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International Synchrotron Radiation Instrumentation Conference

The International Synchrotron Radiation Instrumentation Conference (SRI-94) was held July 18-22, 1994 on the campus of SUNY Stony Brook, NY. T. Blundell gave an evocative presentation describing macromolecular crystallography for a general audience. He took particular care to justify the importance to the field of medicine, referring to the development of new drugs with historical anecdotes. B. Birgeneau listed the five central areas of solid state physics that had seen the impact of the advent of synchrotron radiation. He explained the relevance of chirality in surface phase transitions and how the introduction of line defects on the surface of crystals can promote ordering inside. Fellow Canadian G. Sawatsky described how important were the X-ray absorption and dichroism measurements in proving the existence of electron correlation effects that give rise to the unusual physical properties of certain crystals. Q. Shen gave a clear account on the measurement of X-ray polarization, in the full glory of all three of its Stokes-Poincare parameters, and E. Vlieg described at short notice the historical development of instrumentation for surface X-ray diffraction, with some predictions for the future. While he described methods for improving surface sensitivity, T. Breuckel demonstrated the advantage of using high-energy X-rays to penetrate deeply into the bulk and avoid complications from the surface. W. Schuelke talked about bold attempts to extract information about the band structure of Be from the broadening of plasmon peaks with momentum transfer seen in inelastic X-ray scattering measurements at HASYLAB.

I. K. Robinson
(from ACA Newsletter, Fall 1994)