Progress in the Earth sciences and mineralogy in particular is, and has always been, intimately linked to the development of powerful analytical techniques. Today, to an ever-increasing extent, the study of the physical and chemical properties of Earth and planetary materials requires the availability of large-scale facilities that involve probing particles with radiation of specific characteristics, such as high brilliance. During this decade the European synchrotron landscape is undergoing significant changes. New, national, large-scale facilities are opening for users at many locations around Europe: e.g. in the UK, Diamond Light Source opened at the beginning of 2007; in France, Soleil...

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