Impact and Innovation
Using our facilities
News stories from the Central Laser Facility
Lasers, camera, action: Shining a light on Public Engagement at the Central Laser Facility
Possessing some of the most powerful lasers on the planet certainly makes promoting the incredible, awe-inspiring science of the Central Laser Facility (CLF) easier indeed.
The Central Laser Facility at 40
Last year, the CLF celebrated its fortieth anniversary. Here we provide a brief history of the facility and relive four decades of incredible laser science.
Life in the fast lane: Fast electrons bypass light in glass
What happens when you combine the expertise of three fantastic laser facilities, a bunch of motivating minds and one fundamental question about the movement of electrons within solids?
CLF scientists help to solve mystery of why comets emit X-rays
A team of scientists including members of STFC’s Central Laser Facility and RAL Space have been able to unravel the mystery of why comets travelling through Space give off X-ray emissions.
Space Weather in the Lab
60 years ago, the first manmade object was sent into space.
Explosive Potential - Gemini laser creates artificial gamma ray burst in the laboratory for the first time
A team, led by Gianluca Sarri from Queen's University Belfast, have used the Gemini laser at the CLF to recreate a mini gamma ray burst (GRB) - one of the most powerful explosions in the universe.
The art of decoding: SORS spin-off acts as a tool for investigation of heterogeneous painted systems
Micro-Spatially Offset Raman Spectroscopy, a recently developed technique, has been used for the non-destructive chemical characterisation of stratified paint samples.
Featured in Science Advances: Artemis Laser Reveals the Dynamics of Electrons in a Superconductor
The CLF is happy to announce that the results of an experiment on our own Artemis laser facility is featured in Science Advances this month.
Featured in Nature Comms: Record High Energy Protons from Vulcan
A recent experiment on the CLF's own Vulcan laser to created proton energies close to 100 MeV.
Odd one out: CLF imaging facility identifies abnormality of plant ER protein
A team of scientists from across Europe have used the FRET-FLIM microscopy system at the Central Laser Facility to investigate plant reticulon dynamics.
A tough nut to crack: Using Raman spectroscopy to test the quality of coconut cream
The CLF has been very cultured this month with an experiment into the feasibility of using Raman spectroscopy on coconut cream which will be used to make yogurt.
UK Laser Experiment Mimics Black Hole Environment
UK physicists have for the first time used an extremely powerful laser beam to slow down electrons travelling at near-light speeds – a quantum mechanical phenomenon thought to occur only around objects like black holes.
CLF Research Partnership receives £5.7 million grant from EPSRC
The grant from EPSRC will fund a nanotheranostics research partnership between the University of Exeter, the University of Cambridge, London School of Pharmacy (University College London) and the Central Laser Facility.
CLF visiting scientist awarded the coveted Hannes Alfvén Prize for 2018
Professor Tony Bell is a theoretical plasma physicist, whose work has gone on to open up new research fields in both astrophysical and laboratory plasmas.
We Need You!
Seeing The Bigger Picture: Why Correlative Microscopy is Important and How It Can Be Explained
The CLF is constantly striving to find new means of opening up the complex world of science to the public in ways which are thought-provoking and engaging.
Changes in Secondary Structure of Key Calcium Binding Protein Quantified at CLF
Scientists from the University of Strathclyde, UCB Pharma and STFC’s Central Laser Facility have used 2D-IR spectroscopy to quantify changes in the secondary structure of the multifunctional calcium-binding messenger protein Calmodulin (CaM).
Artemis and Research Complex User Meeting 2017
Tuesday 5th September saw the beginning of the LSF and Artemis user meeting, made particularly pertinent by the future plans to move Artemis to join Ultra and Octopus in the Research Complex.
Business Development Manager Ric Allott Appointed Professor
The CLF is proud to announce that Ric Allott, the facility's Business Development Manager has been appointed to Visiting Professor at the University of Coventry.
CLF welcomes installation of state-of-the-art computing cluster
DeRevolutionibus, a computer cluster consisting of 1608 cores, completed commissioning in August 2017.
Joint project between CLF and India's Tata Institute of Fundamental Research announced
UK Science Minister announces joint pilot innovation project between the Central Laser Facility and India’s Tata Institute of Fundamental Research during two-day trip to India.
Public Engagement in the Physical Sciences: What We Can Learn
INTERACT Physics Engagement Symposium, Thursday 14th September 2017, University of Birmingham
CLF Scientist and STFC Senior Fellow honoured by the Royal Academy of Engineering
We are delighted to announce that Pavel Matousek, Chief Scientific Officer of Cobalt Light Systems Ltd and STFC Senior Fellow, has been named as one of this year’s 50 people to receive a Royal Academy of Engineering Fellowship
Calls for access to the High Power Lasers
Calls for access are open for the Vulcan, Gemini and Orion laser facilities
CLF hosts pioneering Industry Focus Day on Laser Driven Sources
The theme of the 2017 Industry day was Laser Driven Sources and was the first multi-sector collaborative event of its kind for the department, which celebrated its fortieth anniversary in June.
Final Call for Post-Doctoral Fellowships at the CLF
Deadline for applications for the programme is the 29th September 2017
Registration Open for the 2017 Christmas Meeting of the High Power Laser Community
Registration is now open for the 2017 Christmas Meeting of the High Power Laser User Community. The deadline for registration is the 30th September 2017
Photons are like Cows: Here's Why
For as long as lasers have existed, scientists have been trying to explain to others what lasers actually are. This is, alas, is one of the hazards of working with something that is at the forefront of technology.
Vulcan experiment provides first demonstration of moderated, epithermal neutrons from a laser accelerator source
Meet the Sandwich Students - CLF's Latest Recruits
This summer, the Central Laser Facility will welcome 12 new sandwich students. We sit down with several of the latest recruits to discuss their roles within the organisation and share their aspirations for the year 2017/18
CLF Spin-off Company Cobalt Bought by U.S Tech Giant, Agilent Technologies
We are pleased to announce that Cobalt, a spinoff company which originated in the CLF, and which markets technology using Spatially Offset Raman Spectroscopy (SORS), has been acquired by Agilent Technologies, a U.S. company.
Gemini Laser Facility Used to Deepen Knowledge of Polarization Dependence of Bulk Ion Acceleration
A recent experiment led by the Queens University Belfast has deepened our knowledge of how to gain the best results out of this process. The team used the CLF's Gemini laser to access a new regime – Light Sail - in laser-driven ion acceleration.
ASTRA short, low-energy laser pulses drive low amplitude plasma wakefields
Ultra Demonstrates Sign-posting for Electrons in Photochemistry
Using the Ultra facility at the CLF, Sheffield scientists Dr Anthony Meijer and Professor Julia Weinstein, have published new research that takes an important step forward in advancing the techniques used in creating molecular devices.
CLF 40th anniversary
The Central Laser Facility celebrates its fortieth anniversary this week
Artemis, Octopus and ULTRA User Meeting 2017
The CLF’s Lasers for Science (Octopus and ULTRA) and Artemis user meeting: 5-7th Sept 2017 at St Catherine's College Oxford.
Calls for access to OCTOPUS and ULTRA
Calls for access to OCTOPUS and ULTRA are issued every six months.
Workshop on Advanced Characterisation of Functional Materials
This workshop aims to bring together researchers and facility scientists to identify new methods of answering new questions in Chemistry and Materials Science, with a particular focus on Catalysis.
CLF Training Weeks for High Power Laser experiments to be held in May 2017
Laserlab and ELI Training weeks held at the CLF
During 21st November – 2nd December the CLF hosted 12 scientists from across Europe for a two week training school on performing High Power Laser (HPL) experiments.
Symposium and Workshop on correlative light, electron, and X-ray microscopy
PRL front cover for rapidly spinning laser beams theory
An international research team led by researchers at Instituto Superior Técnico (IST) in Portugal and the CLF Plasma Physics Group has unravelled a concept to generate photons that whirl at high speed.
Funding confimed for CLF-Czech partnership
Funding confirmed for major CLF-Czech partnership for 'next generation' laser centre
New research overturns decades of thinking on how Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR) signals
Four decades of thinking on signal transduction has been overturned thanks to a research project involving contributions from scientists and engineers in the UK.
Hydrogen Bonding Comes to the Rescue
Experiments on Artemis have studied the role of hydrogen bonding in safeguarding biomolecules against the damaging effects of UV light. The research is published in Physical Review Letters, and highlighted in an APS Physics synopsis article
Gemini laser contributes to new way to manipulate beams of protons
A targeted way to manipulate beams of protons accelerated using ultrashort and ultra-intense laser pulses has been demonstrated by a team of researchers led by the University of Strathclyde and performed using the Gemini laser
Band gap control of a two-dimensional semiconductor
An international collaboration working on Artemis has shown how the electronic properties of a two-dimensional semiconductor layered on graphene can be controlled by light
Designer nanomaterials caught by laser Octopus
Researchers using the CLFs Octopus facility have discovered a new way of observing designer nanomaterials - materials that are 400 times smaller than a human hair