Hitting targets: first neutrons at the China Spallation Neutron Source
The neutron source is located some 30 km south-east of Dongguan and is one of the largest scientific facilities in China. Construction began in 2012 and the CSNS features a 200 m-long 80 MeV linear accelerator that feeds protons into a 1.6 GeV 238 m circumference synchrotron. In July 2017, the facility managed to accelerate a proton beam to 1.6 GeV for the first time. The protons are then fired into a solid tungsten target that will produce a 100 kW beam of neutrons with 25 bunches of particles released every second.
The facility has room for a total of 20 instruments. The CSNS will initially contain three instruments – a powder diffractometer, a small-angle neutron-scattering instrument and a reflectometer. Two more instruments are in the pipeline including a high-pressure powder diffractometer and an engineering diffractometer, which is being built in collaboration with the ISIS Neutron and Muon Source in Oxfordshire, UK.
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Michael Banks is news editor of Physics World