Summer ‘Inside Diamond’ open days celebrate a love for world-changing science

This month, Diamond hosted two of our popular Open Days, where the facility welcomes interested members of the public and students inside the synchrotron itself to get a glimpse into what it takes to enable world-changing science.

Diamond has hosted Open Days since 2007 and welcomes over 6,000 visitors a year to tour the machine, beamlines, and to learn from leading scientists, engineers, and other STEM professionals. These events are always extremely popular, and our June events this year were no exception. On Saturday 8 June, 280 members of the public had the opportunity to visit four of our beamlines, and on Wednesday 12 a further 160 students from around the UK and their tutors came to learn more about synchrotron science.
“Everyone was so helpful”, one visitor noted. Whilst additional feedback said that the events were “a wonderful opportunity to see public engagement done really well.”

The Open Days began with a talk describing the history of Diamond, and some of the amazing science that is done here, from art conservation to particle physics. Tours of the machine followed, where visitors were able to walk inside the storage ring, booster ring, and linac, and concluded with visits to several of our beamlines. Staff from I23, I22, I18, I05 and I09 described the unique science they are able to unlock with their instruments, and fielded questions about their research and careers.

“[The staff] were very patient as we asked questions and were able to explain technical details in words we could understand,” explained an attendee. “We were absolutely blown away by the size, technology and huge scope of the research undertaken.”

Virtual tour

A virtual tour of the linac from a recent Open Day, as captured by Diamond Employee Adrian Johnson

The Open Days also featured a fundraising bake sale from the local 1st Harwell Scouts Group to keep visitors' hunger at bay, and the Diamond careers team, who highlighted some of the exciting career opportunities in engineering, science, and more. “I thoroughly enjoyed my fascinating visit...” concluded one happy visitor.

Interested in visiting Diamond yourself? Our next Public Open Day will take place on Wednesday 21st August 2019. We operate a ballot system for tickets to these popular events to provide a fair allocation of spaces. Be sure to fill in the ballot at this link to be in with your chance to visit, or sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date with the latest Diamond events.