Update: 13th October.
Seems that all the available tickets went to the mailing list subscribers before any could be offered to the public.
There will be another open day in March 2011, and the best (only?) way to get a ticket to that tour will be to sign up to their mailing list, which you can do here.
Sorry about that.
Get excited – the Diamond Light Source – the formal brandname for the UK’s synchrotron facility is offering free tours next month of their sprawling base in South Oxfordshire (map).
This is BIG SCIENCE for the fanboys (and fangirls!).
The synchrotron is basically a particle accelerator which then produce very bright beams of light which scientists use to study a wide range of material properties, structures and chemical reactions.
The UK’s Diamond’s storage ring (the main part of the accelerator) is 561 m in circumference – which explains the rather distinctive building in the photo below.
The two dates for the tours are 13th Nov 2010 and 8th Jan 2011.
If you are on their mailing list, you will be able to book a ticket today – but the rest will have to wait until Wednesday before bookings open.
Obviously, I’m on the mailing list – so have booked a slot for 11am on the November tour. Maybe will see some of you there as well.
I can’t link directly to the booking page yet as I don’t know what the public URL will be, but will try to update this blog post on Wednesday morning as soon as I see the page go live.
The facility itself is not that far from Culham, home to the UK’s fusion research centre which also offers free tours a few times per year.