Close This Window

Please download official ILL logos here


For using on the web or on a screenFor printing in high resolutionWhite version, for dark backgrounds

Download PNG

Download AI

Download white PNG

Download JPG


Download white AI


This section regroups some Java applets and animations demonstrating key aspects of neutron physics. These teaching tools are directly related to ILL instruments.

Back to ILL Homepage
English French Deutsch 

Films and animations

Magnetic inelastic scattering of neutrons

By Martin Böhm and Alain Filhol. ©2013-2014 Institut Laue-Langevin.

Magnons is a 3D animation developed by the firm IPTER demonstrating the interaction of a neutron with the atomic spins of a magnetic crystal. To keep the animation simple, only one atomic layer is shown. Magnons is part of the application Neutrons4Science which is available for the web, iOS and Android.

or download a standalone version (5.6 Mb)

French texts : Alain Filhol, Translations: English by Susan Tinniswood, German by Roland May, Italian by Lucia Capogna, Spanish by Miguel-Angel Gonzalez y Leidy Hoyos, Russian by Valery Nesvizhevsky, 中文版本翻译由柳金彦完成 (Jinyan LIU).

Magnons in short

The animation interface lets you adjust the temperature of the sample to modify the thermal motion of the atoms and spins; you can also apply a magnetic field to force the spins to align to varying degrees. This lets you explore all four phases (paramagnetic, ferromagnetic, antiferromagnetic, canted) shown in the top left insert. Each phase is characterized by a specific type of spin behaviour.
You can also throw a neutron at the sample and watch what happens. This will create a more or less pronounced collective motion of spins superimposed to the random thermal motion. This type of collective excitation of the lattice of spins is called a magnon, while a similar excitation of the atom lattice is known as a phonon. Phonons and magnons can be conveniently observed with the help of a neutron three-axis spectrometer.


Page by A. Filhol: 14 and 20 Feb 2011, 16 March 2011, 1 June 2012, 3 July 2013.