This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site you agree to our use of cookies. To find out more, see our Privacy and Cookies policy.
Skip to the content

Share this

Free weekly newswire

Sign up to receive all our latest news direct to your inbox.

Physics on film

100 Second Science Your scientific questions answered simply by specialists in less than 100 seconds.

Watch now

Bright Recruits

At all stages of your career – whether you're an undergraduate, graduate, researcher or industry professional – brightrecruits.com can help find the job for you.

Find your perfect job

Physics connect

Are you looking for a supplier? Physics Connect lists thousands of scientific companies, businesses, non-profit organizations, institutions and experts worldwide.

Start your search today

Blog

Ring out the old

daresbury.jpg
The Daresbury laboratory (Credit: STFC Daresbury Laboratory)

By Matin Durrani

Reporting the opening of new facilities is grist to the mill for us on Physics World. That’s why we ran a long article in last month’s print issue about the opening of the new “second target station” at the ISIS pulsed-neutron source at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory near Oxford in the UK.

The £145m upgrade to the ISIS facility, which is used for a wide range of neutron-scattering experiments, moved a step closer to completion today when the first neutrons were created in the new station.

But spare a thought for the Synchrotron Radiation Source (SRS) at the Daresbury Laboratory in Cheshire, in the north-west of England, which officially closes today after 28 years of operation and two million hours of science.

The closure was not unexpected, of course. The SRS had been winding down ever since the decision was made in 2000 to build its replacement — the DIAMOND third-generation synchrotron at the Rutherford lab. It was a decision that caused huge outrage at the time from local politicians and scientists furious at a big new facility being built “down south”, as if Oxford needed any more top-class labs.

Still, for anyone who has carried out an experiment at the SRS, like I have during my PhD days, it’s time to reflect on the fact that the facility was pretty successful.

The press release from the Science and Technology Facilities Council lists the stats — 11,000 users used the machine, leading to over 5000 papers and over 1200 protein structures being solved.

But who can forget those bleary-eyed nights squeezing out every last drop of “beam time” by doing a series of complex experiments at 4 in the morning, all the while keeping going on a diet of Mars bars, Snickers bars and black coffee from the chocolate machine, bloated by delightful meals from the Ring O’Bells pub over the road (do you want that with or without “potato croquettes”?) before stumbling off to bed at 7am in the hostel and then repeating the whole procedure for another three days?

That’s the real world of scientific research for you.

This entry was posted in General. Bookmark the permalink.
View all posts by this author  | View this author's profile

Leave a comment

Your e-mail address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Guidelines

  • Comments should be relevant to the article and not be used to promote your own work, products or services.
  • Please keep your comments brief (we recommend a maximum of 250 words).
  • We reserve the right to remove excessively long, inappropriate or offensive entries.

Show/hide formatting guidelines

Tag Description Example Output
<a> Hyperlink <a href="http://www.google.com">google</a> google
<abbr> Abbreviation <abbr title="World Health Organisation" >WHO</abbr> WHO
<acronym> Acronym <acronym title="as soon as possible">ASAP</acronym> ASAP
<b> Bold <b>Some text</b> Some text
<blockquote> Quoted from another source <blockquote cite="http://iop.org/">IOP</blockquote>
IOP
<cite> Cite <cite>Diagram 1</cite> Diagram 1
<del> Deleted text From this line<del datetime="2012-12-17"> this text was deleted</del> From this line this text was deleted
<em> Emphasized text In this line<em> this text was emphasised</em> In this line this text was emphasised
<i> Italic <i>Some text</i> Some text
<q> Quotation WWF goal is to build a future <q cite="http://www.worldwildlife.org/who/index.html">
where people live in harmony with nature and animals</q>
WWF goal is to build a future
where people live in harmony with nature and animals
<strike> Strike text <strike>Some text</strike> Some text
<strong> Stronger emphasis of text <strong>Some text</strong> Some text
WordPress Appliance - Powered by TurnKey Linux