Neutron Scattering

10 credits

Syllabus, Master's level, 1FA574

A revised version of the syllabus is available.
Education cycle
Second cycle
Main field(s) of study and in-depth level
Materials Science A1N, Physics A1N
Grading system
Fail (U), Pass (3), Pass with credit (4), Pass with distinction (5)
Finalised by
The Faculty Board of Science and Technology, 21 October 2019
Responsible department
Department of Physics and Astronomy

Entry requirements

120 credits in science/technology with Quantum Physics. Scattering Theory is recommended.

Learning outcomes

This course introduces the basics of neutron scattering methods used for materials research.

On completion of the course the students have to be able to:

  • demonstrate knowledge of the specifics of neutron scattering methods and what they are particularly strong at.
  • classify the interactions of different probes with matter in the context of scattering cross sections.
  • bring neutron scattering into context with complementary techniques.
  • understand basic scattering theory, in particular kinematic approximation and reflectivity.
  • relate neutron scattering data to physical phenomena.
  • evaluate the applicability of a neutron scattering experiments to answer specific research questions.
  • assess the practical requirements of neutron scattering experiments with respect to instrumentation and sample design.


Coherence. Interaction of radiation and particles with matter. Scattering cross sections. Kinematic approximation. Real and reciprocal space. Scattering potential for neutrons. Coherent and incoherent scattering. Reflection measurements. Scattering function. Magnetic scattering. Contrast variation. Inelastic and quasi-elastic scattering. Production, delivery and detection of neutrons. Design of neutron instrumentation. Data processing, correction and analysis.


Lectures, lessons and laboratory sessions. Some lectures may be presented by guest lecturers from research centres. A non-compulsory excursion to neutron scattering facility will be offered. Some lectures are mandatory.


Literature based case study with written report and oral presentation (7.5 credits). Beamtime application, oral presentation and written proposal (2.5 hcp). Active participation in lectures and labs.

If there are special reasons for doing so, an examiner may make an exception from the method of assessment indicated and allow a student to be assessed by another method. An example of special reasons might be a certificate regarding special pedagogical support from the disability coordinator of the university.