Introduction to ISIS: 'Super Microscope
14 Dec 2010



Everything is made of atoms, and atoms are tiny. Each atom is around one million times smaller than a speck of dust. At this tiny scale, something out of the ordinary is needed to see what is happening, a special kind of microscope, a ‘super microscope’.

ISIS: 'Super Microscope'

‘ISIS: Super Microscope’ explores science from Oxfordshire's ISIS Neutron Source through fantastic photographs, stunning data images and beautiful visualisations.

ISIS is an outstanding success story for UK science. Over the last 25 years, it has made an impressive impact across a wide range of science and technology. From clean energy and the environment, pharmaceuticals and healthcare, through to materials engineering and aerospace, ISIS continues to be one of the world’s leading research centres.

The job of ISIS is to measure where atoms are and what they are doing, and to discover how the hidden world of atoms is connected to the world of everyday experience.

Neutron beams made at ISIS are able to travel deep into the interior of objects. This unique property of neutron beams makes them perfect for exploring the hidden worlds of atoms and molecules.

Photographs in the exhibition taken over the last six years document the construction of the recently completed second target station, one of the biggest science projects in the UK. The second target station has doubled the size of ISIS doubling the research capacity and opening up new areas of science.

‘ISIS: Super Microscope’ shows that in science there is great beauty, and that scientists often think in highly visual ways in order to understand the results from their experiments.