ISIS is a world-leading centre for research in the physical and life sciences at the STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory near Oxford in the United Kingdom. Our suite of neutron and muon instruments gives unique insights into the properties of materials on the atomic scale. 

We support a national and international community of more than 3000 scientists for research into subjects ranging from clean energy and the environment, pharmaceuticals and health care, through to nanotechnology and materials engineering, catalysis and polymers, and on to fundamental studies of materials.

News and Events

NMSUM 2016
UK Neutron and Muon Science and User Meeting 2017

Tuesday 11 April 2017

The UK Neutron and Muon Science and User Meeting will take place at Warwick University (Scarman House and The Slate) from 27-29 June 2017.

1st European Neutron Diffraction Single Crystal Workshop

Monday 10 April 2017

The 1st European Neutron Diffraction Single Crystal (ENDiX1) Workshop will be held at Cosener's House, Abingdon from 24 - 26th April 2017.

News for users: April 2017 round

ISIS news, events, instrument updates and information on how to apply for beamtime for users who wish to submit a proposal in the next round.

DEUNET Workshop
Deuteration for Neutron Scattering (DEUNET) Workshop

Thursday 16 March 2017

We are pleased to announce the Deuteration for Neutron Scattering (DEUNET) workshop, organised jointly by the STFC Deuteration facility and the DEUNET European Deuteration Network, which will be held at the Oxford Spires Hotel, Oxford, UK from 15-17th of May 2017.

Dr Chris Frost inside the ChipIR instrument
Instrument Scientist and ISIS users present at prestigious AAAS conference

Friday 17 February 2017

Friday 17th February saw ChipIR instrument scientist Chris Frost take to the stage in Boston to present at the annual conference of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

Major Instrument and Accelerator Projects

Target Station 2 Phase 2

2015 will see both the capacity and capability of ISIS increase with two new instruments coming online. Target station 2 started operation in 2008 with 7 neutron instruments, and now two new instruments, ChipIR and Larmor have received first neutrons and are beginning their commissioning phases. A further two instruments, IMAT and ZOOM, are under construction.

ISIS First Target Station Project

The ISIS First Target Station (TS1) has now been operating for over 30 years. During this period, there has been no significant work carried out to maintain or develop the internals of TS1. The ISIS First Target Station project aims to refurbish much of TS1 to ensure its continued operation for many years into the future.

TOSCA and MAPS guide projects

Design on the new guides for Maps and Tosca has started with the aim of having the upgraded instruments running sometime in 2016.

Replacement of muon beamline magnets

The ISIS muon facility has been operating since 1987, and some of the muon beamline magnets were second-hand then – they are now over 50 years old in some cases. During the long shutdown in 2014/5, the quadrupoles near the muon target will be replaced.

Linac Tank 4 Replacement

The ISIS linear accelerator (linac) consists of 4 radiofrequency (RF) accelerating tanks, accelerating hydrogen ions generated in the ion source to 37% of the speed of light before feeding them into the synchrotron for final acceleration. Tanks 1 and 4 were built at RAL in 1976, for ISIS’ predecessor, Nimrod. They are now showing their age, so a project is underway to replace tank 4 by 2018.

Refurbishing part of the first target station proton beamline (EPB1)

EPB1 is made up of 68 magnets all of which are roughly 50 years old. Many of the electrical windings of these magnets are deteriorating (especially in high radiation-dose areas near the downstream end of EPB1). Replacement of magnets upstream of the muon target and between the muon target and the neutron target will take place during the 2014/15 shutdown.

Science at ISIS

The Amati violin in IMAT, ISIS.
Son et lumière: neutrons illuminate the secrets of our musical heritage

Friday 24 March 2017

All cultures have music in some form, and the instruments used to produce it - and the tonal qualities they are designed to produce – change over time. Historical instruments are an important part of our cultural heritage, and scientific examination can help us to determine lost details about how the instruments were manufactured, and when, and provide us with important information to assist with their conservation.

Phase separation of solutions
Investigating the structure of a new class of concentrated metal-amine liquids

Wednesday 22 March 2017

Metal-amine solutions have been a fascinating curiosity since their discovery by Sir Humphry Davy in 1808. These colourful ‘metal solutions’ are in a class of their own because they contain solvated electrons, and therefore offer us the opportunity to study fundamental physical phenomena.

Prostate Stones
No stone left unturned to solve 12,000-year-old medical mystery

Thursday 16 March 2017

A mystery surrounding three stone-like objects found within the pelvic region of a 12,000-year-old human skeleton has been solved thanks to the analytical capability of the UK’s neutron beam research facility.

Catalytic converters
New insights into nanoceria synthesis using Sandals

Friday 10 February 2017

Scientists from the Universities of Bath and Cambridge have developed a new, green synthetic route for cerium oxide (ceria) – an important component in catalytic converters and solid oxide fuel cells – using neutron diffraction to determine the mechanism of reaction.

Making an impact

Impact of Neutron Scattering brochure
Neutron Scattering: Materials research for modern life

Thursday 22 November 2012

Read about the social and economic impact of neutron scattering in a new brochure highlighting key examples of the use of the technique.

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