UK confirmed as founding member of world's largest microscope
30 Jun 2016



The UK has cemented its leading role in designing and delivering the world’s largest microscope, the European Spallation Source (ESS), by being confirmed as a founder member of the project.

​The European Spallation Source (ESS) is currently under construction in Lund, Sweden. Credit: ESS

Once complete, the ESS will support research teams, including many from the UK, in addressing significant global challenges that range from healthcare and security to ecology and fuel technology.

STFC is managing the UK contribution to the ESS, which includes design expertise and in-kind contributions to construction, and the project will offer incredible opportunities for UK researchers in the future.

The ISIS neutron and muon source has more than 30 years’ expertise and experience in the construction and operation of spallation instrumentation. The facility is taking the lead in designing and delivering two key instruments, LoKI and FREIA, that will eventually be part of the ESS. 

Director of ISIS, Prof Robert McGreevy, says, “The European Spallation Source will bring new opportunities and capabilities for scientists from across Europe and indeed the world. Engineers and scientists from ISIS are bringing their expertise in instrument development and design to the project. But most importantly we bring the knowledge gained from 30 years of operating such a facility. We look forward to contributing to the success of ESS both in construction and in its future operation.”

Dr Andrew Taylor, STFC’s Executive Director of the National Laboratories said: “This milestone reinforces the wide respect for UK neutron science community across Europe and the instrumental role it plays in developing world-leading facilities. STFC has already made a substantial contribution to the ongoing success of this international project through our engineering and design expertise and we will continue to play a leading role over the coming years.

“The ESS will provide new opportunities for researchers in a broad range of scientific areas including life sciences, energy, environmental technology, cultural heritage and fundamental physics.”

Read more here.