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Department of Chemistry

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Powder Diffraction and Rietveld Refinement School 2010

(23 April 2010)

From Sunday 18th April to Thursday 23rd April Durham Chemistry and Van Mildert College hosted the 5th School  on Powder Diffraction and Rietveld Refinement.  Delegates from a range of disciplines (Chemistry, Physics, Earth Sciences, Pharmacy, Industry, Geography and Engineering) from universities and countries around the world gathered to learn about modern methods for collecting and analysing powder diffraction data - one of the key techniques for probing the structure of a range of materials, and hence understanding and exploiting their physical properties.

Theoretical lectures were given by staff from Durham (Prof John S.O. Evans, Dr Ivana Evans), UCL (Dr Jeremy Cockcroft) and the ESRF, Grenoble (Prof Andy Fitch) and supported by a range of tutorial problems and hands-on computer exercises.  Tutorial and classroom teaching was superbly delivered by Durham graduate students, post docs and staff: Sam Ford, David Free, Xiaojun Kuang, Sarah Lister, Emma McCabe Julia Payne, Christoph Salzmann.

The only downside of the meeting was that the volcanic ash cloud over Europe meant that several delegates planning to travel from as far afield as Australia, Mexico, India and the US weren't able to attend.  Every (ash) cloud does have a silver lining though: the ash that settled on the organisers cars during registration meant we had one more interesting data set to study by the start of the opening scientific session.

More about powder diffraction at Durham: http://www.dur.ac.uk/chemistry/consultancy/powder_xray_diffraction/ and http://www.dur.ac.uk/john.evans/webpages/lab_xray_main.html

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