
The next deadline for proposals will be next Friday. Use this time and submit your proposal online to our User Office system! You will find detailed information about the procedure and helpful hints here. Furthermore you can read our current Call For Proposals here.
We are looking forward to receiving many, many proposals!
Happy holidays to all our readers and their families! What would be just the right picture for such a greeting? The Atomic Egg, the FRM II’s predecessor!
In this picture belonging to the initial phase (we assume it was shot in the end of the fifties), you can marvel on the one hand at its futuristic appearance due to the very gleeming surface, on the other hand at the clean bus driver (who had taken some high-ranking guests just a few minutes before).
When looking at this favourite photo, one question always occurs: Where did the wooden chair come from???
In case you have an idea – don’t hesitate to contact us!
On February 28th, we reported on the ongoing construction work at the connection building. In the mean time, the roof is ready and the scaffolding could be partly removed. Everybody can see this from outside – but what is inside? Today, we therefore offer an exclusive glance!
We are standing between Neutron Guide Hall East (left) and reactor building (right). On the left you can see three light surfaces and another, bigger one, on the right behind the deposited things. These are the prepared wall penetrations for guides delivering neutrons to the instruments in the new hall. Starting all together from the reactor building, they will fan out inside the connection building and separately enter the Neutron Guide Hall East.
Upon departure, we were able to minimise all the stuff for our booth at the DPG Spring Meeting that much! You missed the conference and didn’t see our booth? Just click here!
We enjoyed the time at Dresden very much and therefore we like to thank all our visitors for their curiosity and nice chats!
It was a week of painstaking collecting at the User Office! Next week, we will be at our booth at the DPG Spring Meeting of the Condensed Matter Section at Dresden.
We are looking forward to welcomig many visitors – just drop in at our booth! It will be really easy to find us: We are at the “Hoersaalzentrum” near the main entrance.
Several tests due to the ten-year operation of the FRM II are the long maintenance break’s reason. The first big one was carried out this week:
The moderator tank bore an over-pressure examination.
Preparations had been extensive. First of all, the moderator tank has to be freed from heavy water and vacuum dried. Afterwards, light water could be poured in. In the figure, you can clearly see the pressure’s step-by-step increase within the tank from March 13th on. 24h later, the maximum operating pressure of about 2 bar was reached. Finally on March 18th, an over-pressure of nearly 2.5 bar could be kept for the required period of 60 min. An expert supervised the successful procedure.
(Figure and detailed information: A. Kastenmüller, Technical Director FRM II)
VIPs, fellow travellers, colleagues, and some users gathered in Garching on March 12th in order to celebrate the FRM II’s 10th birthday.
Big events don’t organise themselves and therefore many, many helping hands are necessary. The User Office contributed four hands and we had a lot of fun like always! In the run-up, we designed invitation cards, the celebration brochure, programme cards as well as the guests’ and helpers’ badges. On Wednesday, we were asked to show commitment: We took part in construction, receiving the guests, and filling up the brochures. At 22:30, all organisers and helpers were very exhausted but at the same time really happy about the successful party. We are looking forward to the next event!
At the moment we lack neutrons and users – but instead a couple of ducks paid a visit to our little pond in front of the Neutron Guide Hall East. Swimming around in the sunshine, they inspected everything very carefully.
We are now awaiting their proposal. Incubation periods as well as breeding places can of course only be accepted and allocated after a thorough review!
Construction work at the connecting building between reactor building (in the picture at the right) and Neutron Guide Hall East (left) is progressing nicely.
This week, a scaffolding was put up in order to start sealing the roof. The User Office is located above the building site – so we won’t miss anything!
After each cycle’s end, a lot of claims for travelling expenses show up at the User Office. Many users will probably know already that they have to submit them within five months.
But this time… Maybe some of them fear the break and link it to a lacking ability to pay by any chance? It is long ago that we worked through a staple more than four centimetres high on one single day!
Just check it – did you already send everything for your last visit’s reimbursement? We could surpass ourselves…
In the night of February 9th, the last neutrons were delivered to the users’ experiments before the long maintenance break started.
Therefore the User Office team was welcomed on Monday: “What are you doing here? Don’t you have six months holiday?”
That is not quite the case. We write a blog now.