How does ISIS Neutron and Muon Source work?
02 Jun 2017



​Neutrons play a definitive role in understanding the material world. They can show where atoms are and what atoms do. ​



To produce neutrons and muons, ISIS uses high-energy particle accelerators. Below is an overview video of what happens inside the ISIS machine. 

As explained in the video​, at the heart of ISIS is an 800 MeV proton accelerator producing intense pulses of protons 50 times a second. These pulses are then fired at two tungsten targets to produce neutrons through a process called spallation. Before one of the neutron targets is a carbon foil that acts as a secondary target to produce muons for experiments. For more information on these particles, read our guides "What is a neutron?" and "What is a muon?". 

A detailed explanation of how the ISIS machine works can be found on our "How ISIS works - in depth" webpage, or in our Practical Guide to ISIS. ​