This new research facility, Diamond Light Source, represents the UK’s largest scientific investment for 30 years.
The futuristic construction is home to a huge scientific contraption that will, quite literally, shine a light on the tiny particles that make up the world.
As well as furthering our understanding of nature, it will help develop new materials, drugs and electronics – and even make our food taste better.
Diamond’s beamlines will be employed in many different areas of science.
One, for example, will be used to probe the atomic structure of magnetic materials; another will show what happens to materials in "extreme conditions", such as very high pressures and temperatures; and another will help the study of complex molecular structures like viruses, proteins.
The team behind Diamond says the research will lead to breakthroughs in the fields of biotechnology, medicine, environment and materials science.
Professor Trevor Rayment, a physical chemist from Birmingham University and chair of the user forum at Diamond, says he is very excited about the new facility.
"I think Diamond will impact on the whole of the UK’s science and technology base – from oil rigs through to things as important as chocolate: chocolate tastes as good as it does because of its micro-structure, and one of the beamlines will be able to analyse the formation of chocolate in situ.
"I’m really looking forward to doing experiments here. Having this quality of facility in the UK is going to be great."
Comment: This a great local facility impacting upon the well being for all. Let us hope that this Govt undoes the damage it has inflicted upon the schools in derilicting its principal responsibility to encourage more pupils to take up and more competent teachers to teach The Three Rs and science subjects. Without that we’ll have to import scientists just like we have to import doctors, nurses, artisans.