Neutron Physics and Neutron Instrumentation

course ID





14 Weeks

Semester DD


Course details

1 . The neutron as an elementary particle.

- Discovery of the neutron.

- Main properties of the neutron.

2 . Neutron sources.

- Laboratory Sources, Reactors and Spallation Sources.

3 Instrumentation for neutron scattering

- Tablets, moderators , beamlines components.

- Detectors for neutron.

- direct nuclear reactions, compound nucleus, the resonances.

-neutron cross sections.

- methods for the detection of slow neutrons.

- methods for the detection of fast neutrons and spectroscopy.

- Direct geometric instrumentation.

- Inverse geometric instrumentation.

4 . Neutron scattering

- Theory of nuclear scattering of slow neutrons: generality. The scattering cross section. The Born approximation and scattering by a single nucleus. Definition of total cross section, partial and double differential

- Elastic scattering and Bragg diffraction.

-  Inelastic scattering ( coherent and incoherent )

-  Spectroscopy of neutrons, electrons and X.

-  Coherent and incoherent cross section.

-  Dynamic structure factor.

- Scattering from liquid and amorphous. Spectroscopy of neutrons, electrons and X.

-  Strongly inelastic scattering: Deep Inelastic Neutron Scattering (DINS).

5 . Neutron scattering applied to the study of condensed matter and materials

- Radiography (Imaging) and neutron tomography.

- Soft Error in electronic devices caused by the interaction with fast neutrons.

-Study of bulk residual stresses in material of historical and artistic interest.



The course of study aims at providing advanced preparation of Neutron Physics and Applications - with knowledge of specialized research topics on materials and biomaterials that take place at Research Neutron Infrastructures (ISISI, ILL, SNS, ESS, etc ..) - and design of neutron instrumentation (beam lines): properties of neutrons and of the main neutron sources, of components (nameplates, moderators, guides) and of experimental lines;knowledge of neutron and the main neutrons sources properties, of the components (tags, moderators, guides) and experimental lines; understanding of the theory about elastic and inelastic slow neutron scattering and of the theory about inelastic scattering of fast neutrons (the eV and MeV); knowledge of slow and fast neutron scattering applied to the study of condensed matter and materials: X-ray (imaging) and neutron tomography, Soft Error in electronic devices caused by interaction with atmospheric neutrons; residual bulk stresses study in materials and in artifacts of historical and artistic interest.

Students must have an in-depth understanding of the basic concepts and the most important theories of neutron diffusion and design of components of neutron beam lines and related experimental problems. The verification of knowledge and understanding is done through hands on and oral tests.

Students must be able to identify the essential elements of an even complex neutron diffusion experiment, be able to model it and propose experimental solutions to make it happen. Students must be able to adapt existing models to new experimental data.

COMMUNICATION SKILLS: Students must be able to communicate their knowledge acquired during the course in a clear, correct and unambiguous way. Students must be able to work in an interdisciplinary group and present their research or the results of a bibliographic search to an audience of both specialists and non-specialists. This aspect will be promoted by dedicating 10-15 minutes of each lesson to the revision, and to the possible clarification, of the concepts acquired during the previous lesson and stimulating the students to participate in a class discussion.

LEARNING SKILLS: The student must have acquired adequate skills for the further development and deepening of skills in the area of ​​neutron diffusion and instrumentation through consultation of databases and available scientific literature. Students must be able to tackle new fields through independent study. They must acquire the ability to continue their studies in a research doctorate and / or specialization schools and / or at work. The assessment of learning ability is evaluated during lessons and during oral exams.

Students must be able to independently perform experiments, calculations or numerical simulations. Develop the ability to perform bibliographic searches and to select interesting materials, in particular on the WEB. They must be able to take responsibility for both project planning and facility management. Having achieved an adequate level of ethical awareness in research and in professional activities. These skills are acquired during the study for the preparation of the exams, deepening some specific topics also with the consultation of articles in journals.