Enter the world of neutrons! Just be curious!

Enter the world of neutrons! They are a powerful and highly acclaimed tool not only for the study of condensed matter (the world we live in) but also for confirming our current understanding of physics. What's more, you don't even need to be a scientist to use Neutrons4Science. Just be curious!

Neutrons and protons are elementary particles constituting the nucleus of atoms. The neutron has no electric charge but has a spin and a magnetic moment. Neutron beams - like beams of X-rays, electrons or muons - are valuable tools for studying the multitude of materials that surround us in our daily lives (alloys, magnets, superconductors, polymers, colloids, proteins, biological systems, …). However, the way neutrons interact with matter is quite unique and, as a result, it can often reveal to us what is normally hidden. With Neutrons4Science you can discover one of the many types of neutron spectroscopy.
The neutron also answers questions on the very foundations of physics, helping us to solve some of the great mysteries of the universe (Is the Grand Unified Theory valid? Is there a fifth fundamental force? ...) As an example, Neutrons4Science gives you insights to a brand new method of neutron spectroscopy that takes advantage of the quantum states of this light neutral particle.

Neutrons4Science lets you experience neutron science through three interactive 3D animations:
ThALES: Use a neutron spectrometer (ILL ThALES) as if you were performing a real experiment.
Magnons: Discover the spin waves that exist inside magnetic materials and understand how ThALES can observe them.
GRANIT: Discover an innovative gravitational spectrometer (ILL GRANIT) based on neutron quantum states in a gravitational field.

These three educational animations were developed with the help of scientists at the "Institut Laue-Langevin", one of the world's flagship facilities for neutron science.

This project was funded by the ILL and the LPSC and developed by Ipter (out of business since 2015).



Standalone application (7 languages: Chinese, English, French, German, Italian, Russian, Spanish,)

Operating SystemsInstaller downloadsApplication Stores
macOSDMG file, 30 MB (dmg - 27 Mi)App Store
WindowsDownload (zip - 26 Mi)Windows Store
Linux 64Download (Debian) v2.6.1 (deb - 26 Mi)
manage dependencies by yourself
Debian repository v2.6.1
iOS App Store (64 bits)
Android Google Play (64 bits)

Web version
Plugin free version of the animation Magnons : it has been redeveloped with webGL instead of OpenGL for the original version.
The full web version is in the form of 3 separate activities (ThALES, Magnons and GRANIT) based on an OpenGL plugin that most modern browsers now forbid. Try it HERE or download an offline version (zip - 26 Mi) (12.7 Mb) if you think your bowser can accept it.

Neutrons4Science supports 7 languages and is available on various stores:


Questions and comments can be sent to the Neutrons4Science team :
    Technical questions: neutrons4science (at)
    Scientific questions: communication (at)

Please preferably write in English or French. Italian, Spanish, German or Russian are also accepted but may result in substantial answer delays.

Project leader : Alain Filhol (ILL)

  • ThALES: Martin Böehm and Alain Filhol (ILL)
  • Magnons: Martin Böehm and Alain Filhol (ILL)
  • GRANIT: Dominique Rebreyand, Guillaume Pignol (LPSC) and Alain Filhol (ILL)


  • Main developer: Mathieu Ippersiel (Ipter)
  • Developer: Laurent Halter (Ipter)
  • Designer: Marie James (Ipter)
  • Since 2017: Yannick Raoul (freelance)


  • Textes en Français par Alain Filhol
  • English checked by Susan Tinniswood
  • Deutsche Übersetzung: Roland May
  • Перевод на английский язык Valery Nesvizhevsky
  • Traduzione italiana di Lucia Capogna
  • Traducción en Español por Miguel Angel Gonzalez y Leidy Hoyos
  • 中文版本翻译由柳金彦完成 (Jinyan LIU)

v3.0 - Feb 2018 - Linux 64bits - VirtualGrip 64 bits recompiled - standalone application (Yannick Raoul)
v3.0 - Jan 2018 - Windows 10 - VirtualGrip 64 bits recompiled - standalone application (Yannick Raoul)
v3.0 - Dec 2017 - macOS - VirtualGrip 64 bits recompiled - standalone application signed and published to the App Store (Yannick Raoul)

v2.6 - macOS - a hack based on <> to bypass the NPAPI plugin ban by modern browsers (e.g. from FireFox 52). (Oct 2017, A. Filhol)

v2.5.2 - for the web, iOS and Android (Oct 2014)

  • Add support for Chinese
  • Upgrade of the plugin VirtualGrip

v2 - for the web, iOS and Android (May 2013)

  • Support for three extra languages: Italian, Russian and Spanish.
  • Improved look and feel of the instrument representation.
  • Adaptation of the help screen to the Retina display under iOS.
  • Redesign of the different user interface.

     ThALES and GRANIT

  • more complete representation of the environment of the instruments.
  • improved navigation.
  • possibility to go back to the original point of view after the panning of a scene (arrow buttons).
  • "flight with the neutrons": the action can now be performed forward, backward and from intermediary points.


  • "Throw a neutron": it is now possible to cancel this action.

v1.1 - June 2012 - web - upgrades of ThALES, Magnons and GRANIT (see Neutrons4Science).

  • adaptation to a large touch screen.
  • various minor corrections

v1.0 for iOS and Android (April 2012)

Neutrons4Science is a standalone application published to the App Store (Apple) and Google Play. The v1 was published by Ipter while version v2 and higher are published by the ILL.

  • ThALES, Magnons and GRANIT rae regrouped in a single app with added explanations and features.
  • support of multipoint touch screens
  • improved design and aspect.
  • posters added inside the animation which give the scientific background.

v1.0 for the web (March 2011)

The application is shown on the web of the ILL in the form of three independent animations

  • ThALES and Magnons were funded by the communication group of the ILL.
  • GRANIT was funded by the LPSC and designed for the science festival "Oufs d'Astro", Feb 23, 2011 at Vaulx-en-Velin, France.

The application is made available as is for educational purpose only. It does not aim to be exact and fully accurate in all its aspect but only to give users a flavor of some aspects of neutrons science. The Institut Laue-Langevin accepts no responsibility for bugs or errors in its content.

We welcome your comments, which can be sent to neutrons4science (at)

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