This is a bit of a departure from my usual type of blog, which tends to be about free events in London.
Yesterday, we visited the Diamond Light Source at Harwell in Oxfordshire. Diamond is a synchrotron which uses electrons to produce intense sources of light, and scientists use the light to make detailed images of anything from fossils to human tissue.
Every so often, the plant is shut down for maintenance work and upgrades, and it is during these periods that it is sometimes open to members of the public.
We had a behind the scenes tour of the machinery, but, for me, the real interest was in the displays in the entrance hall, and the scientists who explained the importance of their work. One group of scientists from UMIST had used the light source to make a very detailed study of the porosity of human bones, and they were now developing new materials to use in knee operations and other procedures.
Yes, this was a free event, and it is open again today. Highly recommended.
The only problem after such a day out is the long and tedious journey back into London, but yesterday this was made easier by a group of cyclists on Waterloo Bridge, who managed to bring a smile to our faces!