Particle Physics Masterclass 2012

The year 13s were given a brilliant tour of ISIS. ISIS experiments use neutrons and muons to investigate the properties of materials at the atomic level. Click here for more information:

Dr Dan Faircloth started our visit with a lecture about ISIS.

Areas of research carried out at ISIS.

ISIS is a giant microscope for looking at atoms in materials, where atoms are and what atoms do.

Neutrons are useful because materials such as metals are transparent to neutrons. The picture below shows a liquid inside a metal container.

Neutron techniques have distinct benefits:

Neutron studies can range from distances between atoms (0.1 nanometres) to those associated with the structures of large molecular arrays (over 500 nanometres).

Neutrons are penetrating enough to reach deep inside a sample.

They are non-destructive so can be used on delicate biological samples.

Neutrons are very sensitive to light atoms such as hydrogen.

Atoms such as hydrogen, in a selected sample component, can be substituted by a variant with different number of neutrons in the nucleus – an isotope – which scatters differently and so picks out that component.

The structure of surfaces and interfaces can be revealed by bouncing neutrons off them – the technique of neutron reflectometry.

Because neutrons have a magnetic moment, they are sensitive to the often subtle electronic structure of magnetic and superconducting materials.

ISIS have been investigating spider webs.

Our tour of ISIS.

Dinesh, Nithus, Devan, Antony, Anish, Arjun, Abdi and our guide.

Devan, Dinesh, Arjun, Anish, Nithus, Antony and Abdi.

Abdi admiring the view.

Abdi, Nithus, Arjun, Anish, Devan, Mr Clark and Dinesh.

Dinesh, Devan, Antony and our guide.

ISIS control room.

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