ORNL Review: Science Area

Science Area: Neutron Science

Neutrons peer into a running engine

In a first-of-a-kind experiment, researchers used neutrons to investigate the performance of a new aluminum alloy in a gasoline-powered engine—while the engine was running. A team from the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory worked with industry partners to perform the test,...

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Strunk named top scientist at ORNL’s Awards Night ceremony

Bill Strunk of ORNL’s Nuclear Science and Engineering Directorate received the ORNL Director’s Award for Outstanding Individual Accomplishment in Science and Technology during the Laboratory’s Awards Night event Nov. 18 at the Knoxville Convention Center. Strunk was recognized for exemplary...

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The short life of a neutron

Although the neutron is a senior citizen of sorts, whose existence was predicted in 1920 and confirmed in 1932, it’s still not fully understood. It was James Chadwick of Cambridge’s Cavendish Laboratory who, after nearly a decade of experimentation, devised a method to detect these particles,...

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Beautiful refueling

It produces more than 2 million billion neutrons each second through an area less than half the size of a dime, providing researchers with the Western world’s highest reactor-based neutron flux. Its neutron scattering stations allow scientists to better understand the structure and dynamics of...

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Rocks and neutrons

The world below our feet can be as important as the one we see around us. It provides many things we need, including drinking water, but it also carries contaminants that poison that water. Much of what we know about underground contamination comes from scientists such as geochemist David...

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Q&A: Sleuthing with Neutrons

Paul Langan is the associate laboratory director for neutron sciences at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. He came to ORNL in April 2011 as a senior scientist and director of the Center for Structural Molecular Biology. In October of that year he became founding director of the Neutron Sciences...

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Infographic: Spallation Neutron Source

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...

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HFIR turns 50

At 2:22 PM on August 25, 1965, the High Flux Isotope Reactor achieved criticality for the first time.  Just over a year later, HFIR reached its design power of 100 megawatts, delivering the highest neutron flux of any research reactor in the world.   As its name implies, HFIR’s primary...

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