What's so neat about neutrons?
04 Mar 2011
Yes
-  

 

No
No
 
No
No
 

If you could invent a perfect particle to find out where atoms are and what they are doing, what would it be like?

No
The neutron path through a lattice material

​​The neutron path through a material

 

Ideally it should:

• Have zero electrical charge – so it can sneak past electrons and protons
• Be able to go deep inside stuff and not just measure the surface
• Scatter about the same from any type of atom
• Have a similar size to the spaces between atoms
• Act like a little compass to sense magnetic fields

Luckily, such a particle exists. It’s called a neutron.

And it’s great for seeing light little atoms like hydrogen, where they are and what they're up to.

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