And there are many scenic delights to discover, not least the 63 beaches and the rare quokka – an adorable marsupial that looks like a pint-sized kangaroo.The small east coast town of Coral Bay is the gateway to the beautiful protected marine site of Ningaloo Reef.QUOKKA is very similar in the spirit to the 40-metre D22 instrument at Institut Laue Langevin in Grenoble, France and the 30-metre instruments on NG3 and NG7 at the National Institute for Standards and Technology in Gaithersburg in the USA.More recently, user demand for small-angle neutron scattering has been such that two further small-angle neutron scattering instruments have been funded and are in or close to user operation: the KOOKABURRA ultra-SANS instrument (operating) and the BILBY time-of-flight SANS instrument (in commissioning).Natural landscapes vary from secluded hideaway beaches and epic coral reefs rivalling those of Queensland’s Great Barrier Reef, to beautiful vineyards and stunning rock formations so unique it is hard to believe they were formed by nature.It’s here that the Indian Ocean meets the Southern Ocean, and the miles of coastline are so beautifully quiet that even the kangaroos can’t resist chilling out on the beach. Summer, from December to February, is warm, sunny and dry, whilst winter, June to August, can be wet but mild. The far north experiences monsoon rains from November to April.Highlights include the Bungle Bungle range – pre-historic beehive-shaped sandstone; and the waterfalls and lakes of Kununurra.
Small-angle scattering is a powerful technique for looking at sizes and structures of objects on the nanoscale (1-10nm), like polymer molecules, biological molecules, defect structures in metals and ceramics, pores in rocks, magnetic clusters, magnetic flux lines in type-II superconductors and so on.
In many ways our most important beam instrument at OPAL is the QUOKKA small-angle scattering instrument.