Diamond Light Source is the UK's national synchrotron science facility, located at the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus in Oxfordshire.
Researchers can bring in anything from a biological sample, food stuff, through to the heart of a turbine blade, parts of the Mary Rose ship and a paint chip from a Rembrandt painting. People can also look at samples of materials to understand their magnetic properties, such is in the development of hard discs.
One of the hottest topics in material science at the moment is Graphene, but it is difficult to work with. Scientists are using Diamond to study new graphene hybrids that have 3D qualities, making them stronger and easier to make and use. Scientists are also studying the long-term atomic processes behind cathode degradation – work that could provide the scientific understanding to banish dodgy batteries for good.