Professor Sir John Meurig Thomas
Cambridge University
The arrival of synchrotrons, and the steadily increasing ease of access to them, has been of immense value to numerous sectors of the scientific public. For the biologist, especially that community concerned with proteins, nucleic acids and ribosomes with particular reference to the static and dynamical aspects of these vital building blocks, high-resolution Laue techniques have yielded information on an unprecedented scale. For the spectroscopist, who seeks ever more resolution both in atomic and molecular behaviour, the availability of continuously variable and high-intensity sources of radiation has likewise been a boon.
But for those, like me, interested in the behaviour of solids and their surfaces, and especially their role as catalysts, the synchrotron offers unrivaled scope for elegant and important experiment. The materials scientist, metallurgist, earth scientist and electronic or structural engineer has the scope to pose and solve key questions, which facilitate the application of such basic studies to the problems of industry and of the applied scientist at large.
The articles contained in this book illustrate some of the specific examples that have been mentioned above. More importantly, they will prompt a broad community of scientists and engineers both to think afresh about their own work and suggest novel ways in which familiar problems may be quantitatively tackled.
I commend this collection unreservedly.
Sir John Meurig Thomas
Department of Materials Science
University of Cambridge

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