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IUCr 1997 Report - Commission on Small Angle Scattering

Members of the Commission participated in a number of activities of broad interest to the worldwide small-angle scattering (SAS) community during the last year. Additional activities planned for July and August of 1998 will also be described.

On the technical side, there has been considerable activity with regard to standardization of data formats. Commission member D. Svergun is in charge of a project to develop a suitable format for one-dimensional SAS data. It is anticipated that the outcome will be along the lines of the powder diffraction CIF.

Workers at the ILL and the ESRF convened a meeting devoted to data handling matters in Grenoble, France, 4 - 6 February 1998. The meeting was labelled `canSAS', which stands for 'Collective Aid to Nomadic Small-Angle Scatterers'. The web site for this activity can be found at http://www.ill.fr/lss/canSAS/main.html. The 25 experts present at the meeting mapped out a series of tasks that can be expected to serve as a strong focus for wide-ranging efforts to improve the lot of the users of scattering facilities all over the world. These `nomads' are thought to number upwards of 1000 scientists. Representatives of the Commission participated in this meeting and it is anticipated that the Commission will continue to support the resulting activities in the future.

A workshop on Data Handling for Small-Angle Scattering is scheduled to be held in conjunction with the 1998 ACA Annual Meeting in Washington DC, USA, 18 - July 1998. This workshop has been organized on behalf of the Commission by the Commission chair. It is designed to provide a broad overview of the problems associated with the acquisition, reduction, transport, and modelling of SAS data. Leading experts in these areas have been recruited as discussion leaders of the workshop. The complete programme is available on the ACA's web pages at http://www.hwi.buffalo.edu/ACA. Look for the details on the 1998 annual meeting.

Education is another component of the Commission's agenda. Examples of this include a special session on Small-Angle Scattering in the Industrial Plastic Laboratory as part of the ANTEC meeting of the Society of Plastics Engineers to be held in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, 27 April 1998. A tutorial workshop on Small Angle Scattering in Polymers is scheduled as part of the August 1998 meeting of the American Chemical Society's Division of Polymeric Materials Science and Engineering, to be held in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. The workshop will take place on 22 August 1998. A major symposium on SAS in Polymers will have sessions from the 23 - 27 August.

The publication of the Proceedings from the ongoing series of International SAS Congresses is always a milestone for the community. The Proceedings of the X Congress, held in Campinas, Brazil, July 1996, appeared in a special issue of the Journal of Applied Crystallography (Volume 30, Part 5, Number 2, 1 October 1997). A. Craievich (who was the Conference Chair), G. Kostorz and J. Teixeira served as Guest Editors of the special issue. The issue has 320 pages, with 62 articles. The table of contents and synopsis of the articles can be accessed at http://www.iucr.org/iucr-top/journals/jac/jac.html and its mirror sites. Additional articles based on presentations at Campinas can be found in the subsequent issue of Journal of Applied Crystallography.

Planning for SAS XI is underway, with the event scheduled to take place in May 1999 at Brookhaven, USA. This series of Congresses started in 1965 in Syracuse, USA, and it is a core institution in the community. A number of the early organizers remain active in SAS research. Continuity has been assured through the experience inherited through a strongly motivated International Committee integrating past organizers with enthusiastic local organizers. The published proceedings of the Congresses are an invaluable resource for both experienced and beginning workers in the field of SAS.

The SAS web pages are now well established and continue to attract new subscribers to the associated list server. These web pages feature the latest news on meetings and other activities of interest to small-angle scatterers. The URL is http://www.nist.gov/sas. Any scientist with an interest in this area of research is encouraged to visit the site, subscribe to its list server, and post questions or discussion topics. Most of this material is mirrored on the various IUCr continental servers. Just look for the Commission on Small-Angle Scattering in the site index.

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Updated 20th October 1998

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