50th IFF Spring School

Scattering! Soft, Functional and Quantum Materials

11 – 22 March 2019 in Jülich, Germany


Participants and organizers of the 2019 IFF Spring School. Copyright: Forschungszentrum Jülich
 Forschungszentrum Jülich

Impressions of our Spring School 2019, produced by one of this year's participants, Veronika Kysil, from Southern Federal University, Russia.


Spring School poster (PDF, 361 kB)

Spring School flyer (PDF, 991 kB)

Imagine what we would know – or rather, would not know – about the microscopic structure and dynamics of condensed matter if geniuses such as Ernest Rutherford (Nobel Prize 1908), Max von Laue (Nobel Prize 1914), son and father William Lawrence and William Henry Bragg (Nobel Prize 1915), Clifford G. Shull (Nobel Prize 1994) and Bertram N. Brookhouse (Nobel Prize 1994), as well as many others, had not invented scattering as an eminently powerful tool for condensed matter science. Scattering with x-rays and neutrons "tell us where atoms are and how they move” (C. Shull). Would we be able to build smartphones, produce high-performance plastic materials, modern energy harvesting and energy storage devices or cure diseases with carefully designed pharmaceuticals without the understanding of the microscopic world gained through scattering methods? Much of the amenities we have become accustomed to are based on research with scattering methods.

Information on the atomic length scale is provided mainly through x-ray, neutron and electron scattering. To achieve a deeper look into this fascinating microscopic world, large scale facilities have been constructed based on synchrotron x-ray- and neutron radiation sources. With the x-ray free electron laser in Hamburg, Germany, and the European Spallation Source in Lund, Sweden, Europe hosts or will host leading facilities worldwide in this important research field. Groundbreaking research is being performed at such facilities in a very broad range of research areas in physics, chemistry, life science, geoscience, material science and engineering. The range of materials, structures, phenomena and processes which can be studied is unlimited.

Experimental methods have been developed which span an incredible range of length- and time-scales from pikometer to meter and from femtoseconds to hours. Doing experiments at these large scale facilities is an especially exciting aspect of research for young scientists. Not only do they obtain unique microscopic information on structure, excitations and dynamics of condensed matter, but from the start they are familiarized with cutting-edge technology and with work in international collaborations.

The goal of the Spring School is to enable students and young researchers to apply the entire tool box of advanced scattering methods to their topical research in order to provide them with otherwise unobtainable microscopic information. To this end, we will teach the basics of scattering, introduce the various radiation sources with the particular properties of the corresponding radiation, familiarize students with the appropriate methods and instruments and show how modern scattering methods can be applied to provide essential and unique contributions to help solve the grand challenges facing our modern societies such as energy supply, health, environment, transport and information technology.

The topics for this year's School are:

  • Scattering Theory
  • Structure, Dynamics & Excitations
  • Neutron- & Synchrotron Radiation Sources: X-FEL, ESS, HBS
  • Experimental Techniques
  • Topical Applications in Soft Matter, Life Science, Materials Sciences, Quantum- and Nano-Material 
  • Complementary Techniques: Imaging, Microscopies


Email: springschool@fz-juelich.de

Last Modified: 27.10.2022