Journal Information
ISSN / EISSN : 1811-5209 / 1811-5217
Published by: Mineralogical Society of America (10.2138)
Total articles ≅ 1,645
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, David R. Cole
Published: 1 June 2021
Elements, Volume 17, pp 155-160;

The fundamental properties of the neutron make it a powerful tool for Earth science investigations because neutrons provide information that cannot be obtained by any other research method. This is because neutrons are magnetically sensitive, nondestructive, and sensitive to the lighter elements, such as hydrogen. They provide a unique, nondestructive method for obtaining information ranging from Ångstrom-scale atomic structures (and related motions) to micron-scale material strain, stress, and texture, and even up to meso-scale porous matrices and defects in materials and functional components. In this article, we introduce neutrons and their unique properties, neutron production and sources, and provide an overview of the different types of neutron methods applicable to the Earth sciences.
Published: 1 June 2021
Elements, Volume 17, pp 175-180;

Liquids, glasses, and amorphous materials are ubiquitous in the Earth sciences and are intrinsic to a plethora of geological processes, ranging from volcanic activity, deep Earth melting events, metasomatic processes, frictional melting (pseudotachylites), lighting strikes (fulgurites), impact melting (tektites), hydrothermal activity, aqueous solution geochemistry, and the formation of dense high-pressure structures. However, liquids and glassy materials lack the long-range order that characterizes crystalline materials, and studies of their structure require a different approach to that of conventional crystallography. The pair distribution function is the neutron diffraction technique used to characterize liquid and amorphous states. When combined with atomistic models, neutron diffraction techniques can determine the properties and behavior of disordered structures.
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