Hercules European School 2021
‘HERCULES: neutrons and synchrotron radiation for science‘ is a prominent yearly meeting that provides training for students, postdoctoral and senior scientists in the field of Neutrons and Synchrotron Radiation for condensed matter studies (e.g. Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Materials Science, Geosciences, Industrial and Cultural Heritage fields), since 1991.
The school has a solid reputation at an international level and Elettra Sincrotrone Trieste covers a key role in this event. The main objective of Hercules@Elettra is to let young researchers dive into the exceptional experimental research potentials of advanced light sources – synchrotrons and FELs – with an hands-on experience.
COVID-19 restrictions forced the Hercules organization committee to carefully plan the 2021 session online. This meeting included exhaustive online tutorials and practicals. Interactive remote teaching tools allowed students to attend the lessons safely from home. Students were divided in small groups to let them efficiently interact with beamline scientists and get the most out of the event.
Virtual tours were held remotely to show the facilities, since Elettra and FERMI could not welcome the guests on site. HERCULES students had also the opportunity to participate in one-to-one videoconference meetings with the Elettra and FERMI researchers. By interacting with field experts, the students were able to discuss their personal experimental projects, sharing their passion with the equally passionate parterre of our scientists.
Live remote data collection and processing are normal life in our labs nowadays and have been used efficiently to give the students immersive virtual beamtime experiences. It is not by chance that Hercules school receives praise from the students, giving the organizers great satisfaction and motivating them for current and future editions.
Source: Elettra Sincrotrone Trieste