Articles and books on the neutron history

History - books History - books

In this section you can find actual articles and books written on the history of the world's neutron facilities and neutron scattering techniques.

The materials here presented were kindly provided to us by the facilities.

Have you got an interesting article about a neutron source or on the history of one of the neutron scattering techniques? Please send it to and we will publish it here.

Asia Pacific

Neutrons in Australia

 History of neutrons at ANSTO

History of neutrons at ANSTO

History of neutrons at HIFAR

History of neutrons at HIFAR

Europe

History of neutrons at Harwell

History of neutrons at Harwell

History of neutrons at Harwell

  • 1960s (98 kB)
    By Derry Jones
  • 1970 (585 kB)
    By Peter Egelstaff
  • 1975 (869 kB)
    By C. G. Windsor and R. N. Sinclair
  • 1978 report on the 'Neutron Beam Instruments at Harwell':
    By A.H. Baston and D.H.C. Harris
  • 1990 (194 kB)
    By Mike Hutchings
  • Harwell Laboratory Neutron Scattering Instrumentation and Ancillary Equipment for Sale:
    By Mike Hutchings

Picture: September 1973. Margaret Thatcher, Minister of Education visits the Badger diffractomoeter in Harwell. David Worcester is on the right. Walter Marshal is between him and Margaret Thatcher, Graham Low is on the left. (from the Harwell Bulletin, kindly sent to G. Saccai by DW).

History of neutrons at the ISIS Spallation Source

History of neutrons at the ISIS Spallation Source

History of neutrons at HZB

History of neutrons at HZB

History of neutrons at ILL

History of neutrons at ILL

History of neutrons at ILL

  • Paul Ageron’s 1964 paper on the design of the High-flux reactor
    Mentioned on p. 4 of the Guthleben pdf is the famous paper presented at the 1963 Geneva Conference and describing the proposed reactor in Grenoble. Although, some of the design was based on the BNL HFBR, then under construction, there were many unique features to the proposed ILL design, especially of the cold source. Paul Ageron went on to a long and distinguished career at the ILL, see: Ageron Obituary

History of neutrons at Munich

History of neutrons at Munich

History of neutrons at Petten

History of neutrons at Petten

History of neutrons at Petten

Some remarks on the Petten (Holland) High-Flux-Reactor

After the end of WWII, the promise of nuclear energy spurred many countries to start programmes connected with nuclear energy. Holland was no different, and in fact in the country two centers were started. The largest at Petten has been in use since Nov. 1961 and since 1970 runs at 45 MW. The reactor was furnished by Allis-Chalmers.

The HFR is now the property of the European Commission and is operated by the Nuclear Research and Consultancy Group (NRG). The life span of the current HFR will end soon and it is hoped that a new reactor (Pallas) will be constructed on the site.

A recent presentation by G-J de Haas from 2013 (see A) gives an overview of present activities, the most important of which are neutron irradiations of materials and the production of medical isotopes. Further details, especially of the connection to the fusion programme of the European Commission can be found in the Annual Report from 2014 (see B).

In the early days, Dutch groups were involved at Petten in performing some pioneering scattering experiments. Perhaps the best-known work coming out of Petten was the “Rietveld Analysis”. Bob van Laar and Henk Schenk have told that story (see C).

But this was not the only work in scattering from those times, and we have acquired a translation from a Dutch historian Cees Andriesse of part of a book he wrote about the history of the Petten reactor, and that is attached (see D). I appreciate his efforts to help to fill in the gaps on some of the earlier work.

The Dutch programme on neutron scattering no longer uses Petten, but the JRC of the European Commission does have a small scattering effort with two diffractometers set up for residual stress measurements that are used in activities related to nuclear component safety. An example of a recent publication is attached (see E). In addition, Carsten Ohms has given the link to his thesis work, performed at Petten.

https://repository.tudelft.nl/islandora/object/uuid%3A75b3e3a8-399c-4584-ad7b-647a76908415?collection=research

I would be happy to receive any further comments on the History of Petten’s HFR for the website.

Gerry Lander, July 2018

  1. G-J de Haas Presentation 2013
  2. Annual Report 2014
  3. Powder profile refinement at Petten – a history
  4. History of the Petten reactor – Cees Andriesse
  5. Residual stress from Petten 2016 – Sz. Szávai

History of neutrons at Saclay

History of neutrons at Saclay

History of neutrons at Saclay

History of neutrons in Switzerland

History of neutrons in Switzerland

History of neutrons in Switzerland

North America

Canadian Neutron Beam Centre

Canadian Neutron Beam Centre

Canadian Neutron Beam Centre

Brockhouse and the Nobel Prize – Obituary (291 kB)
By E.C. Svensson and J.M. Rowe. Courtesy of the Canadian Neutron Beam Centre.

Canada's Neutron Source, the NRU reactor, closes (1.15MB)
Daniel Banks, Neutron News, 29(2), 25-31

Argonne National Laboratory

Argonne National Laboratory

Argonne National Laboratory

How Argonne's Intense Pulsed Neutron Source Came to Life and Gained Its Niche (548 kB)
The View from an Ecosystem Perspective. By Catherine Westfall. Published in Historical Studies in the Natural Sciences 40 (2010): 350-98.

National Institute of Standards and Technology

National Institute of Standards and Technology

The History of the Brookhaven National Laboratory (several files)

The History of the Brookhaven National Laboratory (several files)

The History of the Brookhaven National Laboratory (several files)

  • Reactor Research in the 1950s (6 MB)
    In Making Physics: A Biography of Brookhaven National Laboratory, 1946-1961 (chapter 8, 152-176) by Robert P. Crease
  • Reactor Research in the 1950s (4 MB)
    In Making Physics: A Biography of Brookhaven National Laboratory, 1946-1961 (chapter 8, pp. 177-199) by Robert P. Crease
  • The High Flux Beam Reactor (5 MB)
    In Making Physics: A Biography of Brookhaven National Laboratory, 1961-1972 (chapter 12) by Robert P. Cease

Photo by BNL.

History of Oak Ridge National Laboratory

History of Oak Ridge National Laboratory

History of Oak Ridge National Laboratory

World

Download Neutron Spectroscopy: How it all began (930 kB)
By Laurence Passell, BNL. Article prepared for a Los Alamos Workshop held at the Lawrence Berkeley Lab (LBL) in California in the late 1980s.
Download The birth of time-of-flight neutron powder diffraction at pulsed sources (544 kB)
By Izabela M. Sosnowska. Published on Crystal Research and Technology 50(9-10) (2015), 705–715

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