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Tag archives: neutrons

Putting China at the forefront of neutron science

The China Spallation Neutron Source in Dongguan, China

The target station for the China Spallation Neutron Source in Dongguan, China.

By Michael Banks in Dongguan, Guangdong province, China

Today I took the 60 km trip north from Shenzhen to Dongguan – home of the China Spallation Neutron Source (CSNS).

China has two nuclear reactors that generate neutrons for research via nuclear fission, but the CSNS is the country’s first spallation source. This type of facility accelerates protons before smashing them into a target to produce copious amounts of neutrons. They are then sent to numerous instruments that are used by researchers to study materials.


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Physics World 2015 Focus on Neutron Science is out now

By Michael Banks


For physicists who love scattering neutrons off materials, the recent ground-breaking ceremony at the European Spallation Source (ESS) in Lund, Sweden, will have been a long time coming. First proposed more than two decades ago, the ESS will – when it finally opens in 2020 – generate the world’s most intense beams of neutrons and help satisfy demand for these most useful of particles.

Neutron scattering has emerged as a mainstream scientific endeavour over the last 20–30 years, which is one reason why this month sees the first-ever Physics World focus issue on neutron science. We take a look at how researchers at the ESS are designing the facility’s tungsten target, as well as a new neutron source being built in China and how the ISIS Neutron and Muon Source in the UK is looking to bring in more users from industry.


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Quantum Cheshire cat spotted in Grenoble

An illustration of a Cheshire cat

A most curious thing is the quantum Cheshire cat. (Courtesy: iStockphoto/koffeezilla)

By Hamish Johnston

Three months ago we ran a news article about a “quantum Cheshire cat” experiment that was proposed by Yakir Aharonov of Tel Aviv University and colleagues. Now, an international team of physicists has created a quantum Cheshire cat using polarized neutrons at the Institut Laue-Langevin (ILL) in Grenoble, France.

The work was done by Yuji Hasegawa and colleagues at the Vienna University of Technology, ILL, the University of Cergy-Pontoise and Chapman University.


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Institut Laue-Langevin secures funding until 2023


Smiles all around as the Institut Laue-Langevin secures funding for the next decade (Courtesy: ILL)

Smiles all around in Paris. From left to right are ILL director-general Andrew Harrison, Hermione Gough of the British Embassy, the French minister for higher education Geneviève Fioraso and Peter Reuss of the German Embassy. (Courtesy: ILL)

By Hamish Johnston

Despite the tough economic conditions in much of Europe, scientists who use one of the continent’s leading scientific facilities have something to smile about. The UK, France and Germany have agreed to continue funding the Institut Laue-Langevin (ILL) neutron facility for at least another decade.


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View from the beamlines

By James Dacey

Photo of film shoot at ILL

This photo looks a little bit like we were filming the moment that I got down on my knee and popped the big question to Andrew Harrison, the Director General of the Institut Laue-Langevin (ILL). While that would certainly make for an intriguing story worthy of a blog entry, the truth is that earlier this week we were interviewing Harrison for a short film about his international research facility. In case you are still wondering, the reason I am kneeling is so that we could frame our shot to include the dome that houses the ILL’s nuclear reactor, where neutrons are generated.


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