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Harwell Science and Innovation Campus

Tue, 10/03/09 - 16:26 - researcher

United Kingdom
51° 34' 42.636" N, 51° 34' 42.636" E



Field Notes

Rutherford Appleton Laboratory is part of the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus owned by the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) with the Health Protection Agency (see HPA entry) and UK Science and Technology Facility Council. RAL supports research in areas including materials and structures, light sources, astronomy and particle physics. RAL is named after the physicists Ernest Rutherford and Edward Appleton.

The major faclities at RAL are ISIS and Central Laser Facility.

ISIS is a pulsed neutron and muon source. It uses the techniques muon spectroscopy and neutron scattering to probe the structure and dynamics of condensed matter on a microscopic scale ranging from the subatomic to the macromolecular.

The Central Laser Facility provides access to large scale laser systems for researchers from the United Kingdom and other EU countries

Hundreds of experiments are performed annually at ISIS by visiting researchers from around the world, in diverse science areas including physics, chemistry, materials engineering, earth sciences, biology and archaeology.

The name ISIS is not an acronym: it refers to the Ancient Egyptian goddess and the local name for the River Thames. The name was selected for the official opening of the facility in 1985, prior to this it was known as the SNS, or Spallation Neutron Source.

RAL also hosts several minor facilities, including:

* Microelectronics Support Centre (MSC)
* NGS UK national academic computing grid
* EGEE international computing grid
* Energy Research Unit[15]

There are various levels of security at this site. Access is from public roads, and some facilities are more open than others. All UKAEA sites are specifically sensitive.