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Joining info

Joining Information

Covid-19: The 2020 school had to be cancelled due to the covid pandemic. We currently don’t have any fixed plans for the next school. We’ve left these pages online for information.

Check this page regularly in the run up to the school. All updates will be posted here.

First lecture starts at 15.30, you must be in Durham in time for this!

The 2020 Powder Diffraction & Rietveld Refinement School will be held at Durham University from the afternoon of Sunday 29th March to Thursday 2nd of April 2020. You need to be ready to start lectures at 15:30 on Sunday afternoon. The school timetable will be linked here.

Accommodation, food and evening events will be at Collingwood College. The first afternoon and morning sessions will involve lectures and small-group tutorial problems and will be held in the Jimmy Knot hall at Trevelyan College. Afternoon hands-on practical classes will be held in computer labs adjacent to the Chemistry Department.

A collation of information about the school, travel and Durham prepared by our conference team for the 2018 school is in the pdf file linked here. We may update this!

Registration for the school will open at 14:00 in the Collingwood College foyer on Sunday 29/3. If you arrive earlier you can collect room keys from the porter’s lodge. The first timetabled event is a lecture at 15:30. If you have travel difficulties and know that you’ll be late arriving, please contact the porter’s lodge and leave a message for us. The college phone number is +44 191 334 5000. The final teaching session finishes by 12.30 on Thursday; lunch will then be provided.

All teaching material will be provided. However you must bring:

  • A scientific calculator.
  • Notebook/paper for calculations.
  • If you want to bring your own data to analyse it would be be easiest if they are in a simple ascii format of (2-theta, Intensity) or (2-theta, Intensity, Sig(Intensity)).

You won’t need (or be able to use) a laptop for the course though it should be possible to use this in your room.

As people have very different backgrounds we won’t assume any prior knowledge of Rietveld software. We will, however, use Microsoft Excel for some exercises. It would be useful if you know how to use the “solver” tool to perform simple least squares fitting procedures. i.e. you should know how to set up columns of experimental data points, calculated data points based on a simple function and be able to minimise the difference between observed data and calculated values by using solver to change coefficients of the function.

Things you must review before the course:

  • Any undergraduate course you were taught on crystallography or a simple text such as the Oxford primer on crystallography.
  • Simple matrix operations such as multiplication, transpose.
  • Inverse of a 2 x 2 matrix
  • Inverse of a 3 x 3 matrix
  • Use of excel and its “solver” functionality

You might find it helpful to read a text on powder diffractioon or Rietveld refinement. One possibility is the text by Dinnebier/Leineweber/Evans.

If you’re travelling from abroad and wondering what to pack, expect typically unpredictable British spring weather. Some years it’s warm enough to sit and have coffee outside during schools, other years we’ve had snow. You should bring a rain coat/umbrella for the walk from college to the Chemistry department (~5 minutes). The dress code is phd-casual but you might want to consider something smarter for the course dinner on Wednesday night.

All food will be provided during the course and the college bar will be open during the evening sessions. The nearest ATM and shops to college are about a 15 minute walk so bring what you need with you.

Information on travelling to Durham is available here. Information about Collingwood college is here. Collingwood is about a 15-20 minute (uphill portions) walk from the train station or a 5 minute taxi ride.

If you’re coming a day early for the course and you have booked an extra night’s accommodation through us it may be at Collingwood College. If so, you should report to the reception desk in college.

If you’re arriving at Newcastle airport a taxi to Durham is around £40-£45. If you want to pre-book at taxi with one of the Durham companies it’s around £35. You could try: where you can book online. Alternatively you can take a metro train to Newcastle city centre (~20 minutes) then a train to Durham (~15 minutes).

If you’re driving from the North take the A690 (J62) and follow the dual carriage way into Durham. Follow signs to the city centre. At the bottom of the hill as you reach the city centre bear left over the river. Follow the road (Castle/Cathedral on your right) until you reach the New Inn. Go straight over at the lights and drive up the hill. The turning to College is about 1/4 mile on your right.

From the south it’s easier to take the exit to Bowburn (Durham services exit) and follow signs to Durham. After about 3 miles you’ll go up a slight hill with trees either side which is the edge of the city. Take the first exit at the roundabout. Turn left at the first traffic lights just after the science site (opposite New Inn) and drive up the hill. The turning to College is about 300 metres on your left.

Parking should be available in a University car park near to the college .

A draft timetable for the school (subject to change) will be made available via the link on the left.

If you need a receipt for payments or a letter confirming your attendance at the course, please ask us on the first day of the school.

For more information please email [email protected]or [email protected].