Latest Issue of Science News


Neutron tie-dye

This is not just computer graphics. It’s the magnetic field of a real bar magnet, imaged using a neutron beam. Neutrons have no electric charge, which enables them to fly straight through a magnetic field and to zip through thick solids unaffected (SN: 3/18/08) But neutrons possess a magnetic moment. Like tiny bar magnets, they will tend to align their magnetic moment with that of a magnetic field. Using this fact, Nikolay Kardjilov of the Hahn–Meitner Institute in Berlin and his collaborators have scanned magnetic fields by shooting neutrons through the fields from different angles and by reconstructing a 3-D image, the way a CAT scan is assembled from different X-ray shots. The researchers have also visualized the magnetic fields inside a superconductor, as they describe in the May Nature Physics.

Note: To comment, Science News subscribing members must now establish a separate login relationship with Disqus. Click the Disqus icon below, enter your e-mail and click “forgot password” to reset your password. You may also log into Disqus using Facebook, Twitter or Google.

This article is available only to subscribing members. Join SSP today or Log in.