Rutherford Appleton Laboratory

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The Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL) is a research center of the British Sciences and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) near Chilton near Didcot in Oxfordshire .

It is named after Ernest Rutherford and Edward Victor Appleton named and created in 1957 as Rutherford High Energy Laboratory of the National Institute for Research in Nuclear Science (NIRNS) to the 50 MeV - linear accelerator to take over for protons, which previously to the neighboring Harwell Laboratory of Atomic Energy Research Establishment (AERE). The RAL is also located on the site of today's Harwell Science and Innovation Campus between Harwell and Chilton (originally on an old Royal Air Force airfield). Between 1964 and 1978 the 7 GeV proton synchrotron Nimrod was operated by the RAL . Parts of it are used today in the ISIS spallation neutron source of the RAL as part of the proton linear accelerator with which the neutrons and muons of the source are generated. ISIS has existed since 1985.

The RAL has a permanent workforce of around 1,200 people (2011), but around 10,000 scientists and engineers from various universities work on the laboratory's projects.

In 1975 the Atlas Computer Laboratory in neighboring Harwell opened up in the laboratory and in 1979 the neighboring Appleton Laboratory, after which the laboratory was named after both Rutherford and Appleton. Parts of the Royal Greenwich Observatory , which closed in 1998, also moved here, as did the laser department from the Joint European Torus in Culham, which formed the basis of the RAL Central Laser Facility . This also includes the Vulcan laser, with which, among other things, experiments on inertial fusion are undertaken. In addition, the Diamond Light Source synchrotron radiation source opened in 2007 is part of the RAL.

RAL is involved in various international projects on particle physics (but not directly in the LHC of CERN, where British participation is regulated differently) and also in space projects (construction and testing of satellite parts ). Data centers with grid computing are also connected .

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References and comments

  1. A national British research organization that emerged from the successors of the SERC (Science and Engineering Research Council), which was split up in 1994.