ARCHIVED - 2004 Neutron Summer School

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August 04, 2004— Ottawa, Ontario

Canada's Neutron Beam Laboratory

"Neutrons are a gentle but penetrating probe of matter, and can be used to discover much about a wide range of materials. Access to neutron spectrometers and a variety of ancillary equipment is granted free of charge to users whose research is destined for the public domain. For proprietary research, access is arranged through a simple fee-for-service agreement."

Every two years the NRC Steacie Institute for Molecular Research (NRC-SIMS) welcomes national and international researchers and students for a week-long summer school program at its unique Canadian neutron facility. NRC-SIMS operates Canada's Neutron Beam Laboratory at the National Research Universal (NRU) nuclear reactor in Chalk River, Ontario. This program is one of many NRC training and outreach activities. The summer 2004 session attracted more participants than ever – 44 attendees, including Canadian researchers and graduate students from nine Canadian universities who were joined by students and researchers from Europe, Asia and the United States.

This was the eighth time that NRC-SIMS has offered the summer school to help others incorporate neutron techniques into their research programs and to foster Canada's national competence in applying neutron scattering. Running from 20 – 25 June 2004 the summer school curriculum included morning lectures on neutron scattering, afternoon spectrometer experiments and general evening lectures that were open to the public.

NRC researcher Ron Rogge describes some principles
  NRC researcher Ron Rogge describes the principles behind the application of neutron diffraction to the measurement of stress in engineering components.

NRC scientists from Chalk River, Canadian professors, and internationally renowned speakers delivered lectures ranging from instructive topics to sessions on current research such as elastic and inelastic scattering, reflectometry, neutron optics and stress measurement of engineering materials.

An important and popular part of the summer school curriculum is the opportunity to work with spectrometers at the NRU reactor. These hands-on experiments reinforce information from lectures and generate much discussion between participants and NRC scientists who lead the demonstrations.

NRC researcher Ron Donaberger illustrates an interaction
  NRC researcher Ron Donaberger (right) illustrates how a neutron interacts with a sample on the spectrometer.

Guest speakers for the lectures included: Dr. Carty (Canada's National Science Advisor to the Prime Minister); Professor Robert Adair (Yale University); Peter Milojevic (Bruce Power); and Dr. Harry Ing (CEO of Bubble Technology Industries, a company that spun out of the NRC-SIMS's Chalk River laboratories several years ago).

Summer school participants found the curriculum content to be valuable and expressed interest in returning to the lab to conduct experiments as part of their own research programs. According to McGill University's Emily Cranston, it was "a refreshing change to have 100% of the talks given by knowledgeable, well-spoken, enthusiastic (often world renowned) scientists."

Through a variety of programs and activities such as this one, NRC works to promote a strong science culture in communities across Canada.


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National Research Council of Canada
613-991-1431
media@nrc-cnrc.gc.ca

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