Diamond Light Source is the UK's national synchrotron light facility. It works like a giant microscope, harnessing the power of electrons to produce bright light that scientists can use to study anything from fossils to jet engines and from viruses to vaccines. The machine accelerates electrons to near the speed of light which then give off light 10 billion times brighter than the sun. These bright beams are then directed off into laboratories/experimental stations known as ‘beamlines’. Here, scientists use the light to study a vast range of subject matter, from new medicines and treatments for disease to innovative engineering and cutting-edge technology. Whether it’s fragments of ancient paintings or unknown virus structures, at the synchrotron, scientists can study their samples using a machine that is 10,000 times more powerful than a traditional microscope.
Diamond is one of the most advanced scientific facilities in the world, and its pioneering capabilities are helping to keep the UK at the forefront of scientific research. Diamond is a not-for-profit private limited company funded as a joint venture by the UK Government through the UK Science & Technology Facilities Council (STFC) in partnership with the Wellcome Trust. Over 14,500 user visits are made to Diamond each year by users from both academia and industry, with almost 50% of these users accessing Diamond through remote access.
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