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"Exploring matter with neutrons" an encyclopaedia created by the ILL, developed and published in 2005 by the former companies iMediaSoft and Nanopolis.

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Exploring Matter with Neutrons (2005)

The multimedia encyclopaedia Exploring matter with neutrons was published in English and French in 2004/2005 in the form of a CD-ROM. It is now in the public domain and can therefore be made available here free of charge.
This encyclopaedia explains all about neutrons and the unique properties that make them so useful to science and industry. It provides an interactive description of the experimental instruments and techniques in use, as well as of the vast array of neutron applications in the most advanced fields of physics, chemistry, biology and materials science.
The encyclopaedia is aimed at students, teachers, research institutes and industry, but also anyone who is interested in science. The multiple entry points allow readers to explore the encyclopaedia in their own way depending on their level of knowledge and curiosity. It contains a multitude of photos, CG images, 2D and 3D animations and videos ( about 1200 pages, 3000 images, more than 1000 animations and 100 videos).

We do hope that it will guide readers as they discover and gain an understanding of the exciting world of neutron science and technology.

The encyclopaedia is published here in its version 2 (2005).

Please note that the 'facilities' section is now totally outdated, as would be the pages of any ten-year-old paper document.  We apologise for the inconvenience. The collaborative website will provide you with comprehensive and updated information about the main neutron sources in the world.

Please note also that the image quality is also not quite up to today's standards (at the time, the size of CD-ROMs was limited to 700 MB).

This encyclopaedia is based on the Adobe Flash™ technology.
It also makes limited use of JAVA.

Exploring matter with neutrons is the result of a 6-year collaboration between the former company iMediaSoft and an international consortium of some of the world's most prestigious neutron institutes: Institut Laue-Langevin (France); Los Alamos Neutron Science Center  (USA); ISIS Pulsed Neutron & Muon Source (UK); GKSS Forschungszentrum, Forschungszentrum Jülich and Hahn Meitner Institut (Germany); CEA-CNRS Laboratoire Léon Brillouin (France).

Overview of contents


  • The neutron; Neutrons and states of matter; Internal motions of matter; Magnetism; Nuclear physics; Materials.

Neutron sources

  • Natural sources; Transportable sources; High-flux sources; Sources of the future; Miscellaneous.

Tools for neutron science

  • Neutron activation; Transmission imaging; Diffraction; Small-angle scattering; Reflectometry; Inelastic scattering; Quasielastic scattering; Spin echo; Isotopic substitution; Neutron holography; Recoil and gamma spectrometry; Neutrons optics; Neutron detection; Sample environment.


  • Fundamental Research: Fundamental physics; Structural biology; Solid-state chemistry; Soft matter; Magnetism.
  • Applied Research: Medicine; Metallurgy and materials; Chemistry; Soft matter; Earth, planets, meteorites; Metrology.
  • Industry and Medicine: Civil and military nuclear energy; Technological irradiation; Non-destructive chemical analysis; Imaging and quality control; Metallurgy and materials.

Credits and legal information

The multimedia encyclopaedia Exploring matter with neutrons was created by Alain FILHOL (main author, Institut Laue-Langevin) and Dan BOG (developer and editor through iMediaSoft & Nanopolis).
It was commercialised online and in CD-ROM form in 2004/2005. It subsequently became the second volume of the Nanopolis Encyclopedia series published between 2007 and 2011 (Vol. 1: Exploring matter with Synchrotron Light, Vol. 2: Exploring matter with Neutrons, Vol. 3: Exploring Nanotechnology, Vol. 4: Exploring Nano-biotechnology).
Exploring matter with neutrons is no longer available commercially and is reproduced here by permission of Alain FILHOL and Dan BOG, since most of its content is still relevant. It owes much to the work of Coralie Bagès (ILL), who did a wonderful job "resurrecting" the old source files.

The encyclopaedia is made available here in its 2005 version. The Institut Laue-Langevin accepts no responsibility for bugs or errors in its content.

Although it is no longer supported, we nevertheless welcome your comments, which can be sent to neutron.encyclopedia (at)


Page by A. Filhol: 10 Nov 2014.