During a visit to ISIS on 14 March 2011, Universities and Science Minister David Willetts announced an £11 million investment to start the second phase of instruments at the ISIS second target station. This was closely followed by a further £10 million announced by Chancellor George Osborne in the budget on 23 March.
This is fantastic news for ISIS and a superb reflection on the outstanding work of the ISIS user community and staff in delivering world-leading science and technology. The success of ISIS continues to be recognised at the highest levels within the UK government, and the impact of ISIS science is clearly appreciated.
The combined funding of £21 million, together with additional contributions from ISIS partner countries, will finance the construction of four new instruments within the ISIS second target station: Chipir, Imat, Zoom and Larmor. These instruments will add world-class capabilities in microchip screening, neutron imaging and small angle scattering, together with extending the time and length-scales of neutron experiments. Exciting days ahead.
Creating new instruments enables us to deliver world-class science From novel magnetism to new types of solar cell; practical hydrogen storage materials to antibiotics for life-threatening illnesses; human tissue protein studies to silicates for catalysis – research at ISIS spans a huge range pure and applied science areas, a range that will continue to grow as new instrument capabilities are added.
But also part of enabling ISIS science is the work of keeping the ISIS accelerator complex up and running. This year saw a six month maintenance shut-down which was several years in the planning. A huge amount of work – some 700 small projects, together with several large projects – took place to keep the ISIS machine and instruments going well into the future. I would like to thank ISIS staff for all their work not just in the shut-down itself, but for the years of preparatory work beforehand.
We deliver world-class science with impact in many areas, and we maintain, operate and develop our accelerators and instruments – these things are central to ISIS. But also key are the many other activities that form part of the life of the facility – ISIS engineers working with AS level school students on detector projects; ISIS scientists and engineers winning prizes for their work in national competitions; staff enthusing school children at UK science fairs; receiving students and members of the public as visitors to explain what we do and to encourage the next generation of scientists. These are all signs of the health and maturity of the ISIS community.
ISIS is not immune to the current financial pressures, and we find ourselves facing a reduced level of operations. Despite this, we are seeking to maintain ISIS at the forefront of neutron and muon science. Together with our user community we will strive to deliver another exciting year of excellent science.