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Where the name Shen Kuo comes from:

One of the world's greatest scientists, Shen Kuo (Cunzhong aka Meng Xi Zhang Ren) lived from 1031 to 1095. He is best known as the person to discover the magnetic declination of the north pole along with his experiments with magnetic needles. His work is a pivotal moment in the development of compass navigation - predating european practices by several centuries.

As an astronomer, he also measured the distance between the polestar and true north. He mapped the orbital paths of the planets as well as the moon, but in addition, he was also a geologist, botanist, engineer, mathematician, poet and musician. Far ahead of the rest of the inventors and visionaries of his time, he wrote about climate change, cameras and moveable type printing hundreds of years before Johannes Gutenberg.

His incredible range of interests and subjects produced geographical atlases as well as treatises on military tactics, optics, beaurocratic administration, musical harmonics, pharmacology, botany, mineralogy, zoology and meteorology. Much of his work is gathered in a collection entitled Dream Pool Essays.

About the Magnetic Containment Laboratory:

The original buildings were constructed in 1957 at the height of the "Atomic Age," but were always financed and supported as an international research facility. Beginning with the premise of creating the most powerful magnetic field on Earth and studying its potential applications, the SKM Lab spent decades developing the concept of a "field containment enclosure" to house an atomic reactor.

Unlike traditional reactors using thick walls of lead and concrete to enclose dangerous radiation, the revolutionary SKM containment incorporates an ultra-powerful, magnetic barrier. Housed inside the main dome, the "field" exhibits no visible sign of its existence, but even though it cannot be seen, it is stronger and safer than any physical substance currently known to science. No force can penetrate it, melt it, or alter its boundaries.

SKM Containment
The main dome of  the
magnetic containment reactor