Neutron Scattering: Investigating Bragg’s Law

Time to complete course: 32 min.

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About Neutron Scattering: Investigating Bragg’s Law Virtual Lab Simulation

This short, targeted simulation was adapted from the full-length Materials Science with Neutrons simulation.

Did you know your phone runs out of power more quickly when it’s cold outside? Can you investigate what happens inside a battery without breaking it? With materials science you can! In this simulation, you will learn the basics of neutrons and how they can be used as probes in materials science. You will also get to perform neutron diffraction experiments in a modern large-scale research facility.

Help scientists using neutron probing
The equipment used for environmental studies in Greenland is not working properly. Investigate the reason behind that malfunction and discover what exactly happens inside the batteries at low temperatures using neutron diffraction.

Observe the principles of neutron diffraction
Neutrons are subatomic particles found in the nucleus of most atoms. Through a high-energy process neutrons can be expelled from atoms to produce a free neutron beam that can penetrate through almost any material. In this simulation, you will validate Bragg’s Law and observe how changes in the wavelength of neutrons – and the distance between atomic layers – affect the scattering pattern of neutrons from your sample.

Perform a neutrons diffraction experiment
Having the knowledge about neutron diffraction, you will be more than ready to enter the diffraction instrument room. Prepare the sample in the cryostat and observe how the neutron diffraction pattern changes when the battery discharges at various temperatures. Analyze the results and help the scientists continue their work in Greenland.

Get Started Now

Scientists in Greenland need your help. Perform neutron diffraction experiments at a research facility and discover the effect of the low temperatures on scientific equipment. Observe the structure of atomic layers inside a battery, observe their movement, and use neutron scattering to solve the mystery!

Techniques in Lab

  • Neutron radiography (imaging)
  • Neutron diffraction

Learning Objectives

  • Distinguish the basic components of a rechargeable Li-ion battery 
  • Recognize in which cases neutrons as a probe might be preferred over x-rays in materials science
  • Understand neutron transmission imaging and its advantages in materials science  
  • Distinguish various forms of neutron interaction with a sample and the related neutron cross-sections
  • Relate atomic lattice distance in a powder sample to neutron scattering angle via Bragg’s law

Simulation Features

Length – 32 minutes
Accessibility mode – Available
Languages – English

Screenshots of Neutron Scattering: Investigating Bragg’s Law Virtual Lab Simulation


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