United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

Rutherford Appleton Laboratory
Harwell Oxford
Didcot OX11 0QX

Rutherford Appleton Laboratory


Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL) is operated by STFC and located on the Harwell Oxford Science and Innovation Campus in Oxfordshire. RAL provides a thriving and collaborative environment for research in:

  • particle physics
  • space science
  • materials
  • astronomy
  • photon science
  • computational and e-science
  • biology
  • biomedicine
  • chemistry



RAL, and the wider Harwell Oxford Campus and Innovation Campus host some of the UK’s major scientific facilities including:
Central Laser Facility (CLF) –one of the world's leading laser facilities, its high power lasers can recreate the conditions inside stars while its small, compact lasers have medical, security and environmental applications.


ISIS pulsed neutron and muon source – a pioneering research centre in the physical and life sciences, ISIS has an impact in fields such as energy, biotechnology, materials development and information technology. ISIS is helping aerospace companies assure the quality of engineering components, and medical researchers develop a glass that could replace bone transplants.


RAL Space, STFC's Space Science and Technology Department, is involved in more than 200 international space missions including Herschel, the largest space telescope ever launched, which is examining the early stages of star birth and galaxy formation Diamond Light Source Ltd – the UK national synchrotron radiation facility, Diamond generates brilliant beams of light from infrared to X-rays with applications ranging from research into diseases such as Alzheimer’s and finding new ways to clean up contaminated land.


The Satellite Applications Catapult is one of a network of seven UK technology and innovation centres which aim to drive economic growth through commercialisation of research. The vision of the Satellite Applications Catapult is to support UK industry through the acceleration of the growth of satellite applications and to contribute to capturing of a 10% share of the £400Bn global space market predicted by 2030.

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