Neutron science is the science of everyday life. It is important for the development of new and better computer chips, cosmetics, detergents, textiles, paints, fuels, drugs, batteries and plastics. Industrial drivers such as fuel cells, superconductors, innovative structural engineering, climate, transportation and food technologies, pharmaceuticals, medical devices and clean energy, are all dependent on advances in the capacity and capability of the science of neutron imaging. The many thousands of products created and improved through material science using neutrons are essential to our basic quality of life, and our economic growth.
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At the same time, research conducted using neutrons is puzzling out some of the most longstanding and complex problems that science and medicine have ever confronted. Among these are the as yet unknown mechanisms of how DNA sustains life at the molecular level, and the precise position, structure and function of the proteins that determine its structure. The solutions to some of the most daunting life science challenges of the next century rely on the superior mapping and three-dimensional modeling of proteins that the more powerful and sophisticated neutron imaging at ESS will provide.
Using the technology at ESS, the next generation of neutron scientists will advance ongoing investigations into the boundless complexities and unknowns of the human brain, its neural networks, and the workings of memory. Such studies will further the rapid progress of applying these discoveries to the nano-circuitry of machines, and advancing the increasingly sophisticated science of artificial intelligence—a field that, as it happens, is likewise dependent on improvements in neutron imaging.
The work that will be advanced at ESS has implications even for some of the most fundamental dilemmas in physics and philosophy. Promising investigations into the structure and origin of the universe, and others attempting to reconcile incompatible, and yet functional, theories of gravity and quantum physics, suggest the possibility of breakthroughs in human knowledge that go beyond our wildest imaginings. ESS is an essential investment in the future health of the Europe's people, and society.