CLF 40th anniversary
20 Jun 2017



The Central Laser Facility celebrates its fortieth anniversary this week




For 40 years, the United Kingdom’s Central Laser Facility has been at the cutting edge of laser science, discovering and developing new technologies.

From humble beginnings with a single laser, the facility now has a large suite of instruments, and works with and for researchers and organisations around the world. On the way, the CLF has:

  • calibrated the dust sensor for the Giotto space probe to Halley's comet,
  • developed the pioneering technique of Optical Parametric Chirped Pulse Amplification (OPCPA) which enables high-power lasers to break the 1-petawatt power ceiling,
  • demonstrated the world's first high-quality, high-energy electron 'dream beams' by driving the laser into a puff of supersonic gas,
  • developed Spatially Offset Raman Spectroscopy, to identify the molecular composition of material beneath a sample surface,
  • been certified by the Guiness Book of World Records as the world's most intense laser,
  • and been involved in the formation of more than ten spinout companies

The CLF plays an active role at the heart of the Harwell Campus, co-located with the other major facilities to enable cross-fertilisation of science and technology. We work with a large and leading national and international user community of research scientists that are ​operating at the forefront of their respective fields and require access to the most advanced and sophisticated laser based facilities available.

More information

Contact: Springate, Emma (STFC,RAL,CLF)