The high-energy beams of the ISIS accelerators produce intense pulses of neutrons. Neutrons are uncharged constituents of atoms and penetrate materials well, deflecting only from the nuclei of atoms.
Neutrons play a definitive role in understanding the material world. They can show where atoms are and what atoms do. By scattering neutrons off sample materials, scientists can visualise the positions and motions of atoms and make discoveries that have the potential to affect almost every aspect of our lives.
Neutron scattering is a unique research and analysis technique for exploring the structure and dynamics of materials at the nanoscale. The process of neutron scattering is non-destructive and produces results that cannot be achieved by other techniques.The many neutron beamline at ISIS are individually optimised for the study of different types of matter. Hundreds of experiments are performed annually at ISIS by visiting researchers from around the world, in diverse science areas.
Neutrons are used to study the dynamics of chemical reactions at interfaces for chemical and biochemical engineering, food sciences, drug synthesis and molecular biology.
Neutrons can probe deep into solid objects such as turbine blades, gas pipelines and welds to give a unique microscopic insight into the strains and stresses that affect the operational lifetimes of these crucial engineering components.
Neutron studies of nano-particles, low-dimensional systems and magnetism impact upon next generation computer and IT technology, data storage, sensors and superconducting materials.