SoNS School XIII Edition





[XIII School of Neutron Scattering “Francesco Paolo Ricci” (SoNS)]

28th July– 4th August 2015, Erice (Italy)

Application deadline: 15 April 2015

 About |  Registration and fees | Programme |Teaching Materials | Speakers | School Site | Accomodation | How To Reach Erice | Get Together | Accompanying Persons | Further Info | Contacts | About SoNS



The Ettore Majorana Foundation and Centre for Scientific Culture (EMCSC) in the medieval town of Erice, Sicily, was the ideal site of the XIII School of Neutron Scattering (SoNS) Francesco Paolo Ricci. The relaxed atmosphere of the school provided plenty of opportunity for students and lecturers to discuss science, socialize, and enjoy the local Sicilian cuisine and, of course, Marsala wine. Introductions and friendships that began here will lead the students to long-lasting relations in the neutron community.

Next year SoNS becomes a formal International school in the EMCSC, taking place from 1  to 9 April, 2016. Mark your calendars!


Erice School “”NEUTRON SCIENCE AND INSTRUMENTATION”, 1st Course and SoNS School XIII Edition, Group Photo 2015

From top left: Oliver Merle, Robin Woracek, Laura Gonzalez Vivas, Paul Barron, Rocco Triani, Antonio De Bonis, Jesus P. De Vicente, Federico Masi, Philippe Gros, Kendal Bingöl, Laura Arcidiacono, Thorsten Zechlau, Juri Schroffenegger, Joans Okkels Bick, Clara Lopez,  Lorenzo Di Fresco, Yongjin Jeong, Monica Huerta,  Katsuaki Tomoyori, Roy Shalev,  Yashika Bansal, Selyakov Dunill,  Gishin Nikita, Umberto Luca Ranieri, Chun Loong, Jack Carpenter, Victoria Garcia-Sakai, Ken Andersen, Roger Pynn, Carla Andreani, Roberto Caciuffo, Andrew Taylor.


Photo gallery


March 2015

Application is now open for the XIII School of Neutron Scattering  (SoNS) “Francesco Paolo Ricci”: INSTRUMENTS AND DEVICES FOR NEUTRON SCATTERING EXPERIMENTS, 1st Course of the Erice School "NEUTRON SCIENCE AND INSTRUMENTATION" (Directors: Ian S Anderson and Carla Andreani). The school will be held at the ETTORE MAJORANA FOUNDATION AND CENTRE FOR SCIENTIFIC CULTURE, Erice (Sicily, IT) between the 28th July and the 4th of August 2015.

The course is normally highly oversubscribed, so we encourage applicants to apply early, as late applications will not be accepted.  Students are selected for the course based on their need to utilize neutron scattering techniques as part of their present and/or future research activities.


Students are encoraged to join the school page on Facebook


The course focuses on neutron instrumentation, mainly for large-scale facilities, though a session will be devoted to instrumentation at compact neutron facilities. Students are selected for the course based on their need to utilize neutron instrument design techniques as part of their present and/or future research activities.

The course is aimed at young instrument and development scientists, engineers, and designers at international and national neutron facilities, although graduate students or postdocs at universities would also be welcomed. In addition to lectures on theory, sources, and neutron instrumentation, students will be tutored by world leading experts in the various scattering techniques including diffraction, quasi-elastic and inelastic scattering, imaging, small-angle scattering, reflectometry, and neutron-spin-echo.

With a target audience of 25-30 students, the school is intended to promote activities in instrument design and form the next generation of instrument designers. 

Directors: Dr. Ken Andersen (ESS), Prof. Roberto Caciuffo (European Commission, JRC Karlsruhe)

School Objectives

  • Educate graduate students, junior scientists, and engineers on neutron scattering techniques with a focus on instrumentation; 
  • Expose participants to cutting-edge research in neutron scattering;
  • Foster interactions between students, neutron research centres, and university groups.

Lectures will include tutorials on the principles of neutron scattering theory, as well as seminars on the characteristics of neutron sources and the application of scattering methods.

Target Audience: The School is ideally suited to graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, junior engineers interested in instrumentation development and design, and students majoring in physics, chemistry, materials science, or related fields.

Registration and fees

STUDENTS: To register you will need to fill out the online registration form, send  a ‘personal statement’ and a ‘statement from your supervisor’ to,, and copy to Registered students will receive feedback of the selection starting from mid-April. Once accepted you will need to fill out the Student_Registration_Form and the Student_Travel_Form to be returned to and, and copy to by the date specified in the form header. Fee payment details are reported in a specific section of the Student_Registration_Form.


LECTURERS: please fill out the Lecturer_Registration_Form and the Lecturer_Travel_Form to be returned to and, and copy to by the date specified in the form header. Fee payment details are reported in a specific section of the Lecturer_Registration_Form.

Travel Grants: Students can apply to the TALISMAN Training and Education call within the TALISMAN "Transnational Access to Large Infrastructure for a Safe Management of ActiNide" Consortium funded by the European Commission (

TALISMAN will support a limited number of participation of students to training events through travel grants. The proposals will be evaluated and the most relevant will be selected by the ExCOM for funding (maximum allocated funding: 1k€/applicant). Application of students coming from universities is strongly encouraged. The deadline is March 2nd, 2015. Detailed information can be found at the following links:

Application Deadline: 15 April 2015

Support for a limited number of participants is provided by the Enlargement and Integration Action the European Commission's Joint Research Centre ( To apply, please write to, cc. to, subject:  2015-ITU-10. Applications must be made by sending your detailed CV and expression of your motivation.Only citizens of the following Countries are eligible: Croatia, Albania, Iceland, Montenegro, Serbia, Turkey, former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Moldova, Switzerland, Norway, Faroe Islands, Algeria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Egypt, Georgia, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Moldova, Morocco, Occupied Palestinian Territory, Syria, Tunisia, and Ukraine.


School fees include the cost of lodging during the school, breakfast, lunch, evening meal, and teaching materials. There are 25 residential places available.

Fee. You are kindly requested to pay the all- inclusive fee of 900 € per participant student plus 100 Euro per day for each accompanying person (if any). The participation fee is unbreakable, independently of the number of days you stay at the Conference, whereas the accompanying persons are charged on a daily basis.

Bring with you a copy of your payment.  You will receive the receipt from EMCSC secretariat. In case you have difficulties to perform the payment in this way, please inform the Conference Scientific Secretary for instructions.


The school programme consists of lectures, tutorials and problem classes with occasional evening lectures. In addition, students will be asked to give short presentations to their tutorial groups about their current research projects, including a neutron beam-time proposal writing exercise.

Download programme

Topics covered during the school include:

  • History and background: the neutron
  • Neutron production: fission and spallation sources
  • Neutron moderation: steady-state and pulsed sources
  • Methods & concepts of neutron scattering
  • Overview of instrument types and constructability
  • Components of neutron scattering instrumentation:
    • guides
    • shielding
    • choppers
    • polarisation devices
    • detectors
    • monochromators
    • sample environment
  • Instruments for:
    • Small Angle Neutron Scattering
    • reflectometry
    • diffraction: powder and single-crystal diffractometers
    • spectroscopy: direct- and indirect-geometry time-of-flight spectrometers, triple-axis and back-scattering spectrometers, eV spectrometers, neutron spin-echo spectrometers.
    • non-scattering experiments: chip irradiation, boron neutron capture therapy, imaging, activation analysis, fundamental physics


Teaching Material

Applications of Neutron Sources - Jack Carpenter

Band Gem Detectors - Giuseppe Gorini

Compact Accelerator-driven Neutron Sources - Chun Loong

Diffraction and Instruments - Paul Henry

eV Spectrometers - Carla Andreani

Fast Neutron Spectroscopy with Diamons - Giuseppe Gorini

Instruments for Fundamental Science - Oliver Zimmer

Methods and Concepts of Neutron Scattering - Roger Pynn

Neutron and X-Ray Shielding - Gunter Mührer

Neutron Detectors - Giuseppe Gorini

Neutron Guides - Ken Andersen

Neutron Imaging Instruments - Michael Schulz

Neutron Monochromators - Zahra Yamanil

Neutron Reflectometry Uniquely Characterising Interfacial Phenomena - Sean Langridge

Neutron Sources - Neutron Production and Facilities - Jack Carpenter

Neutron Sources - Past Present and Future - Andrew Taylor

Neutron Spin Echo - Thomas Keller

Non-Neutron Techniques and Constructability - Robert McGreevy

Proposal Writing - Victoria Garcia Sakai

Sample Environment Devices - Eddy Lelievre-Berna

Single Crystal Diffuse Scattering - Ray Osborn

Techniques for Neutron Spin Manipulations - Eddy Lelievre-Berna

The Neutron and Early History - Jack Carpenter

Time-of-flight and Backscattering Neutron Spectrometers- Stephane Longeville

Time-of-flight Inelastic Neutron Scattering - Ray Osborn

Triple Axis Spectrometers - Kazuhisa Kakurai



  • Carla Andreani (University of Rome Tor Vergata, I)
  • Roberto Caciuffo (European Commission, JRC Karlsruhe)
  • Ken Andersen (ESS, S)
  • John Jack Carpenter  (Argonne National Laboratory, US)
  • Victoria Garcia-Sakai (ISIS, UK)
  • Giuseppe Gorini  (University of Milano-Bicocca, I)
  • Paul Henry (ESS, S)
  • Kazuhishi Kakurai (JAEA, J)
  • Thomas Keller (MLZ, G)
  • Sean Langridge (ISIS, UK)
  • Eddy Lelievre-Berna (ILL, F)
  • Stephane Longeville (LLB, F)
  • Chun Loong (US) 
  • Robert McGreevy  (ISIS, UK))
  • Guenter Muhrer (ESS, S)
  • Raymond Osborn (Argonne National Laboratory, US)
  • Roger Pynn  (Indiana University, US)
  • Michael Schulz (Physik- Department Technishe Universitat Munchen, G)
  • Andrew D. Taylor (STFC, UK)
  • Zahra Yamani (CNBC, J)
  • Oliver Zimmer (ILL, F)

School Site

"Ettore Majorana" Foundation and Centre

Monastero San Rocco (Isidor I. Rabi Institute)

Via Guarnotta, 26

91016 ERICE, Italy

Erice is located in Sicily, one hour’s drive west of Palermo.

The "Ettore Majorana" Foundation and Centre for Scientific Culture (EMFCSC) is named after the outstanding Italian physicist Ettore Majorana, born in Sicily in 1906.

Embracing 110 Schools, covering all branches of Science, the Centre is situated in the old pre-mediaeval city of Erice, where three restored monasteries (one of which was the residence of the Viceroy of Sicily during the XIV and XV Centuries) provide an appropriate setting for high intellectual endeavour. These ancient buildings are now named after great scientists and strong supporters of the "Ettore Majorana" Centre.

The San  Francesco Monastery (former Viceroy’s residence) is now the Eugene P. Wigner Institute with the "Enrico Fermi" Lecture Hall. The San Domenico Monastery has become the Patrick M.S. Blackett Institute with the "Paul A.M. Dirac" Lecture Hall. The San Rocco Monastery is now the Isidor I. Rabi Institute with the "Richard P. Feynman" Lecture Hall, the Directorate and the main Secretariat of the Centre. There are living quarters in all three Institutes for people attending the courses of the Centre. The Erice Station of the World Laboratory Seismological Network is located in the I.I. Rabi Institute. The "Daniel Chalonge" and the "Paul A.M. Dirac" Museums are located at the Patrick M.S. Blackett Institute.

Check-in. On your arrival at the reception desk you shall fill the registration form, receive your room, your folder and your EMCSC badge. The reception desk is located at the EMCSC main building (San Rocco).

Badge. You are requested to have always your badge on, inside the EMCSC as well as outside, especially at restaurants, during excursions, social events and shopping (see below)

Technical facilities. Moderate Xerox-copying is free. A limited number of PC’s and internet terminals are available to participants at San Rocco (room of the 16th Century Madonna). Free wireless connection is available in various areas of the Majorana Centre.


Accommodation of participants is organized by the Ettore Majorana Foundation either in the EMCSC premises or in local hotels on the basis of the indications provided by the Organizing Committee and by participants in the Travel Form. Special requests should be addressed to the School Scientific Secretary,

The locations of all housing facilities (Centre, Institutes, and Hotels) are shown on the Erice map, included in the documents you will receive upon registration.

There is a “coffee room” in the I.I. Rabi Institute where coffee, tea, mineral water and snacks are available at any time. This “coffee room” is also used for breakfast.

There is a “piano room” with a keg of  complimentary Marsala wine. This “piano room” can also be used for working parties. The “piano room” will close at midnight.

A computer room is available at the I.I. Rabi Institute. 

Breakfast is served at San Rocco coffee area to all participants accommodated in the EMCSC premises, whereas participants in hotels may have their breakfast there or at San Rocco.

Restaurants. At the restaurants associated with EMSCS meals are free – you just have to show your badge and sign a list provided by the restaurant. Beverages and meals not included in the EMCSC menu are extras and should be paid for. The choice among the associated restaurants is absolutely free. Thus, if you need a special food (vegetarian, kosher, etc.) you should negotiate directly with the restaurant (the EMSCS secretary will be glad to offer his assistance). Coffee, tea, sandwiches, fresh fruits, mineral water, and Sicilian sweets are freely available 24 hours in the San Rocco coffee area and in the coffee-break area at San Domenico.

How to reach Erice

By airPalermo has an international airport with national and international connections.  Recently, also Trapani is offering connections to several European cities, being served by several low-cost air companies. Arrival and departures transfers are provided by the EMFCSC. 

Transport from Airport. Participants must communicate to their arrival and departure times and flight numbers of their arrival in the Travel Form by April 30th.

Transportation from Palermo or Trapani airports to Erice will be provided by the EMFCSC on the official arrival day. A limousine or a bus of the Ettore Majorana Centre (EMCSC) will be available, provided you have properly filled and returned the Travel Form no later than April 30. On your arrival at the airport you shall look for the driver of the EMCSC who is waiting for you and shall carry you to Erice. He will be there showing around the poster of the School.

Missing driver. In case the driver is not there within half an hour after your exit from the arrival area, you should call the Secretariat of the EMCSC (phone no.: (+39) 0923 869133) for instructions. NB: the cost of a trip to Erice by taxi is rather expensive and may not be reimbursed by the organizers unless the trip has been authorized by the EMCSC.

Participants arriving at Palermo airport should look for the “Ettore Majorana” meeting point inside the arrival exit where the EMFCSC driver will be waiting.

Participants to the School must arrive in Erice on 28th July, not later than 12:30 a.m.

Participants should register upon arrival at the Centre Secretariat (I.I. Rabi Institute).

On the official day of departure, transportation to Palermo or Trapani airports will be provided by the EMFCSC.


You should not miss the after-dinner get-together which is due at 9.30 p.m. on the arrival day at the Marsala Room in San Rocco. You should do your best to reach Erice before 5. p.m. in order to have enough time to get in touch with the environment and to have a quiet dinner. No problem, however, if you cannot reach Erice but late at night: somebody will be waiting for you at the arrival place anyway. Participants from remote areas may ask to arrive one day earlier or/and leave one day later, with no extra-charge, provided rooms are available in Erice.

Accompanying persons

Accompanying persons are considered in all respects as regular participants with the same benefits and duties: unless differently stated, they are requested to pay a fee of 100 Euro/day and to wear the EMCSC badge. Please indicate the name(s) of the accompanying person(s) in the Travel Form. Special cases (persons accompanying senior participants, children, accompanying nurse, etc.) and requests should be indicated in the Travel Form and negotiated with the Conference Scientific Secretary for instructions.

Further Information

General information. After registration you should carefully read: (1) the material in the folder concerning the regulations of the EMCSC, meals, the location of restaurants working for EMCSC, etc.; (2) the specific information about your course posted in the entrance hall of San Rocco (location and starting time of lectures, program, social events, etc.).

Banking. A bank service (Banco di Sicilia) is available for cash, money transfer and exchange operations, at two-minute walk from EMCSC (please, show your EMCSC badge at the bank counter to avoid bureaucracy).

Smoking is forbidden inside all the facilities of the EMCSC (San Rocco, San Domenico, San Francesco), including rooms. Restaurants in Erice are all no-smoking.

Dress. Erice is at about 800 m above sea level, on top of a mountain next to the sea. Even in Summer evenings in Erice may be chill and, occasionally, foggy or/and windy. Do not forget to bring a good pull-over. Lecture rooms are inside old buildings and are agreeably fresh. On the other hand temperature at the archeological sites as well as at the beach can be blistering hot. Take all possible precaution: light stuff, good jogging shoes (to walk on the stones of the archeological sites as well as on the rough pavement of Erice streets), swimming suite (beach towels are provided by the EMCSC), sun-glasses, a good hat, etc. No formal dress is requested in any event, banquet included.

EMCSC Personnel. The EMCSC relies on a local staff, reduced in number but very efficient, ready to solve all difficult problems that may arise (travel ticket & reservation changes, PC facilities, visa, medical care, police, etc.). For all technicalities concerning the course (travel grants, posters, transparencies, etc.) refer directly to the Workshop Secretary.

CM vs. EMCSC. The EMCSC is not a village of Club Mediterraneé®. Besides planning one excursion to the archeological sites, a reasonably long break is scheduled between morning and afternoon sessions to allow for contacts and discussions in the inspiring environment of Erice. The School discourages trips to the beach during the full working days and it should not be requested to organize excursions besides the planned ones. The success of the School relies on the full attendance of ALL participants to ALL sessions.

Social Programme: Visit to Segesta archaeological site



Email:  Phone: +39 06 7259  4117

School Directors of the International School of Neutron Science and Instrumentation

Dr. Ken Andersen  (ESS)

Prof. Roberto Caciuffo (European Commission,  JRC Karlsruhe)


Dr. Roberto Senesi

University of Rome Tor Vergata, I