The ESRF is the world's most intense X-ray source and a centre of excellence for fundamental and innovation-driven research in condensed and living matter science. Located in Grenoble, France, the ESRF owes its success to the international cooperation of 22 partner nations, of which 13 are Members and 9 are Associates.


What is the ESRF? What does it do? How does it work? Discover the European synchrotron with this video.

All the videos of the ESRF are available on our  YouTube channel Light for science.

The ESRF - The European Synchrotron Radiation Facility - is the most intense source of synchrotron-generated light, producing X-rays 100 billion times brighter than the X-rays used in hospitals. These X-rays, endowed with exceptional properties, are produced at the ESRF by the high energy electrons that race around the storage ring, a circular tunnel measuring 844 metres in circumference.
Each year, the demand to use these X-ray beams increases and near to 9000 scientists from around the world come to Grenoble, to “beamlines”, each equipped with state-of-the-art instrumentation, operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Thanks to the brilliance and quality of its X-rays, the ESRF functions like a "super-microscope" which "films" the position and motion of atoms in condensed and living matter, and reveals the structure of matter in all its beauty and complexity. It provides unrivalled opportunities for scientists in the exploration of materials and living matter in many fields: chemistry, material physics, archaeology and cultural heritage, structural biology and medical applications, environmental sciences, information science and nanotechnologies.

Thirty years ago the ESRF made history as the world’s first third-generation synchrotron light source, providing unrivalled opportunities for scientists in the exploration of materials and living matter. Following 30 years of success, breaking records for its scientific output as well as for the brilliance and stability of its X-ray beams, the ESRF continues to lead the way with the Extremely Brilliant Source (EBS) project. With EBS, the ESRF is building an ambitious new standard for synchrotron storage rings – the world’s first high-energy, fourth-generation storage ring – with unique X-ray performances increased by a factor 100. By pushing the frontiers of accelerator technology, EBS reinforces what has always been, and will always be, the ESRF’s mission:  to pioneer synchrotron science for the benefit of the international community.


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