News & Features

OCTOBER 7, 2020

Geoff Greene’s lifetime is inextricably linked to that of the neutron. His tireless pursuit of this scientific mystery—finding out how long a neutron lives and what that reveals about the weak force, the Big Bang, and other fundamentals of science—has earned him the Tom W. Bonner Prize in Nuclear Physics from the American Physical Society. Greene was recognized “for foundational work establishing the field of fundamental neutron physics in the US, for developing experimental

NOVEMBER 25, 2019

By Abby Bower

John Katsaras, a biophysicist specializing in neutron scattering and the study of biological membranes at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory, had a rather unusual birthday party last year.

John Katsaras’ advances in technique, instrument and sample development for neutron
and x-ray scattering have helped answer science questions about biological membranes.

JUNE 30, 2019

At Oak Ridge National Laboratory in eastern Tennessee, physicist Leah Broussard is trying to open a portal to a parallel universe.

Leah Broussard studies subatomic particles at Oak Ridge National Laboratory,
where she will be searching for mirror matter this summer.
Credit: Genevieve Martin/Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S. Dept. of Energy

She calls it an “oscillation” that

JUNE 6, 2019

Products like cosmetics, adhesives, and paints rely on a common key component: gels. Polymer gels, a gel type with unique properties, have piqued the interest of researchers because of their potential uses in medical applications.

ORNL’s Christopher Lam holds two samples of polymer gels, which have useful
applications in medicine and consumer products. (Credit: ORNL/Genevieve Martin)

Researchers have pioneered a new technique using pressure to manipulate magnetism in thin film materials used to enhance performance in electronic devices.

Researchers developed a one-of-a-kind, high-pressure cell and used it on the Magnetism
Reflectometer beamline at ORNL’s Spallation Neutron Source to study the spatially
confined magnetism in a lanthanum-cobalt

APRIL 24, 2019

A new study provides insight into multiferroic materials, which could have substantive implications in fields such as data storage.

A close up reflection of an open hard drive disk.

The study looked at lanthanum cobaltite (LaCoOor LCO), a thin crystalline film that, once grown on a substrate, can be analyzed through electron microscopy and polarized neutron reflectometry to

DECEMBER 7, 2018

Disruptive technologies like 3D printing have made a big impact in manufacturing, in part by lowering costs and expediting production. Now, 3D printing might be making a similar impact on neutron scattering, too.

Researchers and engineers at the Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) have begun 3D printing neutron collimators—important hardware components in neutron scattering experiments. This innovation can lead to lower costs and expedited production, and the researchers say it can also enable new and improved science.

APRIL 3, 2019

During an introductory nuclear physics course her sophomore year, Elizabeth Mae Scott developed a need to understand things from their most basic, original structure. The course showed her how math becomes a language that physicists use to describe the world around them.

Graduate Student Spotlight: Elizabeth Mae Scott
University of Tennessee Department of Physics

“Fundamental physics is a

NOVEMBER 21, 2018

Leah Broussard, a physicist at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory, has so much fun exploring the neutron that she alternates between calling it her “laboratory” and “playground” for understanding the universe.

Broussard will use the approximately 23-foot-tall Nab spectrometer (green) to
perform some of the most precise measurements in neutron beta decay yet.
Image Credit: Genevieve Martin

DECEMBER 3, 2018

Scientists and engineers are always searching for ways to solve the world’s biggest challenges, such as reducing carbon emissions, creating more effective cancer treatments, and increasing energy efficiency in electronics.

Matthew Ryder is researching next-generation materials using neutron scattering
as a Clifford G. Shull Fellow at Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s
Neutron Sciences Directorate. (Image credit: ORNL/