U.S. Particle Accelerator School

Design and Engineering of Neutron and X-Ray Beamlines for Accelerator-Driven Sources course

Sponsoring University:

Vanderbilt University


Design and Engineering of Neutron and X-Ray Beamlines for Accelerator-Driven Sources


R. Kent Crawford, SNS-ORNL

Purpose and Audience
This course provides an introduction in the physics and engineering design of neutron scattering instruments with an emphasis on instruments for modern high-power pulsed spallation neutron sources. It is appropriate for anyone with a basic physics or engineering background and with an interest in how major accelerator-driven facilities such as synchrotron X-ray sources or pulsed spallation neutron sources can be applied to the study of condensed matter and materials science.

The students will be assumed to have knowledge of basic physics principles including mechanics, electricity and magnetism, and geometrical and physical optics.

The students are expected to learn the fundamental principles and processes for design of neutron and X-ray scattering instruments and how to translate these designs into engineered systems, and to gain some familiarity with the project management principles necessary for large-scale projects. Upon completion of this course, they will be able to apply this knowledge in practical examples of similar projects.

Instructional Method
The course includes a series of lectures followed by sessions with tutorial exercises on specific examples corresponding to the material of the lectures. Homework will be assigned every day and students are expected to work on it after scheduled class sessions and return it by the next day, when the problems will be solved and discussed. There will be an open-book exam during the last day. The instructor will be available at all times.

Course Content
There will be an introduction to principles of neutron and X-ray scattering, what information can be obtained with these techniques, and the scientific performance requirements for the associated instruments. This will be followed by discussions of the design of instruments meeting these requirements, beginning with a look at techniques and components for transport and conditioning of neutron and X-ray beams, shielding of these beams, and detection of the scattered particles. Then, the course will focus on the engineering challenges associated with design of the instruments, including the tolerances appropriate for various aspects of the instruments, the specification of requirements for and the design of specific instrument components, and the processes for ensuring that the instrument finally designed will satisfy the scientific requirements. Examples of actual instrument design, drawn mainly from experience at the Spallation Neutron Source (SNS) at ORNL, will be discussed in some detail to illustrate these points.

Reading Requirements
(to be provided by the USPAS): Neutron Scattering: A Primer by Roger Pynn (1990)
http://library.lanl.gov/cgi-bin/getfile?19-01.pdf or http://la-science.lanl.gov/cat_materials.shtml#neutron

Performance Evaluation
Students will be evaluated based on performance as follows: final exam (40% of final grade), homework assignments (60% of final grade).