ISIS Second Target Station -- protons on target!

December 18, 2007

The ISIS Second Target Station Project at the STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in Oxfordshire achieved a major milestone on Friday 14 December, at the first attempt and two days ahead of schedule. Protons were successfully extracted into the new proton transfer beamline from the existing ISIS accelerator and delivered to the new target station.

The £140 million Second Target Station Project will double the capacity of the world-leading ISIS research centre and significantly increase its capability for nanoscience applications. It will open for experiments in Autumn 2008 and is expected to operate for at least 20 years.

The high energy beam of protons will be used to release neutrons from a tungsten target. By scattering these neutrons off sample materials, scientists can visualise the positions and motions of atoms. The technique is non-destructive and can be used to study everything from delicate biological specimens to priceless archaeological artefacts.

Professor Keith Mason, CEO of the Science and Technology Facilities Council said "The ISIS Second Target Station will keep us at the forefront of materials research, enabling UK scientists to make breakthroughs that will underpin the next generation of super-fast computers, data storage, sensors, pharmaceutical and medical applications, materials processing, catalysis, biotechnology and clean energy technology."

During the test, bunches of protons travelling at 84% of the speed of light were transferred from the circular ISIS synchrotron accelerator into the 143m long proton beamline. They were guided by a sequence of 57 steering and focusing magnets onto a graphite test target located inside the new target station. The arrival of the protons was detected by measuring the electrical current induced in the target and the beam profiles along the length of the beam line were checked.

"The ISIS Second Target Station is a part of the much needed expansion of facilities at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory to meet modern science challenges across a range of research disciplines. The project is on time and on budget. Following a five year construction schedule, we expect to generate our first neutrons in June 2008 and open for experiments in the autumn of 2008." said ISIS Director Dr Andrew Taylor.
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Notes for Editors

Images

Images showing the science that can be done at ISIS are available at http://www.stfc.ac.uk/PandS/Gallery/ISISbeauty.aspx

Images showing the construction of ISIS Second Target Station

Credit Stephen Kill/ISIS/STFC

Available from http://www.stfc.ac.uk/PMC/PRel/STFC/ISIS-TS2.aspx Images of the Proton Delivery Contacts

Julia Maddock
STFC Press Office
Tel 01793 442094
Julia.maddock@stfc.ac.uk

Dr Martyn Bull
ISIS
Tel 01235 445 805
Mobile 07909 536983
m.j.bull@rl.ac.uk

Dr Andrew Taylor
ISIS Director
STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory
Tel: +44 (0) 1235 446681
Andrew.taylor@rl.ac.uk

ISIS Pulsed Neutron Source

ISIS is a world-leading centre for research in physical and life sciences operated by the Science and Technology Facilities Council at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Oxfordshire, UK.

ISIS supports an international community of around 1600 scientists who use neutrons and muons for research in physics, chemistry, materials science, geology, engineering and biology. It is the most productive pulsed neutron spallation source in the world.

The ISIS Second Target Station Project complements the facilities already operating at ISIS and enables the science programme to expand into the key research areas of soft matter, advanced materials and bio-science.

Neutron scattering is a vital research and analysis technique in exploring the structure and dynamics of materials and molecules. It provides unique and complementary information to that available from light sources, such as the Diamond synchrotron.

The experimental programme will begin in 2008.

Science and Technology Facilities Council

The Science and Technology Facilities Council ensures the UK retains its leading place on the world stage by delivering world-class science; accessing and hosting international facilities; developing innovative technologies; and increasing the socio-economic impact of its research through effective knowledge exchange partnerships.

The Council has a broad science portfolio including Astronomy, Particle Physics, Particle Astrophysics, Nuclear Physics, Space Science, Synchrotron Radiation, Neutron Sources and High Power Lasers. In addition the Council manages and operates three internationally renowned laboratories:The Council gives researchers access to world-class facilities and funds the UK membership of international bodies such as the European Laboratory for Particle Physics (CERN), the Institute Laue Langevin (ILL), European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF), the European organisation for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere (ESO) and the European Space Agency (ESA). It also contributes money for the UK telescopes overseas on La Palma, Hawaii, Australia and in Chile, and the MERLIN/VLBI National Facility, which includes the Lovell Telescope at Jodrell Bank Observatory.

The Council distributes public money from the Government to support scientific research. Between 2007 and 2008 we will invest approximately £678 million.

Science and Technology Facilities Council

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