If you are in doubt about how to pronounce it, just think about how you would spell πMCA.
For the end user, PyMca is a ready to use, and in many aspects state-of-the-art, set of applications implementing most of the needs of X-ray fluorescence data analysis.
For the developer, the PyMca Toolkit is a collection of Python tools for visualization and analysis of energy-dispersive X-ray fluorescence data. It builds its graphic interface and plotting routines on top of the C++ libraries Qt and Qwt through their respective Python bindings PyQt and PyQwt. Nevertheless, the data analysis routines can be used independently of any graphical interface.
In addition to data files, PyMca can also access SPEC shared memory to monitor data acquisitions.
The European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) is a joint research facility supported by 19 countries (18 European countries and Israel) situated in Grenoble, France. It has an annual budget of around 80 million euros, employs over 600 people and is host to more than 3500 visiting scientists each year.
Research in the ESRF focuses, in large part, on the use of X-ray radiation in fields as diverse as protein crystallography, earth science, materials science, chemistry and physics. Facilities such as the ESRF offer a flux, energy range and resolution unachievable with conventional (laboratory) radiation sources.
The ESRF physical plant consists of two main buildings: the experiment hall, containing the 844 metre circumference ring and forty tangential beamlines; and a block of laboratories, preparation suites, and offices connected to the ring by a pedestrian bridge. The linear accelerator electron gun and smaller booster ring used to bring the beam to an operating energy of 6 GeV are constructed within the main ring. Until recently bicycles were provided for use indoors in the ring's circumferential corridor. Unfortunately they have got removed after some minor accidents. But even before it was not possible to cycle continuously all the way around, since some of the beamlines exit the hall.
The ESRF site forms part of the "Polygone Scientifique", lying at the confluence of the Drac and Isère rivers about 1.5km from the centre of Grenoble. It is served by local bus and the Lyon airport coach, which stops at the Place de la Résistance just outside the site.
The ESRF shares its site with several other institutions including the Institut Laue-Langevin (ILL) and the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL). The Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS) has an institute just across the road.