Backstage Science: Polaris
09 Aug 2011



Dr Martyn Bull shows us around a new instrument being constructed at ISIS, the Polaris. He explains how it works and what it is about this instrument that makes it so special!


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A new instrument is under construction at the ISIS facility

It will allow scientists to study materials by studying scattered neutrons.

It’s called Polaris…​

Martyn Bull: “ This is a new beam line, we’ve taken away the old one and we’re building a new one called Polaris.  At the moment, the shielding house is in place and the detector tank is being prepared. It will be lowered in, ready to take data in a few months.

This is the latest arrival. It is part of the Polaris instrument. In target station one, the block house for it is already built and this has just arrived from Spain. Each of these ports will have a detector bank inserted and then the whole lot will be lifted and placed into the beam line. Then the neutron beam will travel through the centre here, into the middle. The experiment is dropped from the top and then the neutrons interact with that and are scattered out to all of the detectors. 

This is actually quite neat because neutrons are quite expensive to make so you want to make the best use of them. Because it’s circular, we can cover all of the space with detectors and have the biggest picture we can for all of the experiments. That makes it very efficient. So we’ll be able to do hundreds of different experiments at one time”.