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Neutron Scattering

The revitalization of the NRL’s neutron-scattering capability is complete. This program was initiated several years ago under the direction of Professor Moncton with the assistance of research scientist, Boris Khaykovich. As a result of their efforts, the neutron-scattering capability, funded by the National Science Foundation, includes new neutron-scattering instruments, a neutron diffractometer with polarizing capabilities, and a neutron optics test station. Both instruments are operational. Professor Moncton and Dr. Khaykovich use this instrument to support a DOE-funded neutron optics research program whose goal is to develop specialized neutron-focusing optics for scattering and imaging applications. In addition, several outside groups have utilized the test station to develop novel neutron detectors.

Neutron scattering and spectroscopy are among the preeminent tools for studying the structure and dynamics of matter at the atomic and molecular scales. A powerful neutron facility, the Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s (ORNL’s) Spallation Neutron Source (SNS), is widely anticipated to revolutionize this field and enable the United States to regain leadership lost to Europe decades ago. SNS catalyzes a new generation of instrument development, a new generation of neutron scientists, and, as a result, new scientific research with neutrons.

The NRL envisions the following programs resulting from this initiative: education and training for students in basic concepts of neutron scattering; enhanced production of new materials at MIT and elsewhere by allowing rapid evaluation via neutron scattering; development of novel neutron optics components; conceptual development of new instruments for future installation at SNS; and establishment of a user facility designed to allow users from outside MIT to conduct early phases of some experiments more quickly than at large facilities, and to test and develop new neutron optics components.

 

For more information, contact Boris Khaykovich.

 

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