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Infographic: Spallation Neutron Source

ORNL's Spallation Neutron Source. Image credit: Jason Smith, ORNL

Neutrons are a precious scientific resource—electrically neutral, strongly penetrating, and energetically well matched to elementary excitations in matter. They see atoms and ions and differences in isotopic composition. They follow motions. And they reveal magnetic and electronic properties that are all but invisible to electrons and photons.

Neutrons can probe the enormous range of length and time scales important to 21st century materials and systems, looking deep inside to examine the physical properties that underpin new devices and technologies.

The Spallation Neutron Source at ORNL is the world’s most powerful source of pulsed, accelerator-based neutrons. Its primary mission is to deliver scientific tools for meeting America’s most important energy challenges.