09 September 2009 University of Bristol
Quietest Room in the World Opens its Doors
The ''ultra-low vibration suite'', which cost £11million, allows scientists to manipulate atoms and molecules without the interference of environmental vibrations interrupting their work.
There is virtually no air movement inside the cutting edge laboratory, which is anchored to the rock foundation in the basement of the Nanoscience and Quantum Information Centre in Bristol .
Dr David Carberry prepares an experiment in the new Bristol University building
The building's architecture prevents the penetration of echo and sound waves inside the building, despite its location in the Bristol city centre.
Meanwhile, its exterior panels are made from 'self-cleaning' glass, that uses nano-particles to break down dirt.
The Centre will be used for a range of experiments, from looking for solutions to greener power production to better ways to battle cancer.
Architects Willmott Dixon South West and Wales designed and built the centre for the University of Bristol .
Managing director Neal Stephens said: ''Due to the stringent and exacting nature of nanoscience, the new facility had to meet the most detailed constraints for vibration and acoustics.
''An extremely controlled environment is paramount with almost zero vibration, acoustic and air movements.
''The demands, therefore, for quality in construction and delivery were second-to-none.
''We anticipate that this state-of-the-art facility will attract very considerable interest, not only from scientists but also those keen to learn more about the unique challenges faced by the construction team and the ways in which they were overcome.''
Architect Iain Martin, who also worked on the building, added: ''Although technically complex, it has exceeded expectations by becoming 'the quietist building in the world' in terms of vibration performance.
''For the scientists, it is a beautiful building for this reason alone.''
Nanotechnology is the study of the manipulation and control of matter on an atomic and molecular scale.
Because of the size of the materials involved complete stillness is essential to an experiment's success.
Materials studied are usually between one and 100 nanometers in size - up to one one-hundred-thousandth of the thickness of a piece of paper.
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