Discovered in 1932, neutrons are one of two particle types found within the nucleus of an atom (the other being protons). Neutrons and protons each consist of three quarks held together by the strong nuclear force.
Of the techniques available for studying the structure and dynamics of matter at the smallest scales, neutron scattering is distinguished by the fact that it interacts with an atom's nucleus.
A fundamental understanding of materials is key to solving a broad array of scientific and technological problems. Neutron scattering is a vital tool in building this understanding, and ORNL facilities are critical to keeping the United States at the vanguard of materials research.