The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) has announced that Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL), one of our neighbours and collaborators based here at the Harwell Campus in Oxfordshire, will provide the design for a new instrument which will help to develop our understanding of dark matter and allow us to observe gravitational waves in an entirely new frequency range.
This announcement brings into further focus the interdisciplinary nature of work here at Harwell, where teams collaborate and bring together expertise, in this case, from particle and cold atom physicists, engineers and space technologists, in order to design a 10-metre atom interferometer. This will be the first large-scale atom interferometer in the UK.
A £7 million funding injection for the Atom Interferometry Observatory and Network (AION) will help to develop a partnership with the Fermi National Laboratory in the United States. This will create a network between two instruments.
The network is led by researchers from Imperial College London.