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2. INTRODUCTION The development of neutron-scattering facilities and research applications worldwide has shown dramatic growth and change during the past decade. The most notable example of these changes is found in the emergence of the British/French/German Center at the Ins titut Laue-Langevin at Grenoble, but its development is only part of a major transformation of the field that has occurred throughout Western Europe and more recently in the United States and Japan. Over the past 25 years the unique characteristics of the neutron as a probe of condensed matter has transformed much of our fundamental understanding of the physics and chemistry of materials. In the last decade a new generation of cold and thermal neutron instruments has been developed (particularly in Europe) that has extended the wave-vector range and energy resolution for neutron experiments by orders of magnitude. These in turn have opened up new research in physics and chemistry and have greatly expanded the application of neutron scattering in new areas--materials science, polymers, and biology. For example, the neutron-scattering community in Europe has tripled in the past decade, and, more recently, there has been a great increase in the size of the neutron- scattering community in the United States. Moreover, in the past few years the development of higher-intensity pulsed neutron sources has also created new opportunities for neutron- scattering research using higher neutron energies. The impact of these emerging neutron-research opportunities 4
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s on U.S. science has been addressed by two reports over the past 6 years: the NAS-sponsored study, Neutron Research I. ~ ~5 ~ in 1977 and the Renort of the Review Panel on Neutron Scattering, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), which in 1980 presented a study of U.S. neutron-research capabilities centered around priority recommendations for neutron facilities of the DOE. We refer the reader to these earlier studies for a detailed review of the unique role of the neutron as a probe of materials. Both of these reports emphasized the much greater investment and facility advances that were being made in overseas neutron- scattering research and recommended steps to be taken to assure an internationally competitive position for the United States in neutron scattering. While some of these recommendations have been addressed at least in part, most have not, and total funding has shown little change in real dollars over the past 6 years. The present study is the response to a request by the Solid State Sciences Committee of the National Research Council, and attempts to provide an objective up-to-date assessment of the current status of O.S. research accomplishments and capabilities in this fast-moving field, including a review of recent trends in the American neutron-scattering user community. Critical gaps in U.S. neutron-research capabilities with respect to modern facilities at other international centers are also highlighted.
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