Neutron scattering is an experimental method of unparalleled importance when one wishes to directly probe the static and dynamic correlations between atomic nuclei or magnetic moments in hard and soft condensed matter systems. Neutron diffraction measurements tell us "where atoms are" - what are the ordered states for crystalline structure or magnetic order? Neutron spectroscopy measurements tell us "what atoms do" - what are the dynamic correlations between atomic nuclei or magnetic moments on very short time and length scales?
One of the premier neutron scattering user facilities in the United States is the NIST Center for Neutron Research, located only 50 miles from Annapolis at the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Gaithersburg, MD.
Researchers cooling down a superconducting magnet sample environment on theBT-7 thermal triple-axis neutron spectrometer at the NCNR.