Early neutron diffraction imaging, 1940s

Early neutron diffraction imaging, 1940s

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Credit: Oak Ridge National Laboratory, courtesy EMILIO SEGRE VISUAL ARCHIVES/AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF PHYSICS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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Caption: Early neutron diffraction imaging. Neutron diffraction image of the structure of crystals of sodium chloride (NaCl, table salt). The crystallography principle used here is the same as that used in X-ray diffraction, but using neutrons instead of X-rays. Particles such as neutrons can behave as waves as well as particles and this image was among the first such taken with neutrons. It was obtained by Ernest Omar Wollan (1902-1984) who after the Manhattan Project worked on neutron diffraction from 1946 at what would later be Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Wollan worked with Clifford Shull, with Shull sharing the 1994 Nobel Prize in Physics for this work.

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