Neutron scattering as a tool for investigating the dynamics and excitations in magnetic materials
Dr Richard Mole and Dr Kirrily Rule
Instrument Scientists, Bragg Institute,
Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation
We will give a brief introduction to the field of neutron scattering – including the properties of the neutron that are relevant to research in fields as diverse as biophysics through to condensed matter physics. We will then focus on two specific inelastic neutron scattering techniques; Time of Flight (TOF) scattering and Triple Axis Spectrometry (TAS) which are used to study dynamic behaviours in condensed matter physics and solid state chemistry. In particular we would like to emphasise that neutrons are an important tool for directly probing excitations in crystalline materials and can reveal information about the energy scales of structural and magnetic interactions.
Finally we will focus on two examples; firstly we will discuss how neutron scattering can be used to probe spin correlations in molecular nano-magnets which have been shown to display properties such as slow relaxation of magnetisation and quantum decoherence with the potential application as Qbits. Secondly we will discuss the observation of spinons and their interactions – spinons are S = 1/2 quasi particles that can be observed directly with inelastic neutron scattering.
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