U6 Physics group visit Research Facility

The U6 Physics group recently visited the Diamond Light Source Synchrotron in Oxfordshire, one of the newest and biggest research facilities in the UK.
The Diamond Light Source Synchrotron is a particle accelerator 561m in circumference that is specifically designed to accelerate electrons to extremely high speeds; so fast that these electrons could travel around the world 7.5 times in one second and it would take them just over 8 minutes to travel to the Sun!
These high speed electrons are bent by magnets (wiggled) which causes them to generate beams of electromagnetic radiation from infra-red to X-rays and can generate light up to 100 billion times brighter than the Sun! This light is then used for a range of academic and industry related research and development, including research into cancer development and treatment, to interpreting clues to the ocean’s past.
The group found it really interesting to see the particle accelerator in as it put all the theory that they had learnt in school into context. The students used an interactive 3D model of the synchrotron to show the electrons fired from the electron gun into the linear accelerator and finally the synchrotron.   They had a tour of the site including a presentation on all the uses of the synchrotron and how it works.   All of the students agreed that it was a most enjoyable and insightful day.