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 firstname.lastname@example.org and we will publish it here.
History of neutrons at ANSTO
Tribute to Frank Moore
History of neutrons at HIFAR
History of neutrons at Harwell
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 HZB
History of neutrons at ILL
History of neutrons at Munich
History of neutrons at Delft
Delft 50th anniversary (811kB)
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.
I would be happy to receive any further comments on the History of Petten’s HFR for the website.
Gerry Lander, July 2018
History of neutrons at Saclay
History of neutrons in Switzerland
Original article and related video can be found at http://flnph.jinr.ru/en/history/history-of-reactors
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
1 Holden_CRNL 1949-1959 CP18.pdf
The First Decade of Neutron Scattering at Chalk River: 1949-59
by Thomas M. Holden
2 Greedan_CRNL 1949-2017 CP18.pdf
Powder Neutron Diffraction and Materials Chemistry/Physics Research in Canada (1949-2017)
by John E. Greedan, Christopher R. Wiebe, and Dominic H. Ryan
3 Enderle_Evidence of topological quantum state CP18.pdf
Early experimental evidence of a topological quantum state: The signature of the Haldane
ground state revealed by scattered neutrons
by Mechthild Enderle, Michel Kenzelmann, and W.J.L. (Bill) Buyers
4 Root & Banks_CNBC CP18.pdf
The Canadian Neutron Beam Centre: 1985 to the Present Day
by John Root and Daniel Banks
5 Canadian Neutron Beam Centre_2019.pdf
CANADIAN NEUTRON BEAM CENTRE – Final Activity Report
6 Banks & Harroun_Facets_2019.pdf
Seventy years of scientific impact using neutron beams at the Chalk RiverLaboratories
Daniel Banks and Thad A. Harroun
The first two decades of neutron scattering at the Chalk River Laboratories
by Thomas M. Holden in Quantum Beam Science 2021
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
The NIST Center for Neutron Research: Over 40 Years Serving NIST/NBS and the Nation (5 MB)
By John J. Rush and Ronald L. Cappelletti. Courtesy of NIST: http://www.ncnr.nist.gov/NCNRHistory_Rush_Cappelletti.pdf
The History of the Brookhaven National Laboratory (several files)
Photo by BNL.
History of Oak Ridge National Laboratory
The discovery of the neutron and its consequences Valery Nesvizhevsky and Jacques Villain
The Summer of 1954 and Paths to the Institut Laue-Langevin
by Worcester et al.
Neutron Spectroscopy: How it all began
By Laurence Passal. Article prepared for a Los Alamos Workshop held at the Lawrence Berkeley Lab (LBL) in California in the late 1980s.
The birth of time-of-flight neutron powder diffraction at pulsed sources
By Izabela M. Soshowska. Published in Crystal Research and Technology 50(9-10)(2015), 705-715.