New Light Source Project
aiming for unique studies of microscopic motions in matter of all kinds

Project Latest

The project is now well into its second phase; the development of a Conceptual Design for the Facility. The detailed work on this is being carried out by experts within STFC, Diamond Light Source (DLS) and at various Universities.

On the 22nd July the NLS Case (containing NLS Science Case and Outline Facility Design Report) was submitted to PALS for review.

On June 4th–5th was the first meeting of the project’s International Technical Advisory Committee at the Cockcroft Institute, Daresbury. The TAC concluded that “NLS will be a fascinating and unique new radiation source” and more importantly that it contains an “adequate balance of high level, state‑of‑the‑art technology vs. ambitious novel concepts”. A lot of detailed advice was also provided by the TAC that will be worked on between now and when a Conceptual Design Report is produced towards the end of this year.

On April 24th 2009 a meeting took place at the Royal Society London to up-date the wider scientific community on the exciting science that NLS will be able to carry out as well as present an outline design of the facility.

On the 26th November 2008 Science Board met and endorsed the recommendation of PALS for the NLS team to proceed to phase 2 and develop a conceptual design for the facility.

At the Photon Science Governing Body (PSGB) meeting in November 2008 the baseline parameters were agreed for the NLS facility which was the delivery of fundamental photons to 1 keV with a pulse repetition rate of 1 kHz.

On the 15th October the Physical and Life Sciences Committee (PALS) met and reviewed the NLS Science Case; the outcome was the recommendation to Science Board that NLS proceeds to phase 2 of the project which is to take the NLS to the conceptual design stage, and have a costed proposal ready for submission to the Large Facilities Capital Fund in autumn 2009.

The final version of the NLS Science Case was sent to the PALS committee on the 4th October and released on the web.

On the 11th September 2008 the NLS Science Case in draft form was released to the science community for comments at the Synchrotron Radiation User meeting and on the web, with an e-mail announcement.

We are very grateful to a large number of members of the UK and International Science Community who participated in this process through membership of Working Groups, presenting at or attending Workshops, participating in discussions and communicating their views.

Working Groups met during June and July 2008 to further examine the drivers for a New Light Source in these science areas.

A series of Science Consultation workshops were held during May and June 2008: the talks from these can be found via the links opposite.
The NLS project was formerly launched in April 2008 by the Science and Technology Facilities Council at the Royal Society London.

Project Information


The present project is jointly supported by STFC and DLS coupled to strong HEI involvement. Professor Jon Marangos of Imperial College has been charged with leading the project. Professor Richard Walker of Diamond and Dr Greg Diakun Daresbury Laboratory are the Source and Project Manager’s respectively. The consultation across a wide range of disciplines is coordinated by the NLS science coordinators and members of the NLS Project Board. The project is overseen by a Project Board chaired by Professor Tim Wess. Professor Mike Dunne and Dr John Womersley act as the project Customer and project Sponsor respectively on behalf of STFC.