Neutron beams provide unique information about materials, and cannot be replaced by other research techniques. In our membership survey, scientists and engineers who use neutron beam facilities all rated these facilities as important. They describe the barriers they face in using neutron beams as lack of operational support and difficulty in obtaining beam time in the face of high demand for these scarce resources.
Highlights from the survey
Neutrons beams are important, irreplaceable research tools used to support wide range of applications.
Canadians prefer to use Canada’s own neutron beam facility. Among those planning to travel abroad, USA facilities are the first choice, followed by European facilities. They describe the barriers they face in using neutron beams as need for operational support and difficulty in obtaining beam time in the face of high demand for these scarce resources.
In selecting a neutron beam facility, scientists consider the location of the best neutron beam instrument for their experiment as primary. The quality of the local support, availability of specialized equipment (“sample environments”), and the competition for beam time are also very important factors.
In summary, Canada’s facility is preferred by Canadians primarily because it has been tuned to the needs of Canadian researchers, providing high-quality support with competitive beamlines and equipment for select areas. For research outside these areas, Canadians seek out world-leading capabilities elsewhere and must compete for access, because demand well exceeds supply.
Read more survey results