On October 1-3, 2014, the ALS hosted a workshop on Soft X-Ray Science Opportunities Using Diffraction-Limited Storage Rings. The workshop charge was to elaborate transformational research opportunities that would be enabled by emerging storage-ring-based ultrahigh brightness soft and intermediate x-ray beams, and to examine the primary challenges needed to accomplish these opportunities. Scientists from around the world attended the workshop and set a very enthusiastic tone throughout the three-day period.
The first morning of the workshop started off with plenary talks covering material and biological science opportunities as well as the potential capabilities of high-brightness accelerators. These talks were followed by nine energetic short talks by staff from facilities around the world that described techniques and research opportunities enabled by high-source brightness and the resulting diffraction-limited beams. These talks formed the basis for 13 separate breakout sessions over the following two days that focused on quantum materials, magnetic materials, low power information processing, energy science and catalysis, chemical and materials excitations, fluctuations, and dynamics, biological science, soft condensed matter, and environmental science. These were scheduled so that attendees could move from one subject thread to another to gain a wider appreciation of scientific opportunities. Much time for discussion of science ideas was provided, both during the breakouts and also after each session, ensuing a healthy “flux” of ideas among attendees. This cross-fertilization was both fun and challenging, inspiring outside-the-box thinking and new collaborations.
Leaders of the breakout sessions, facilitated by ALS staff, are already drafting a workshop report with chapters on the various subjects noted above. The document should be available to the broad community by the end of 2014.
See photos of the event here: Looking at the Future of Soft X Ray Science