July 20th, 2017

Full-stack software for cutting-edge science

Development Tools, Enterprise Architecture, Java App Dev, Open Source, others, Programing, by admin.

Have you ever wondered about the software used in big science facilities? A professional science facility brings together incredibly sophisticated machinery with equally complex software, which is used to do things like drive motors, control robots, and position and run experimental detectors. We also use software to process and store the terrabytes of data created by daily science experiments.

In this article you’ll get an inside look at the software infrastructure used at Diamond Light Source (Diamond), which is the UK’s national synchrotron. I’ll take you through the process of setting up a new experiment, running it, and storing the data for analysis, then I’ll introduce each component of Diamond’s Java- and Python-based stack. I think you’ll find it interesting, and possibly learn about technologies that could be useful to your business. I am excited to show you how science labs are using familiar technologies in new ways.

Laboratory science isn’t what it used to be

It’s likely that you’ve heard of at least one large, famous science facility investigating cutting edge physics or nuclear fusion–facilities like Fermilab , CERN, NIF, or ITER. Unless you’re a real science geek, it’s less likely that you know about synchrotrons and neutron sources. These are facilities designed to discover thousands of smaller but extremely useful facts each year, like the structure of proteins used in medicine, or of fan blades used for a jet engine.

Diamond Light Source, is one such facility. There are many others throughout the world.

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