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discovered 02_2012

discovered 02.12 Panorama WWW.Hzdr.DE Delegates from India On July 9, 18 students and young scientists from India visited the HZDR. They came here straight from the 62nd annual Nobel Prize winner conference in Lindau near Lake Constance in Southern Germany where, this year, 27 Nobel Prize winners and 592 junior scientists from 69 countries had been invited to spend an entire week exchanging ideas, studying, and networking. Topics of interest included particle physics, cosmology as well as discussing energy and climate issues. In order to familiarize the group – some 150 Indian junior researchers had originally applied to participate in the highly coveted event – with science and research in Germany, the DFG, the German Research Foundation, had organized a week-long program that included visits to different research facilities and universities in the Dresden, Berlin, Potsdam, and Bonn regions as well as a scheduled visit to the DFG headquarter offices. The visit to the HZDR included tours of the Ion Beam Center and the High Magnetic Field Laboratory. The lab‘s director, Joachim Wosnitza, knew the guests, although not personally: as a member of the selection committee in India he was instrumental in selecting the candidates by evaluating their written applications. The delegates were accompanied by a journalist from India‘s largest daily newspaper, The Times of India. International Mineralogist Competition When it comes to analyzing complex mineral mixtures, mineralogists from Freiberg, Germany, are counted among the world‘s best. During a recent competition organized by the US Clay Minerals Society, Reinhard Kleeberg of TU Bergakademie Freiberg and Robert Möckel of the Helmholtz Institute Freiberg for Resource Technology once again showed that there is much truth to this claim. Entries into the competition include scientists and commercial laboratories from all over the world. Their task is to figure out the specific kinds and amounts of different minerals contained in each of three artificial mineral test mixtures. The Freiberg scientists placed third with analyses they performed at the University’s Mineralogical Laboratory. The competition is known officially as the “Reynolds Cup,“ named after famed mineralogist Robert C. Reynolds. At this point, Reinhard Kleeberg, who competed for the first time back in 2002, has become something of a veteran of the whole event. “This time around, the samples we were told to analyze were mixtures of up to fourteen different kinds of minerals, including up to six clay mineral types, which, typically, are very difficult to identify and quantify,“ explains Kleeberg. The scientists were able to stake their claim at the top of the group out of a total 57 international contestants from 25 countries. As part of the competition, the previous year‘s winner is in charge of putting together three different mineral mixtures and sending them out to colleagues at various labs around the world that are all competing during that year. The contestants‘ job is to determine exactly which kinds and amounts of minerals are contained in each of the three samples. Not only does the Reynolds Cup allow for comparisons on an international scale - it also provides scientists with clues to apply in their own research. To analyze the test sample, Reinhard Kleeberg, who is head of the Freiberg Mineralogical Laboratory, and Robert Möckel used an X-ray diffractometer, a scanning electron microscope, and chemical analysis, all of which allowed them to correctly identify virtually all of the different kinds of minerals contained in the samples. These instruments and methods are part of the analytical infrastructure at both the TU Bergkademie and the Helmholtz Institute Freiberg, which is operated jointly by the University and the HZDR. Crystal aggregate consisting of chalcopyrite, galenite, sphalerite, and calcite; may contain, for example, indium, germanium, and silver. Such mineral and metalliferous raw materials are in the focus of the Helmholtz Institute Freiberg for Resource Technology, which aims at developing innovative technologies dedicated to a more efficient use of those resources. Image credit: Jürgen Jeibmann The Indian delegates from this year’s Nobel Prize winner conference visited HZDR’s Ion Beam Center and High Magnetic Field Lab.