NHMFL User Services

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USERS' COMMITTEE MINUTES, MAY 1995

The Users' Committee of the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory met at the NHMFL in Tallahassee, Florida, on May 4 and 5, 1995.
Users' Committee members present were: H. Stormer (chair), D. Awschalom, N. Dalal, R. Goodrich, M. Maley, M.J. Naughton, S. Tozer, R. Vold and E. Zuiderweg.
Users' Committee members absent were: J. Brooks, P. Chaikin and E. Jones.

The NHMFL is to be congratulated for having attained the status of a world class high-field facility in a short period of five years. Rapid technological progress has led to functioning 30T resistive magnets and a highly praised user program has been established at FSU. Having reached several of its technological goals, the NHMFL is now entering a new phase in which the quality of scientific achievements needs to be brought to the level of its technological achievements. The quality of the user research program is expected to benefit highly from strong in-house research. The committee, therefore, regards an increasing focus of the NHMFL on the quality of its scientific program as obligatory. It supports the NHMFL's internal proposal of having science represented on an equal footing with technology in NHMFL's management structure.

The Users' Committee feels very strongly about the three following issues:
1. 900 MHz NMR Magnet. The NHMFL and NSF must move immediately on the construction of the high resolution 900 MHz NMR magnet. We wish to state in the strongest possible terms that this magnet must become operative and must be made available to the scientific community on a two-year time scale. Otherwise, the NHMFL will be missing an essential window of opportunity to play a leading role in science and effectively will have abandoned its stated commitment to stimulate progress in structural chemistry and biology. We commend the ICMR for making the 720 MHz system available for public use in the meantime. This system will help build a users base for structural biology / chemistry at NHMFL. Even so, such accessibility will, in no way, take away from the urgency of building the 900 MHz system.

2. User Support at LANL. The Users' Committee insists that the level of quality of user support at LANL receive immediate attention by the NHMFL. The comments solicited from users of the LANL facility were overwhelmingly negative with regard to user support and user instrumentation. While the present staff has made every effort to support users, it is simply overburdened with other tasks. This problem has been pointed out in each of our three previous reports and we are appalled to find no effective action has been taken. This lack of user support is in stark contrast to the nearly unanimous praise given for the support system at FSU and threatens the viability of the NHMFL at LANL as a user facility. We demand that immediate action be taken to correct this serious deficiency.

3. Highest Field dc Magnets. The Users' Committee urges the NHMFL to quickly review the relative merits of the 45T hybrid magnet versus the 41T/45T resistive magnets and, in view of limited resources, pursue vigorously only one of the options in the near future. Instead of pursuing such competing projects, laboratory resources should be used for the development of specialty magnets with high potential for breakthrough science. Such magnets include split (horizontal field) resistive magnets, very high gradient magnets, magnets with shimming coils, water cooled modulation coils and separate gradient coils.

These are, by far, the most pressing issues the users and the Users' committee have identified. We refrain from adding a list of secondary needs in order to stay focused and to be heard.

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