The Physics department’s new Beecroft Building, finished this summer, was officially declared open in a ceremony on Monday.
The Capital Projects team within Estates Services managed the £50m building’s construction. It contains extensive teaching, discussion and collaborative working space for theoretical physics, as well as world-leading experimental facilities that will let Oxford’s physicists probe the fundamental structure of the universe in more detail than ever before and pursue long-standing goals like building a better quantum computer.
To do this they need complete isolation from vibrations and other interference from the surrounding world, and this is what the Beecroft’s deep basement laboratories offer. They can maintain a constant temperature to within a tenth of a degree and reduce the amount of vibration to the width of a few atoms – this enables scientists to detect and isolate the interference from the M40 motorway, more than nine miles away.
The Beecroft can accommodate some 200 physicists; it contains 72 kilometres of electric wiring, 760 tonnes of steel and 155 kilometres of high-speed data cable.