Douglas L Abernathy

Senior scientists and group leader, Direct Geometry Spectroscopy

Doug Abernathy received his PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1993.  He was a research scientist at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility from 1993 to 1998, working at the Troika beamline ID-10, contributing to the development of coherent x-rays to study structure and dynamics in condensed matter systems.  Doug was hired by Oak Ridge National Laboratory in 1998 to work on the Spallation Neutron Source Project, initially working at the Intense Pulsed Neutron Source at Argonne National Laboratory.  From 2001 to 2007 he was the lead instrument scientist for the wide Angular-Range Chopper Spectrometer (ARCS) construction project.  Doug continues in the role of point-of-contact for ARCS at the Spallation Neutron Source (SNS), guiding the operation and development of the instrument for the benefit of the Neutron Sciences Directorate user program.

In 2020 Doug became the Group Leader for the Direct Geometry Spectroscopy Group within the Spectroscopy Section of the Neutron Scattering Division at ORNL.  This group operates the four direct geometry chopper spectrometers ARCS, CNCS, HYSPEC and SEQUOIA at the SNS, a world-leading suite of instruments covering broad scientific applications in the understanding of magnetic excitation and lattice dynamics in quantum and energy materials and other condensed matter systems.  Doug's research interests include developing neutron scattering techniques and research into exotic vibrational states in matter and the importance of phonons in the properties of energy-related materials.


2019 SNS/HFIR User Group Award for Excellence in Beam Line Science
2011 Team member for the Gordon Battelle Prizes for Scientific Discovery and Technology Impact for research on iron-based superconductors (PI: Mark Lumsden)