Latest Science and Technology Facilities Council Stories

2009-02-25 08:25:00

Roman artifacts which are nearly two thousand years old with similarities to ancient remains found at Pompeii in Italy were examined at the Science and Technology Facilities Council's ISIS neutron source last weekend. (21-22 February 2009). Researchers hope to learn more about our heritage by discovering whether the items were imported from southern Italy, or manufactured using similar techniques in Britain. The bronze artifacts, which include a wine-mixing vessel, jugs and ceremonial...

2009-02-19 08:20:00

What convinced Galileo 400 years ago that the Earth orbits the Sun and not vice-versa?  How did one man make such a startling discovery, armed with just a 2 inch lens telescope? To mark the UK launch of the International Year of Astronomy (IYA 2009) in the UK, the Royal Astronomical Society (RAS), the Institute of Physics (IOP) and the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) have surveyed the UK public to ask what Galileo is remembered for... and most people don't know. In the...

2009-01-21 11:00:00

Cosmic-rays detected half a mile underground in a disused U.S. iron-mine can be used to detect major weather events occurring 20 miles up in the Earth's upper atmosphere, a new study has revealed. Published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters and led by scientists from the UK's National Centre for Atmospheric Science (NCAS) and the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), this remarkable study shows how the number of high-energy cosmic-rays reaching a detector deep...

2008-12-16 11:26:38

UK scientists have successfully demonstrated energy recovery on the ALICE advanced particle accelerator design, potentially paving the way for new accelerators using a fraction of the energy required under conventional methods. At 2am on 13 December, ALICE's superconducting linear accelerator accelerated electrons to 99.9% of the speed of light, creating a beam with a total energy of 11 million electron volts. This was the first time the ALICE beam had been successfully transported around the...

2008-12-11 12:10:00

Moons outside our solar system with the potential to support life have just become much easier to detect, thanks to research by an astronomer at University College London (UCL). David Kipping, whose work is funded by the UK's Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), has found that such moons can be revealed by looking at wobbles in the velocity of the planets they orbit. His calculations, which appear in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society today (11th December), not...

2008-11-25 15:05:00

An organic sugar molecule that is directly linked to the origin of life has been located in a relatively hospitable part of the galaxy, scientists said. Glyceraldehyde is a molecule with significant ties to the origins of life, as it can react to form ribose, a key constituent of the nucleic acid RNA. "This is an important discovery as it is the first time glycolaldehyde, a basic sugar, has been detected towards a star-forming region where planets that could potentially harbor life may...

2008-11-18 10:15:57

A major milestone has been achieved in the completion of the UK's next-generation particle accelerator, ALICE, which is set to produce an intense beam of light that will revolutionize the way in which accelerator based light source research facilities will be designed in the future. To mark the occasion, ALICE was visited today, 13 November 2008, by His Royal Highness The Duke of Kent as part of his visit to the Daresbury Science and Innovation Campus. ALICE is based at the Science and...

2008-11-11 15:05:21

The world's newest "super microscope" at Isis in Oxfordshire will allow scientists to see things 10,000 times thinner than a human hair. The machine is known as a pulsed neutron source. And now that the second target station "Isis 2" is open, up to 40 different experiments can run side by side. Physicists from around the world are flying in to seek an audience with the oracle, which resides at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, at Harwell Science and Innovation Campus. "Essentially, it's a...

2008-10-24 10:25:00

Research that has provided a deeper understanding into the center of planets could also provide the way forward in the world's quest for cleaner energy. An international team of scientists, led by the University of Oxford, working alongside researchers at the Science and Technology Facilities Council's (STFC) Central Laser Facility, has gained a deeper insight into the hot, dense matter found at the center of planets and as a result, has provided further understanding into controlled...

2008-08-13 13:35:00

Diamonds from Brazil have provided the answers to a question that Earth scientists have been trying to understand for many years: how is oceanic crust that has been subducted deep into the Earth recycled back into volcanic rocks? A team of researchers, led by the University of Bristol, working alongside colleagues at the STFC Daresbury Laboratory, have gained a deeper insight into how the Earth recycles itself in the deep earth tectonic cycle way beyond the depths that can be accessed by...

Word of the Day
  • To stammer.
  • Present participle of maffle, to stammer.
  • A simpleton.
The word 'maffle' may come from a Dutch word meaning 'to move the jaws' or a French word meaning 'having large cheeks'.