Materials Science with Neutrons: Observe what happens inside a battery!

Perform neutron diffraction and quasi-elastic neutron scattering experiments at a research facility while helping a group of scientists in the Arctic. Observe the structure of atomic layers inside a battery and see how some atoms move when it discharges.

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About This Simulation

Are you curious to find out what happens inside a battery without any fear of breaking it? And have you ever wondered why your phone runs out of power more quickly when it is cold outside? In the Materials Science with Neutrons simulation, you will learn the basics of neutrons and how they can be used as probes in materials science. You will get to perform experiments in a modern large-scale research facility that requires special permission to enter.

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. You cannot see the neutron beam with the naked eye but it can penetrate through almost any material. In our experiment it interacts weakly with the sample as it passes through it before finally being recorded in a detector. In the Materials Science with Neutrons simulation you will get to validate Bragg’s law and observe how changes in the wavelength of neutrons and the distance between atomic layers in the sample affect the scattering pattern of neutrons from your sample.

Perform a neutrons diffraction experiment

Now that you are an expert in neutron diffraction you are allowed to enter the diffraction instrument room. You will insert your sample in the cryostat and observe how the neutron diffraction pattern changes when the battery discharges at various temperatures.

Perform a QENS experiment

When neutrons hit the sample, they sometimes change energy due to inelastic or quasi-elastic processes in the sample. Understand the principles of quasielastic neutron scattering (QENS) through an interactive animation and perform an experiment on your battery sample. Will you be able to use these results to explain why the battery doesn’t work properly in the cold, and will you be able to assist the scientists on their mission in the Arctic?

Explore Materials Science with Neutrons: Observe what happens inside a battery! Virtual Lab Simulation

NEU neutron diffraction
NEU cryostat
NEU neutron research facilities
NEU Braggs law

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