A strategic vision for the UK’s large-scale light source user facilities (PDF)
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The large national and international research facilities that the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) operate either ourselves or through partnerships are vital elements of UK Research and Innovation’s (UKRI) support for UK science and innovation in both academia and industry.
These powerful light source facilities have become important tools that are being used in almost all the science and technology research domains supported by UKRI.
For example, synchrotron and laser imaging techniques have been used to support the structural biology investigations of the COVID-19 virus. High power lasers are being used to create exotic forms of matter such as that found at the centre of black holes. The new technology of X-ray Free Electron lasers is being used to probe the ultra-fast electronic transitions in quantum materials.
Understanding how the different source types complement each other to provide an optimal capability is an important input to future investment decisions in these source types.
This strategic vision report from STFC presents options for the future development of the large-scale light source user facilities. These include the UK’s national facilities (Diamond Light Source and the Central Laser Facility) and access agreements with international facilities (European Synchrotron Radiation Facility and the European X-ray Free Electron Laser facility).