About the Workshop

What can you do with neutrons?

Clifford Shull and Bertram N. Brockhouse were awarded the 1994 Nobel Prize in Physics "for pioneering contributions to the development of neutron scattering techniques." Today neutron scattering is a powerful suite of scientific tools for determining atomic and spin structure and dynamics and is widely used in condensed matter physics, materials science, materials chemistry, polymer science, biological sciences, and engineering. Neutron scattering experiments can be completed at a number of facilities spanning the globe, including the Spallation Neutron Source (SNS) and High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). Today the number of active neutron users in Europe outnumbers those that are active in the US, therefore there is a need to increase the number of neutron scattering users in the US to take advantage of the rapid growth in the capacity at the neutron scattering facilities in the US.

To address this challenge a Workshop will be held on the 16th of May, 2012 at ORNL in the Joint Institute for Neutron Sciences. The goal of this workshop is to introduce the capabilities and opportunities of neutron scattering techniques to scientists with little or no neutron scattering experience.


  • Presenting examples of scientific problems that have been solved by neutrons in determining hard and soft matter structure and dynamics
  • Thematically arranged breakout lecture sessions (Condensed Matter, Soft Matter, Biology)
  • Working lunch allowing one-on-one discussions with instrument scientists to identify how neutrons can be used to solve participants’ scientific problems.
  • Parallel thematic Round table discussions led by expert panels.
  • Detailing the process of writing a proposal to obtain neutron scattering time.
  • Elaborating the process of planning and executing an experiment.
  • Hands-on Experimental Training

This workshop will include panel discussions, with the goal of allowing all participants an opportunity to explore how they might apply neutron methods to address the challenges in their research. By the end of the Workshop, the attendees should have the vision and knowledge to prepare their own beam line proposal for performing experiments at the HFIR and SNS at ORNL or other neutron facilities.

Target Audience:

Faculty members, research scientists, and postdocs are welcome to apply. Senior PhD students may also be considered subject to availability of funds for the workshop. Once accepted, travel and lodging expenses will be reimbursed if coming from an EPSCoR state. 

Funding for this workshop is provided by the Department of Energy, Office of Basic Energy Sciences, through the EPSCoR Grant DE-FG02-08ER46528, and by the UT-ORNL Joint Institute for Neutron Sciences (JINS).