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Introduction to Neutron scattering

Prof. Markus Braden

2 h lectures: Wednesday 10.00-11.30

seminar room 201 of II. Physikalisches Instituts

start: Wednesday, October  21, 2015

Neutron scattering techniques are very efficient to analyze the  crystal and magnetic structure as well as the associated excitations in solids. The course gives an introduction to the main experimental methods and their principal methods of data treatment illustrated by examples of ongoing research. Such examples concern unconventional superconductors driven through magnetic interaction, high-temperature superconductivity, multiferroic and magnetoelectric materials, giant magneto-resistivity and skyrmions. The course starts with powder diffraction and Rietveld analysis and ends with polarization analysis of inelastic neutron scattering experiments. Note that neutron scattering is an easy-to-apply technique which is fully open to everybody as beam time can be obtained on proposal procedures. In particular the diffraction experiments to explore crystallographic issues are also relevant for students in chemistry and in mineralogy.


Lecture notes

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This lecture contains the chapters

  • introduction and neutron sources
  • basic concepts of scattering experiments
  • crystal structure determination with powder techniques
  • magnetic structure determination
  • single-crystal neutron diffraction experiments
  • spectroscopy on phonon and magnetic excitations


  • S. W. Lovesey, Theory of Neutron Scattering from Condensed Matter, Oxford (1981)
  • G. E. Bacon, Neutron Physics, Wykeham (1969)
  • G. E. Bacon, Neutron Diffraction, Oxford (1979)
  • Shirane, Shapiro & Tranquada  Neutron Scattering with a triple axis spectrometer, Cambridge (2002)
  • Izyumov, Ozerov, Magnetic Neutron Diffraction, Plenum (1970)
  • W. Marshall & S. W. Lovesey, Theory of thermal neutron scattering, Oxford (1971)
  • G. Squires, Thermal Neutron scattering Cambridge (1978)