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 SOLEIL, as if you were there


The SOLEIL synchrotron


As a great research facility located on the Paris-Saclay campus, Ile de France, SOLEIL designs, develops, and offers experimental tools and skills to the whole scientific community.


The SOLEIL Synchrotron and its lights Voyage au coeur des accélérateurs

In a serial of three illustrated videos, find out the principle of the synchrotron operation, information the lights it produces and uses, and also an approach to the techniques and applications available at SOLEIL.

This film offers to follow the path of the electrons from their production in the LINAC upon arrival into the storage ring where, having reached their cruising speed, they emit a very brilliant light.

  Download the video "Voyage au coeur des accélérateurs"(30Mo) 

- SOLEIL, a light source for research  
- The lights of SOLEIL
When light explores matter


Tours of Synchrotron Presentation of future beamlines Nanoscopium and Anatomix

Discover the inside of the machine with five tours conducted in the middle of the ring.

A 200 meter long extension was added to the SOLEIL synchrotron circular building. It shelters two new beamlines, Nanoscopium and ANATOMIX (selected in the Equipex 2010 call for projects).

  Download the video "Presentation of future beamlines Nanoscopium and Anatomix" (76Mo)


- LINAC, the linear accelerator
- Transfer beamline 1
- The Booster, the second circular accelerator
- Transfer beamline 2
- The storage ring

 Applications and experiences


Drought means stress  

To identify the most endangered tree species regarding climate change, scientists from INRA came at SOLEIL to detect air bubbles within the vessels transporting water in the plant.


Bronze beauty is only skin deep
Great balls of lightning

An international team of French, Italian and Slovenian scientists have deciced to develop and new, more resistant king of coating for the bronze statues of our urban property. They came at SOLEIL, on the ANTARES beamline,  to study their new coating in detail.

A study led on the PLEIADES beamline unravelled (part) of the mystery of ball lighting.

Peak activity on the MARS beamline Liver transplants
MARS radioactif

Since September 16th, 2013, SOLEIL has been authorized by the French Nuclear Safety Authority to study samples on the MARS beamline with radioactivity above exempt concentration limits. We are following the first experiments on such samples, carried out in collaboration with the CEA.

Greffe de foie

3 a.m. in the morning. A liver is transported under emergency conditions to the Paul Brousse hospital’s Hepatobiliary Centre in Villejuif, for transplantation. But before the organ can be transplanted, it is crucial to determine whether or not the liver is healthy...

The plant that loved heavy metals Boosting memory capacity with Prussian blue

Arabidopsis halleri is a plant whose surprising characteristic is to grow in soil contaminated with heavy metals, and even to store the metals in its leaves.

 Download the video "The plant that loved heavy metals" (20Mo)

Today, scientists are taking a keen interest in this pigment by studying what happens when some of its iron atoms are replaced by cobalt atoms.

 Download  the video "Boosting memory capacity with Prussiab blue" (17Mo)

Synchrotron radiation in the service of arts (in french)
Open season on sulphur

Synchrotron radiation, which is used to study the composition and structure of materials, is being increasingly used in the arts.

 Download the video "Synchrotron radiation in the service of arts"

The sulphur emitted during the combustion of fuels in vehicle engines forms sulphur oxides, which contribute to acid rain, and it also participates to increased greenhouse gas emissions.

 Download the video "Open season on sulphur" (16Mo)

Video : Osteoporosis in the light of SOLEIL Comet dust

Researchers at INSERM have decided to enlist the DISCO beamline’s UV radiation to study the changes to our skeletal system caused by osteoporosis and the effectiveness of treatments...

 Download the video "Video :  Osteoporosis in the light of SOLEIL" (18Mo)


By studying grains of comet dust, scientists hope to increase their understanding of the Solar System.

 Download the video "Comet dust" (9Mo)

A molecule in the X-rays Tomato skin

Journey into the electronic states of a molecule, on the TEMPO beamline.

 Download the video "A molecule in the X-rays" (7Mo)



How do tomatoes maturate? Is it possible to improve their preservation? Answer on the SMIS beamline.

 Download the video "Tomato skin" (8Mo)


A less than sympathetic… sort of ink Prehistoric caves

Ancient manuscripts sometimes deteriorate because of the ink that was used to write them. Why? How to prevent it ?

 Download the video "A less than sympathetic... sort of ink" (40Mo)


« Moon milk » is a strange substance that covers the walls of some prehistoric caves, sometimes erasing parietal works. What is it made of ?

 Download the video "Prehistoric caves" (24Mo)

Studying batteries… in vivo Dangerous bacteria

What parameters play a role in the batteries operation? To try to improve their performances, material sciences experiments are carried out on ODE beamline.

 Download the video "Studying batteries... in vivo" (9Mo)


To fight against leptospirosa, scientists study the 3D shape of one these bacteria’s proteins. Molecular crystals and X-rays on PROXIMA1 beamline.

 Download the video "Dangerous bacteria" (11Mo)

 Interviews and events

Portrait of the next generation of storage rings applied to SOLEIL Crystallography throughout the ages

Throughout the world, synchrotrons will have to adapt and improve their performances. Portrait of the next generation of storage rings, including the prospects for SOLEIL, given by Amor Nadji, Director of Sources and Accelerators at SOLEIL, on October 6th 2014.

On 12th June 2014, Sylvain Ravy, CRISTAL beamline manager at SOLEIL, gave a conference entitled “How did Fourier transform Crystallography”. Let’s go back on a fascinating and yet unknown story of this multidisciplinary science.

Science Break Crystallography 9th SOLEIL Users'Meeting
11 Interviews

On 3rd June 2014, SOLEIL welcomed the second edition of the Science Break. More than a hundred of people came and shared the testimonies, experiences and results of 3 scientists from the synchrotron on the field of crystallography.


Each time, more and more users are invited to give their feedback on their time spent at SOLEIL. Eleven of then were selected for the 9th SOLEIL User's Meeting.

Nuit des Chercheurs 2012 8th SOLEIL Users'Metting
10 interviews

On 28th September 2012, SOLEIL was opening its gates for the Researchers Night ( Nuit des chercheurs).

 Download the video "Nuit des chercheurs 2012" (29Mo)


How do users live their experimentation time at SOLEIL? Find out with a series of 10 interviews.

A Nobel laureate at SOLEIL Budding researchers

On 25 May 2010, SOLEIL welcomed Venkatraman Ramakrishnan, molecular biologist, who is one of the 2009 Chemistry Nobel laureate.

 Download the video "A Nobel laureate at SOLEIL" (23Mo)

The support of SOLEIL’s partners mainly concerns its scientific policy, but also includes a “Science and Society” component.

 Download the video "Budding researchers" (39Mo)

Structural Biology : challenges and applications Questions to Loïc Bertrand

How is this scientific discipline able to revolutionize the therapeutics of tomorrow and what can we learn on Life?

 Download the video "Structural Biology : challenges and applications" (25Mo)

Loïc Bertrand answers four questions about the work on the varnish on Stradivarius instruments, which has just been published in the journal Angewandte Chemie.

 Download the video "Questions to Loïc Bertrand" (12Mo)

Heritage Days 2009 5ème SOLEIL User's Meeting

SOLEIL opened its doors to the public. The programme included: a tour of the synchrotron and workshops on the study of ancient materials in honour of the launch of the IPANEMA platform.

 Download the video "Heritage Days 2009" (44Mo)


For the 5th Users' Meeting 2010, three users were interviewed!

 SOLEIL big issues


La saga de l'électron What is a nanometre?

The electron history is first the one of electricity before being the one of atoms. Let's go back on  a life hidden for a long time.

A nanometre represents one billionth of a metre. Numerous nano-sized objects may be found in nature, but man has recently become capable of producing them as well...

The history of light: waves and photons The history of light: the spectrum

From Ancient Greece to the present day, scientists have been studying light to try to penetrate the mysteries of its composition and how to measure it…

 Download the video "The history of light: waves and photons" (112Mo)

Learn about the history of the discovery of different electromagnetic spectra, which have become tools for the exploration of matter and the universe as a whole.

 Download the video "The history of light: the spectrum" (109Mo)