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What science is done at the ESRF?

To simplify, the ESRF is concerned with observing matter and decoding its secrets. Observing and decoding are the fundamental actions behind our understanding of the world around us. The intensely bright light produced at the ESRF offers scientists unique opportunities to explore materials and living matter in a multitude of fields, ranging from chemistry and materials physics to archaeology and cultural heritage and from structural biology, health and life sciences to environmental sciences, information science and nanotechnologies.

Our world presents us with many challenges and opportunities, for example :

  • inventing new, more targeted medicines
  • finding more effective treatments for cancer
  • creating more functional and optimised materials
  • defining a new generation of semiconductors for the electronics industry
  • improving energy management
  • contributing to the production of healthier food
  • understanding the composition of our planet
  • unravelling the mysteries of humanity
  • preserving our cultural heritage.

The exceptional properties of the new X-ray source will provide even more solutions for increasingly advanced research projects that require better spatial and 
time resolution and ever more sophisticated experimental conditions.

Download our brochure in English or in French, or consult our other resources.

Discover three portraits of scientists, talking about their research at the ESRF: from Alzheimer's to Earth sciences or the study of ancient papyrus.