Neutron scattering is a unique tool for probing the structure and dynamics of materials. Its applications span a wide spectrum ranging from determining vector magnetization in artificial layered structures to exploring the dynamics of polymer reptation and magnetic excitations in high temperature superconductors. The power of the technique stems from the distinct properties of the neutron and its interaction with matter.
However, the information obtained from neutron scattering techniques depends not only on the interaction of neutrons with the probed sample but also on the apparatus used. The magnetic moment of the neutron allows it to interact with magnetic fields which can thus be used as a design element in neutron scattering instrumentation. Smart designs of magnetic fields in neutron scattering spectrometers permit controlled manipulation of the neutron spin, expanding the information that can be obtained from scattering measurements. Our group focuses on designing, building and implementing equipment that exploits the neutron spin for enhanced structural characterization of materials.
About polarized neutron research at CEEM
The Center for the Exploration of Energy and Matter (CEEM) hosts several projects involving polarized neutrons. The development of Spin Echo Scattering Angle Measurement (SESAME) and the Asterix upgrade project (both funded by the DOE) are led by Prof. Roger Pynn. Development of Spin Exchange Optical Pumping (SEOP) for 3He polarizers, also funded by the DOE, is led by Prof. Mike Snow, while the development of neutron spin manipulation devices, funded by the NSF, is led by Pynn, Prof. D. V. Baxter and Dr. W. Hamilton of Oak Ridge National Labortaory. (See Research Activity)
The Polarized Neutron Beamline is set up at the Low Energy Neutron Source (LENS) in the Center for Exploration of Energy and Matter (CEEM) at Indiana University Bloomington. In addition to SESAME experiments, the beamline is also used for testing new polarized neutron devices such as a 3He neutron polarizer, a high Tc Cryoflipper and a device for Spherical Neutron Polarimetry.
Our group's research activity is supported by grants from the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation
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