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Central Laser Facility (CLF)

CLF is a state-of-the-art laser facility. From cancer research to clean energy experiments, its lasers help scientists to tackle the world’s challenges, both at the molecular and interstellar level.

What is it?

The CLF is one of the world’s leading laser facilities, providing scientists from the UK, Europe and further afield with an unparalleled range of cutting-edge laser technology.

From high intensity laser systems to ultra-fast sources and laser microscopy techniques, the CLF’s facilities cover a broad spectrum. Our compact, tuneable lasers can pinpoint individual particles, advancing significant research in the life sciences – cancer cell therapy and DNA damage are among the topics studied here. Meanwhile our high-power lasers are some of the most powerful in the world. Using bespoke, handmade targets that could fit on the head of a pin, these lasers are capable of recreating the conditions inside stars.

The CLF’s wide-ranging applications include experiments across the sciences. They’ve been used to accelerate subatomic particles to high energies, to probe chemical reactions on the shortest timescales, and to study life-critical biochemical and biophysical processes.

Eager to maintain its position at the forefront of laser technology, CLF is committed to advancing our technologies. It’s currently building a new facility, EPAC – the Extreme Photonics Applications Centre. EPAC will deliver a new generation of compact, super-bright, novel accelerators that will provide extensive imaging and inspection capabilities valuable to the automotive, aerospace, medical sectors, and more.

Images: with thanks CLF/STFC

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