8 June 2009

It's in the bag - ESS to Lund

Spain has withdrawn its candidacy to be the host country for the research facility ESS and it has been decided that ESS will definitely be placed in Lund.

”Fantastic, now the fun work begins! Congratulations to everyone who has worked for the cause", exclaims a very happy John Renner Hansen, leader of the Niels Bohr Institute at the University of Copenhagen.

Pictured is a cubic magnet hovering above a superconductor.
Among the applications of the ESS is research into
superconductivity, which will have significant impacts on the
development of carbon-free energy sources. Denmark has
a strong research community in superconductivity, providing
ground-breaking results.

ESS – European Spallation Source will be a world class research facility and it will cost around 11 billion kroner to build. At the same time, a data-center will be established and will be located at Nørre Campus in Copenhagen and will provide 65 new jobs for people both in IT and that, which is called e-science - that is to say, for example, computer scientists, physicists and chemists, who will convert the data coming out of the experiments into research results.

It is a European accelerator project, which will be the world's most powerful neutron source for research in materials in the fields of physics, biology, heath, geosciences and in engineering.

Danish knowledge optimises research

Denmark is already deeply involved in research that is related to the ESS project. At the Niels Bohr Institute and the NanoScience Center, Kim Lefmann and his group are doing research on a system that simulates how the neutron instruments work. When the neutrons are created, they scatter in all directions, you cannot control it - that is just how it is. But then you set up neutron channels next to the neutron source and the instruments, which investigate a material, are on the other end. There is a detector behind that captures the neutron beam and the measurements detect the properties of the material.

But what is the optimal structure of the facility? - how long should the neutron conductor/channel be in order to function best, which form and which material is best - and cheapest? By making computer simulations of the facility the research project has shown that you can both optimise the efficiency and the economy. Kim Lefmann and his colleagues' simulation programme is internationally recognised and it has already saved around 1 million Euro pr. instrument in the planning phase.

ESS Scandinavia: http://ess-scandinavia.eu/