ISIS, the world leading pulsed neutron and muon source located at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory near Oxford, is operational again following nine months of maintenance work.
The maintenance project included several major tasks to ensure the long-term stability and integrity of the facility. This included replacing three quadrupole focussing magnets near the muon intermediate target, improving muon instrument performance. A new hydrogen moderator was installed in the neutron target area. The personnel interlock systems across the accelerators were also upgraded to conform to current safety requirements
ISIS supports an international community of around 1600 scientists who use neutrons and muons for research in physics, chemistry, materials science, geology, engineering and biology.
The maintenance shutdown was one of the longest periods without neutrons and muons in recent times. The neutron and muon source starts its first user run for 2007 this week.
ISIS has been operating for over twenty years. The source was approved in 1977, first neutrons were produced in late 1984 and ISIS was officially inaugurated in October 1985.
ISIS is currently expanding to twice its size through the construction of a second target station that will lead to new opportunities in soft condensed matter, bio-molecular sciences, advanced materials and nanoscale science.