alexa Institut Laue-Langevin

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Institut Laue-Langevin

The Institute Laue–Langevin (ILL) is an internationally financed scientific facility, situated on the Polygone Scientifique in Grenoble, France. The Institute Laue-Langevin is an international research centre at the leading edge of neutron science and technology. As the world’s flagship centre for neutron science, the ILL provides scientists with a very high flux of neutrons feeding some 40 state-of-the-art instruments, which are constantly being developed and upgraded. As a service institute the ILL makes its facilities and expertise available to visiting scientists. Every year, some 1400 researchers from over 40 countries visit the ILL. More than 800 experiments selected by a scientific review committee are performed annually. Research focuses primarily on fundamental science in a variety of fields: condensed matter physics, chemistry, biology, nuclear physics and materials science, etc. Whilst some are working on engine designs, fuels, plastics and household products, others are looking at biological processes at cellular and molecular level. Still others may be elucidating the physics that could contribute to the electronic devices of the future. ILL can specially tailor its neutron beams to probe the fundamental processes that help to explain how our universe came into being, why it looks the way it does today and how it can sustain life. The ILL also collaborates closely and at different levels of confidentiality with the R&D departments of industrial enterprises. All the scientists at the ILL - chemists, physicists, biologists, crystallographers, specialists in magnetism and nuclear physics - are also experts in neutron research and technology and their combined know-how is made available to the scientific community. The institute was founded by France and Germany, In January 1973 the United Kingdom decided to join ILL and officially became the institute’s third Associate member country in 1974. These partner states provide, through Research Councils, the bulk of its finance. Ten other countries have since become partners. Scientists of institutions in the member states may apply to use the ILL facilities, and may invite scientists from other countries to participate. Experimental time is allocated by a scientific council involving ILL users. The use of the facility and travel costs for researchers are paid for by the institute. Commercial use, for which a fee is charged, is not subject to the scientific council review process. Many experiments are completed every year, in fields including super-conductivity, materials engineering, magnetism and the study of liquids, colloids and biological substances. An ambitious modernisation programme was launched in 2000, through the design of new neutron infrastructure and the introduction of new instruments and instrument upgrades. The first phase has already resulted in 17-fold gains in performance. The second phase has started in 2008, it comprises the building of 5 new instruments, the upgrade of 4 others, and the installation of 3 new neutron guides. In summer 2016, using an imaging technique neutron radiation, the facilities of the Institut Laue–Langevin demonstrate that a molecule called ectoine is used by Halomonas titanicae near the wreck of RMS Titanic to survive the osmotic pressure that causes salt water on their membranes.