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The Institut Laue-Langevin (ILL) is the world's leading facility in neutron science and technology. It operates the most intense neutron source on earth in Grenoble in the south-east of France.

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Colloquia, seminars & talks

Fundamental tests of nature with cooled and stored exotic ions

Monday 28 November -at 2 p.m. in ILL's Chadwick amphitheatre

Prof. Dr. Klaus Blaum

Director at the Institute
Max-Planck-Institut für Kernphysik

The presentation will concentrate on recent applications with exciting results of Penning traps in atomic and nuclear physics with cooled and stored exotic ions. These are high-accuracy mass measurements of short-lived radionuclides, g-factor determinations of the bound-electron in highly-charged, hydrogen-like ions and g-factor measurements of the proton and antiproton. The experiments are dedicated to nuclear-, neutrino- and astrophysics studies in the case of mass measurements on radionuclides, and to the determination of fundamental constants and a CPT test using g-factor measurements.


Life on Earth - an Accident?

24 June - Chadwick Amphitheatre

Prof. Dr. Ulf-G.Meissner

Universität Bonn & Forschungszentrum Jülich

The light elements like hydrogen and helium are generated in the Big Bang, while the life relevant elements like carbon and oxygen are produced in hot, old stars. The basic underlying process is nuclear fusion.
It is well known that the nuclear binding energies are only a small fraction of the nuclear masses. It has therefore been speculated that small changes in the parameters underlying the generation of atomic nuclei can lead to drastic changes in the relative abundances of the elements
In this talk, I address this issue based on the modern approach to the nuclear force problem and simulation techniques to calculate the properties of atomic nuclei. Here, I focus on the Big Bang nucleosynthesis and the so-called triple-alpha process, that lies at the heart of carbon production in stars. I further discuss some implications for our anthropic view of the Universe.

Prof. Dr Ulf-G. Meiner has been awarded the 2016 Lise Meitner prize for his outstanding work in the fields of experimental, theoretical or applied nuclear science by the European Physical Society.



The next step in the exploitation of storage-ring-based high energy x-ray sources

Friday 20 May -  Chadwick amphitheatre

Dr Harald Reichert

European Synchrotron Radiation Facility, ESRF


The next step in the exploitation of storage-ring-based high energy x-ray sources

The European Synchrotron Radiation Facility is Europe's premier hard X-ray synchrotron radiation source serving 45 experimental stations for public use.
The facility has just finished Phase I of an ambitious upgrade programme (2009-2015) covering all aspects of the facility: photon production, experimental facilities for users, user service, and X-ray technology development. The upgrade benefits all areas of X-ray applications: Imaging, Spectroscopy, and Diffraction. A few examples will be used to demonstrate first results from the new instruments.
In parallel we have started work for ESRF-EBS project (Phase II of the upgrade programme, 2015-2022) focusing on the construction of a new storage ring with the goal to reduce the horizontal emittance by at least a factor of 30 by 2020. The associated linear increase in brilliance and coherence will enable new applications of X-rays in the study of soft and hard condensed matter.
After an introduction of the main concepts behind the new source, the potential for new science will be discussed.

presentation (pdf)

The High Brilliance Neutron Source Project

Friday, 1 April - Chadwick amphitheatre

Prof. Thomas Brückel
Juelich Centre for Neutron Science JCNS and Peter Gruenberg Institut PGI

With the construction of the European Spallation Source ESS, the European neutron user community is looking forward to the brightest source worldwide. At the same time there is an ongoing concentration of research with neutrons to only a few but very powerful neutron facilities. Responding to this situation the Jülich Centre for Neutron Science has initiated a project for a compact accelerator driven high brilliance neutron source, optimized for neutron scattering on small samples and to be realized at reasonable costs. The project deals with the optimization of potential projectiles, target and moderator concepts, versatile accelerator systems, cold sources, beam extraction systems and optimized instrumentation. A brief outline of the project, the achievements already reached, will be presented, as well as a vision for the future neutron landscape in Europe.

Non extensive statistical mechanics: Concepts and applications to complex natural systems

Tuesday, 8 March - ESRF auditorium
Prof. Constantino Tsallis
Department of Theoretical Physics-Centro Brasileiro de Pesquisas Fisicas
and National Institute of Science and Technology for Complex Systems, Brazil
and Santa Fe Institute, USA

Whenever basic hypothesis such as ergodicity are not satisfied, the Boltzmann-Gibbs statistical mechanics, based on the additive Boltzmann-Gibbs entropy, can yield results that are not confirmed by experiments. A more general theory, namely nonextensive statistical mechanics, based on nonadditive entropies, satisfactorily cover a wide class of such anomalous, though ubiquitous, situations in complex systems. A brief review of the present status of this thermostatistical approach will be presented.
Bibliography: see 

presentation (pdf)

Connecting inner space and outer space

1 March 2016 

Prof. Subir Sarkar
Department of Physics
Head, Particle Theory Group
University Oxford
Niels Bohr Institute, Copenhagen

We have recently celebrated the centenary of the discovery of high energy `cosmic rays’ which constantly bombard us from space. This initiated a glorious era of discovery of new fundamental particles (positron, muon, pion, ...) and developed into accelerator-based research into high energy physics. This has yielded the triumphant `Standard Model' of particle physics which provides a precise quantum description of all fundamental processes in terrestrial laboratories, including, with the recent discovery of the Higgs boson, an understanding of how particles acquire mass.

However the Standard Model does not explain any of the salient features of the universe as a whole - why there is matter but no antimatter? why there is so much more `dark matter' of unknown nature? why is the Hubble expansion rate apparently accelerating, as if driven by a Cosmological Constant-like, dominant component of `dark energy'?

I will describe how new experiments and theoretical developments at the rapidly growing interface of astro-particle physics are attempting to answer these cosmic questions, by linking them to possible new physics beyond the Standard Model.

presentation  (pdf)