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Use of synchrotron radiation for research in science and technology has grown enormously during the past two decades. In Europe, more than 5,000 scientists now make use of this light source. Worldwide research capacity in synchrotron facilities has grown from zero in the 1970s to two million beamline hours per year today. In developing countries, seven full-scale storage rings for synchrotron radiation are now in operation or expected to be commissioned within a few years. Such trends serve as the backdrop for ICTP's School on Synchrotron Radiation, which began on 19 April and continues until 21 May. The School, which marks the first large research activity under the leadership of Massimo Altarelli, is co-sponsored by Sincrotrone Trieste and Società Italiana di Luce di Sincrotrone. With some 70 participants, it covers all aspects of synchrotron radiation, from machine physics and beamline design to actual applications. Visits to the Trieste synchrotron radiation laboratory Elettra are also planned.

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