The use of neutrons and photons in Earth sciences - A workshop report


On May 8 we held a full-day workshop at the Department of Earth Sciences at Uppsala University, on the application of neutrons and x-rays in Earth sciences. The motivation for the workshop was mainly that the use of these techniques remains underexploited at the department today and, considering current developments at the Swedish National Synchrotron Laboratory (MAX IV) and the upcoming European Spallation Source (ESS) the aim of the workshop was to increase our readiness and illustrate the capabilities of these facilities. 

Thirty-three participants from national and international institutions attended the workshop, noting that the attendees consisted dominantly of PhD students and early career researchers. The workshop started with an introduction to the Centres for Neutron Scattering and Photon Science at Uppsala University, whose organizations helped sponsoring the workshop. Six speakers then provided presentations on the use of neutron scattering and photons on a diverse set of topics that spanned cloud formation in the atmosphere to the structure of iron in Earth’s innermost core. 

Read more about the presentations from the workshop.

Watch short talks given by the presenters at the workshop.

Speakers and topics at the workshop:

Dr. Lawrence Anovitz  – Application of neutron physics to enhanced understanding of geological systems

Dr. Stephen Hall – Investigating the mechanics and hydro-mechanics of geomaterials with x-rays and neutrons

Prof. Martin King – The oxidation of organic matter in the atmosphere: Studying reactions at air-water-mineral interfaces that may affect modern climate change

Dr. Zuzana Konopkova – European x-ray free-electron laser facility, Hamburg: Studying deep Planetary interiors using synchotron radiation and free electron laser techniques.

Prof. Ingmar Persson – What can MAX IV do for geo- and soil- sciences, and some examples of this

Dr. Guying Shen – Synchrotron x-rays: a key to probing Earth’s and planetary interiors

Participants that attended the workshop came from many different institutions:

Uppsala University (Sweden)

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (Sweden)

Carnegie Institution of Sciences (USA)

Royal Holloway University of London (United Kingdom)

Oakridge National Laboratory (USA)

European XFEL (Germany)

Research Institutes of Sweden (RISE)

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