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The Computing for Science (CS) group supports ILL scientists, students and visitors in a number of activities including data analysis, instrument simulation and sample simulation.

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Alain Filhol


Everything started in 1992 when Jean Charvolin (ILL director) and Jean Pannetier (physicist) asked me to prepare something for the first " La Science en Fête" in Grenoble (a science festival for the general public). The delay (less than 2 months) was too short to build a set of demo experiments, thus I decided to prepare something on a computer. At that time multimedia tools were scarce (Director 1988, PowerPoint 1990, Quicktime 1991, Flash 2005) and none of them were able to produce an interactive presentation with calculations behind.
Since then I have often been involved in the development of multimedia presentations of many aspects of ILL's life and facilities.

1992 - Multimedia before multimedia

In less than two months Jean Polge de Combret, Yves Baulac, Albert Wright and myself we developed an early multimedia presentation of ILL activities mixing animations and interactive simulations written in C or Pascal languages and driven by Hypercard.

Ref.: "ILL Interactive Video", A.Filhol (1993) ILL, SCCT AF 93/038.

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1992-1994 - Pamphlets

For the TEC 92 show in Grenoble I prepared 12 pamphlets intended for the general public [in French (1992) and in English (1994)].
This and the multimedia presentation (1992) were igniters of the CD-rom "Exploring matter with neutrons " (2004-2005).

L'hydrogène dans les métaux
Hydrogen in metals
Fluides complexes : l'apport des neutrons
How neutrons help to understand complex fluids
Hélium liquide et neutrons
Liquid helium and neutrons
Les quasicristaux.
Des matériaux nouveaux de structure atomique
new material with a surprising atomic structure
Structure d'une lipoproteine
ou la complémentarité des rayons X et des neutrons
The structure of a lipoprotein
or the complementarity of neutrons and X-rays
Défauts dans les cristaux.
Ordre dans les polymères et les liquides
Defects in crystals.
Order in polymers and liquids
Réfléchir et polariser les neutrons :
Miroirs et Supermiroirs
Reflecting and polarising neutrons:
Mirrors and Supermirrors
Supraconducteurs et neutrons à Grenoble
Superconductors and neutrons at Grenoble
A l'intérieur du ribosome grâce aux neutrons
Inside the ribosome with the aid of neutrons
La prise du ciment vue par les neutrons
How neutrons see the setting of cement
Reptiles moléculaires et neutrons Molecular reptiles and neutrons
La Bouteille à Neutrons
The neutron bottle

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1994 - First CD-ROM

CD-ROM "VIDEO_ILL_Interactive", an improved version of the multimedia presentation of ILL activities (1992).

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1995 - French TV M6

Why can't alkaline batteries be recharged ? (1995) (mpeg4 file 4.6 Mb)

This video shows the neutron work of J.Pannetier and Y. Chabre on batteries. It was recorder in January 1995 by M6, the French TV company. 

I prepared the animated display of diffraction results (see below) using a Mac OS application written especially for it

CD-rom "ILL/ESRF Multimedia"

An attempt to regroup the multimedia productions from ILL and ESRF so far.

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1997 - ILL scale model

A model of the ILL was built by T. Heidemann and the model maker D. Laboisse. I developped the computer part  together with Guy Diard (driver), François Descure (Director interface), Olivier Habert (1997), Johann Coraux (1998), David Masden (2000), Lucy Helme (2001), Nicolas Gibaud (2002). The software was soon made standalone and distributed in the form of a CD-rom "ILL Interactive Yellow Book" (v1 1999, v2 2001). It has been ported to Windows XP and Mac OS X in 2007 (zip file 347 Mb).

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1998 - CD-ROM “Neutron and Matter”

In March 1998, Dan Bog - leader of IMedia Software Services Inc. (formely “InterMedia Software”) - initiates the project of a CD-ROM “Neutron and Matter”. The estimated time was about one year but the v1 was released in Oct 2004 and the v2  in Nov 2005.

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1999 - ILL Interactive Yellow Book, v1

CD-rom “ILL Interactive Yellow Book, v1”, 600 copies distributed. This is a standalone version of the sofware of the ILL's model.



2001 - ILL Interactive Yellow Book, v2

ILL Interactive Yellowbook, v2 ” is the standalone version of the software of the ILL's model with an updated contents.

Version for Mac OS X/Windows XP/VISTA: this is a port (Sept 2007) of the original Director application (Mac OS 9/Windows 98) but the contents is still of 2001.

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2003 - Virtual visit of the ILL

Interactive virtual visit of the ILL (QuickTime VR) by A.Filhol and Briq.
Published 1st in the ILL annual report 2003. A web version with many improvements was developped in 2007 and then regularly updated (extranet, intranet)

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2004- Encyclopedia "Exploring matter with neutrons" v1

CD-ROM "Exploring matter with neutrons" (version 1) 2nd tome of the NANOPOLIS™ encyclopedia series.
A.Filhol (main author), edited by iMediasoft® group.

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2005 - Encyclopedia "Exploring matter with neutrons" v2

CD-ROM "Exploring matter with neutrons" (version 2), 2nd tome of the NANOPOLIS™ encyclopedia series.

A.Filhol (main author), edited by the iMediasoft® group.
- ICNS 2005, 27th Nov. to 2nd Dec. 2005, Sydney Australia. Talk: "A CD-ROM to promote neutron science"

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2006 - Attracting new users

Neutrons et fossiles.”, A.Filhol, Muséum d’Histoire Naturelle, Paris, 6 Fev 2006.
Neutron techniques for the industry”, A. Filhol, A. van Overberghe, T. Pirling, B. Ouladdiaf, 26 April 2006, for Thyssen-Krupp.
Neutron imaging techniques”, A.Filhol, November 14, “ILL : Student lectures”.
Des techniques neutroniques pour la police scientifique ?”, A.Filhol, Institut National de Police Scientifique at Lyon, Dec 6.

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2007 - Virtual visit, ILL key dates, etc.

Interactive visit of the ILL, v2 (extranet, intranet)

by A. Filhol, Briq and Ecliptique.

The small low resolution cylindrical panoramas of 2003 have been replaced by gorgeous high resolution spherical panoramas.

Movies of some instruments and experiments at the ILL, by A. Filhol.

Spherical panoramic views of the ILL, by A. Filhol and Ecliptique. (intranet only)
ILL key dates, by A. Filhol.
ILL presentation for the "Fête de la science" (Grenoble), by M. Johnson & A. Filhol. (Mostly in French, zip file 76Mb).

ILL model : old software port to Windows XP/Vista and Mac OS X (zip file 347 Mb)

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2008 - Movies about instruments and experiments

A gallery of short movies from 1995 to today about experiments and instruments at the ILL.

Such movies are recorded when instrument responsibles ask me to shoot a specific experiment or a new instrument. Some movies cannot be made public and are available directly from myself and/or from the intranet.



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2010 - Modernization of the ILL scale model

Modernization of the ILL scale model: both the hardware and the software were modernized.
The 500 pages in the model database can be browsed through the web.

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2011 - 3D interactive animations

3D interactive animations designed in collaboration with IPTER:

40th anniversary of the 1st divergence of ILL's high flux reactor:

A 14' movie (intranet only) on the reactor divergence on 29 Aug. 2011, i.e. about 40 years after the first divergence on 31 August 1971. This movie puts the focus on the work of the reactor staff and shows what have changed or remained the same.

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Screen captures from Neutrons4Science

2012 - Application "Neutrons4Science"

Neutrons4Science for tablets and smartphones (iOS or Android)

This application developped with Ipter makes it possible to :
- perform a virtual TAS experiment on the future three axis spectrometer, ThALES
- observe the main magnetic orders in crystals and see what a magnon is
- discover the gravitational spectrometer GRANIT based on neutron quantum states in a gravitational field.

App Store/iTunes
            <>  in English
            <>   en Français
Google Play
Web version

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2014 - ILL’s scale model on the web

Coralie Bages and Philippe Mourre have integrated most of the pages from the model to instrument pages on The contents were updated and improved.

The scale model itself is accessible on the web.

2015 - "Exploring matter with neutrons" on the web

With the permission of Dan Bog (iMediasoft) the encyclopedia "Exploring matter with neutrons"/"Explorer la matière avec les neutrons", created in 2004/2005 is now searchable on the web.

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2016 - Flipbook du livre de Bernard Jacrot

The book "Des neutrons pour la science" from Bernard Jacrot was translated to English by Ron Ghosh. It is now searchable on the web in the form of a "FlipBook" with the help of Sylvie Crozel.

2017 - and animations

The encyclopedia "Exploring matter with neutrons" in the form of a signed macOS application.

Modernized version of the animation "Small angle scattering instrument D11" (converted from Flash to HTML5)

Modernized version of the animation "Time-of-flight spectrometer IN5" (converted from Flash to HTML5)

Modernized version of the Virtual Visit 2007 (converted from Quicktime-VR to HTML5) (intranet only)