Win the chance to get up close to big science with a VIP visit to Diamond

First News competition winners, the Jeffery family and friends, tour the facility with Diamond's CEO, Andrew Harrison
This month, Diamond Light Source has teamed up with national magazine Wonderpedia to run a competition for one lucky family to win a VIP visit to the UK’s synchrotron science facility, a machine comparable to a collection of giant microscopes that allows us to study the atomic nature of matter.
The competition will appeal to science and technology enthusiasts who are eager to get up close to the latest technology and immerse themselves in a world inhabited by scientists who work round the clock to run experiments that are improving the nation’s health, as well as giving us insights into areas such as energy, the environment, engineering and novel new materials. 
Prof Andrew Harrison, Diamond’s Chief Executive, comments “Diamond is a fascinating place to visit and we are extremely proud of our education and outreach programme, which gives students, families and retired groups to chance to tour the synchrotron on a regular basis.  Our machine is over half a kilometre in circumference and is filled with high tech equipment that enables us to generate intense light that is used by scientists from a wide range of fields including biology, drug development, energy, environment, engineering, material and nanoscience. 
"We hold regular Inside Diamond open days, which the general public really enjoy. Competitions like this one are another way for us to help raise awareness of Diamond and offer a family a specially tailored tour, with the chance to meet some of the country’s top scientists and find out more about the research they are doing with the help of the synchrotron.” Diamond’s competition appears in this month’s print and online issue of Wonderpedia, along with the latest developments in science, history, nature, world events, technology and the human mind.  The competition closing date is 31st Dec and the public can enter by visiting

The winner will be able to bring five family members along on the day and the group will be taken on a special VIP tour of Diamond by Prof Andrew Harrison, the facility’s Chief Executive.  During the tour, they will be able to visit the machine tunnels where light 10 billion times brighter than the sun is generated.  The family will also be able to meet scientists who use Diamond’s X-rays to study everything from new drug targets for deadly diseases; conditions that lead to volcanoes erupting; the optimum materials for nuclear waste containment; the fundamental science that will bring us more powerful computers; and the energy advances that are needed to build a more sustainable future for the planet.

This competition comes hot on the heels of a similar one that ran in First News, a magazine aimed at primary school children.  It was extremely popular, attracting over 1600 entries.  Nathan Jeffery from Gillingham in Kent was selected as the winner.  Nathan, who is 11 years old, brought his parents, sister and their two friends along to Diamond on Sunday 8th November.  Nathan comments, “I hadn’t heard of Diamond before entering the competition but I love science and was very excited when I heard that I was the winner.  My family and I had a brilliant day. 
"Andrew Harrison took us to see all the tunnels that make up the synchrotron, including the main storage ring where the light is generated.  We also got to speak to some of the scientists that use Diamond for their experiments.  We spent a long time talking to Phil Manning from the University of Manchester.  He does very cool work on dinosaurs that is helping us lean more about how these amazing creatures lived and died.  That was the highlight for me and I know my family and friends really enjoyed the day too.”
Nathan Jeffery stands on the yellow line that indicates the path the electrons take around the synchrotron