Watch this animation to see how neutrons travel through the EMU Backscattering Spectrometer and are scattered from a sample. EMU is one of a suite of neutron-scattering instruments at ANSTO (Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation) based at the Bragg Institute.
Atoms move in a variety of ways, for example by vibrating, oscillating and rotating within a material, and this can have a huge effect on the material’s properties and function. EMU reveals dynamics in protein samples, for example, helping scientists to better understand human biology – ultimately leading to better drug design.
EMU will open up a new energy window to the Australian research community, one that cannot easily be accessed with X-ray or optical spectroscopy, though some of the same physics or chemistry can sometimes be tackled with NMR or muon-spin resonance.