Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Naaa, I'm off to rent a Neutron gun...

Last week was a normal week in my world apparently...This week not even a day into it, and I've been to the biggest science lab in the UK, walked on top of a Neutron accelerator, and seen more people in white lab coats than an episode of Silent Witness.
Where was I? I was was at the UK's top secret Labs, just outside of Didcot in Oxfordshire, called Rutherford Appleton Laboratories. This place is massive, from Nuclear to Geology it does amazing things. I was only there to talk about Hydrogen, another areas they are leading in, as they can see what makes hydrogen work...wow!
What struck me the most about this facility was the fact that everyone has heard about Cern, but hardly anyone brags to the British public about the scale of the work going on in the UK. More experiments, more analysis, more answers to monster questions. The site there has been at the forefront of British science since the 50's and just keeps on getting bigger.
You can even rent the neutron accelerator by the day for your own experiments!! WOW!
Rent a Mondeo?..."Naaaa, I'm off to Rent a Neutron gun!!"
The energy used at the site is horrendous, one of the reasons it's a tad pricey to rent, but if it enables us to lead the world in new fuels, understanding new space exploration, test electronics etc etc then it's worth it.
I'm proud of the fact that we still have such facilities in the UK, I'm proud of the fact that they lead the world, I'm not proud of the fact that we say so little about our status in leading the world...as part of the Uk's inward investment and overseas investment, we as a Nation should be taking pride in these technologies and facilities....Darn it...

So this week, as part of my 'sneak up on Science week' I'm off to Edinburgh, and Newcastle Universities. Both strong hydrogen and plasma facilities in the UK...I'm even more excited to see what they've got in their labs, though I do doubt it will be as big as RA labs...

Special thanks to the team at CellaEnergy for a perfect day!

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