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Title: Research Selections 2012
Keywords: Research Programs
Reporting Requirements
Research Programs
Issue Date: 1-Aug-2012
Publisher: Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation
Abstract: ANSTO is an instrument of the Australian Government committed to Australian scientists and researchers, Australian innovation and Australia’s future. ANSTO’s existence is inextricably linked to efforts to protect and sustain Australia’s environment, to improve our health, to find ways to better diagnose and treat diseases, to produce nuclear medicines and to make a contribution to the global progress of nuclear science and technology. While ANSTO’s world-class infrastructure and science platforms are a demonstration of the foresight of the Australian Government, through the work of our researchers - and our collaborative thinking and strong partnerships - we contribute significantly to momentum in scientific discovery: bringing ideas to life. Through strong collaborations great advances are made. ANSTO’s local and international partnerships, as evidenced by the articles in this year’s Research Selections, are part of a scientific network that reaches into universities, government and industry and other research organisations – all of which have a crucial contribution to make to research outcomes and, by extension, our living world. ANSTO is part of the international science and technology community and is a hub for a vibrant research engagement and discovery. Each year hundreds of the world’s top researchers who use nuclear techniques to advance knowledge head to ANSTO. These collaborations enable us to magnify our influence and reach across the geography of possibilities. Not least of all through the mechanism of collaborative agreements with international organisations thereby ensuring a gateway for Australian scientists to the best international facilities, including CERN’s Large Hadron Collider - home to the intrepid Higgs Boson particle physicists. Research Selections is a small sample of the vast amount of great science being leveraged with our infrastructure. But science doesn’t stand still. To continue to achieve great science and ensure Australia remains at the forefront of discovery and innovation, we need to develop, grow and build on existing foundations of knowledge. ANSTO is already custodian of OPAL – Australia’s only nuclear reactor and one of the best research reactors in the world. Thanks to OPAL, we are able to supply vital nuclear medicine for Australians, irradiate silicon for the global semi-conductor market and, importantly, provide neutrons enabling researchers to probe matter at the nano and atomic scale, unlocking mysteries that can lead to profound discovery. ANSTO Research Selections 2010 | 3 3 While OPAL puts ANSTO streets ahead of where it otherwise would be, we cannot and are not resting on our laurels. In April 2012, approximately100 national and international experts attended the Second OPAL Guide Hall Workshop to discuss the medium- to long-term future of OPAL, an essential step towards the full exploitation of this world-leading research infrastructure. They discussed the extremely rapid advances in neutron beam instruments over the past few years and brainstormed strategies for using these advances and building a second suite of beamlines and instruments that will be at the forefront of neutron beam capabilities. ANSTO is also taking great strides in accelerator science. Our particle accelerators ANTARES and STAR are well established for analysing the elemental composition and age of materials using ion beam analysis and accelerator mass spectrometry. Two new accelerators will be established at ANSTO, as part of our Centre for Accelerator Science which has been funded through investment by the Government. These will enhance our capabilities in, for example, radiocarbon dating on historical artefacts, environmental studies, and determining how fossil fuels are contributing to climate change. The formation of the Australian Collaboration for Accelerator Science between the Australian Synchrotron, the University of Melbourne and the Australian National University is aimed at creating and maintaining a national pool of world class facilities and accelerator expertise. This collaboration will ensure Australia remains at the leading edge of accelerator capabilities and facilities.
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