"it seems that the Diamond Light Source may be one area in which the UK is managing to punch above its weight in the scientific world stage." Tom Feilden BBC - more
Diamond produces x-ray, infrared and ultra-violet beams of exceptional brightness. These highly focused beams of light enable scientists and engineers to probe deep into the basic structure of matter and materials, answering fundamental questions about everything from the building blocks of life to the origin of our planet.
Synchrotron light is an indispensable tool in many research areas including physics, chemistry, materials science and crystallography. In addition, synchrotron light is increasingly being exploited by new communities such as medicine, geological and environmental studies, structural genomics and archaeology.
Diamond is a third generation 3 GeV (Giga electron Volt) synchrotron light source. Third generation light sources use arrays of magnets, called insertion devices, to generate extremely intense, narrow beams of light, about 10,000 times brighter than the UK facility based at the Daresbury Laboratory in Cheshire.
Diamond is currently the brightest medium-energy source in the world and is optimised to produce X-rays with energies between 100 electron volts (soft X-rays) and 20,000 electron volts (hard X-rays). In addition, Diamond also provide a good source of X-rays up to 100,000 electron volts.
Many researchers in the UK already use synchrotrons. Extensive consultation with this user community resulted in a portfolio of experimental stations, called beamlines. Diamond's beamlines will be built in several phases. Phase I is now complete, with seven beamlines now in operation. In Phase II, a further fifteen beamlines will be added at a rate of four to five per annum. Phase III is yet to be determined, and will depend on emerging technologies and the requirements of users as the facility develops.
State-of-the-art instrumentation complement the light source, ensuring that researchers from the UK and abroad have access to cutting-edge analytical techniques and services for at least the next thirty years.For more information visit the official site