Teachers Day at Rutherford Appleton Laboratory 2014

The course focused on curriculum linked topics in nuclear physics such as nuclear astrophysics, nuclear medicine and nuclear energy, and was presented by researchers active in these fields.

The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) employs over 2,200 staff over seven locations:

Swindon, Head Quarters;

Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in Oxfordshire, which is part of the Harwell Oxford Campus;

Daresbury Laboratory in Cheshire, which is part of the Daresbury Science and Innovation Campus;

The UK Astronomy Technology Centre in Edinburgh, in the Royal Observatory Edinburgh;

The Chilbolton Observatory in Hampshire;

The Isaac Newton Group of Telescopes on La Palma in the Canary Islands;

The Joint Astronomy Centre in Hawaii.


Rutherford Appleton Laboratory is operated by STFC and located on the Harwell Oxford Science and Innovation Campus in Oxfordshire; it provides a thriving and collaborative environment for research in: particle physics space science materials astronomy photon science computational and e-science biology biomedicine chemistry

RAL’s pioneering research in areas such as energy, security, healthcare and the environment addresses important challenges facing society.


RAL, and the wider Harwell Oxford Campus and Innovation Campus host some of the UK’s major scientific facilities including:

Central Laser Facility


RAL Space

Diamond Light Source

Satellite Applications Catapult

MRC Harwell

Harwell Centre

Harwell Innovation Centre

Diamond – synchrotron, particle accelerator producing beams of light used for research e.g. structural biology, materials science, physics, chemistry.

Scientific computing – analyse all the data coming out of the other facilities, including the Large Hadron Collider at CERN.

Technology – provides support to all the other departments, wouldn’t be possible without them. Involved in advanced materials, metrology etc.

RAL Space – carries out world class space research, developing and building instruments for telescopes, testing parts going onto the ISS.

CLF – different laser facilities that can pinpoint individual particles or even recreate the conditions inside stars – nuclear fusion

ISIS – another particle accelerator. Neutron scattering to study structures of all sorts of things – extremely strong spider webs, historical artefacts, discovering new materials for clean energy,

The aerial view of the Harwell Oxford Campus shows RAL in the foreground. ISIS Target Station 2 is the blue and white building pictured in the centre of the image, and the Diamond Light Source is on the far right. (Credit: STF)


The day was introduced by Jo Lewis who is part of the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory Education and Public Outreach team. For information on anything regarding their work with schools, please contact



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