China's first spallation neutron source.
China's first spallation neutron source (SNS), and the world's fourth such facility, has passed technology assessment and inspection by the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) on Sunday.
Dubbed as "super microscope," the China Spallation Neutron Source (CSNS) is a high-intensity source of protons – tiny particles found in the nucleus of atoms. It is important in understanding the characteristics and behavior of certain materials, and can be applied in a wide range of fields including life science, new energy and nanotechnology.
The research facility is operated by the Institute of High Energy Physics (IHEP), and will be crucial in scientific research and high-tech development.
Work on the CSNS began in September 2011, in Dongguan City, south China's Guangdong Province, with a total investment of around 2.3 billion yuan (364 million US dollars).
The CSNS consists of a linear proton accelerator, a rapid circling synchrotron, a target station and three neutron instruments.
"The CSNS will be a strong support for China to achieve high-level scientific results," said Chen Hesheng, manager of the CSNS project. "It provides an advanced research platform for bottleneck challenges concerning the country's sustainable development and strategic demands."
"This is the just the first step," Chen added. The second-phase project can be expected in the future.