Accelerator tour
27 Apr 2010
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Beams of neutrons and muons are used at ISIS to probe the structure and dynamics of condensed matter at microscopic scales ranging from the subatomic to the macromolecular.

No

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There are only two practical methods of generating neutrons in large enough quantities to be useful for experiments: nuclear reactors or big accelerators. 

ISIS uses the most efficient accelerator method of neutron production, which is to impact high-energy protons on a heavy metal target – a process known as spallation. 

At ISIS, around 2x1016 neutrons are created each second using a 200 µA pulsed beam´ of 800 MeV protons colliding with a tungsten target.

Accelerating particles becomes progressively more difficult with increasing energy.  A sequence of four different accelerators is required to produce protons with 800 MeV of energy.

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