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Researchers from around the UK will demonstrate how they are using Diamond Light Source to take an in-depth look at the world around us.

Diamond Light Source is the UK's national synchrotron facility, a powerful machine that produces very intense beams of x-rays, infrared and ultraviolet light. The light is created by accelerating electrons to almost the speed of light and passing them through special magnets, causing them to release energy in the form of incredibly bright synchrotron light, which can be used to look at liquid, solid and gas samples right down to the scale of molecules and atoms.

“The facility allows us to create data that previously would have taken many hours to record and in seconds and with greater precision,” says Professor Dave Stuart, Life Sciences director at Diamond.

Visitors to the exhibit will find out how the synchrotron works, along with examples of the impact Diamond has had on research groups from around the UK. They will see how scientists recreate the conditions found within the core of the Earth, develop hydrogen storage for greener energy sources, and study proteins and the causes of medical diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

Exhibited by Diamond Light Source; Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust; Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital; Imperial College London; University of Reading; Newcastle University; University of Nottingham; University of Edinburgh.

See all exhibits from 2010