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IUCr 1995 Report - Commission on Neutron Scattering

The Commission has continued its work over the broad field of neutron scattering during the last year. Preparations for the Seattle Congress and General Assembly and, in particular, the two Microsymposia and the Satellite Meeting on Neutron Scattering to be held at the National Institute of Science and Technology (NIST), Gaithersburg, Maryland, USA, 5-7 August 1996, have been major activities. The latter has been organized by the Chairman, Professor J. W. White (Australian National University), and Dr E. Prince (NIST), the Commission being kept abreast of developments of the programme.

The year also saw the suggested formation of a Commission on Small-Angle Scattering and the Commission on Neutron Scattering is supportive of this. We see that from time to time specialist groups may wish to organize this way (as the Commission on Powder Diffraction has shown) but we will continue to sustain a broad interest in the whole field of neutron scattering. The current programme for the Satellite Meeting on Neutron Scattering in Gaithersburg illustrates this, since the emphasis has been placed on the science while showing the way in which new methods can be brought to bear on particular problems. In the case of the Gaithersburg meeting, giant magnetoresistance phenomena as looked at by diffraction, small-angle scattering and inelastic scattering will be one of the themes.

The Commission continues its work on two projects: International Standards for Neutron Inelastic Scattering Cross Sections (NISC) and Internationally Agreed Exchange Format for Neutron Synchrotron Data. In the NISC project, Dr Osborn and his colleagues have now not only proved the value of PrAl3 as a standard material but also demonstrated the quality of the actual sample that was used in the original experiments. As reported in 1994, agreement of a number of major neutron scattering centres has been obtained to measure this at their instruments. We are looking forward to an interesting programme in the next few years on this subject.

Although it began independently, the internationally agreed format on neutron and synchrotron data work is expected to benefit from the support that this Commission and the IUCr (ultimately) can give to the project. Spallation neutron sources produce large data sets that should have an internationally agreed format structure. An attempt is being made to achieve uniformity with data formats from synchrotron sources. In many cases, the data are only partially used (e.g. looking along particular symmetry directions in single-crystal experiments) and may be reanalysed for further physical information as new aspects of problems present themselves.

The publication of Neutron News continues to be an important contribution to the development of neutron scattering science worldwide. I would like to thank the Editor, Dr G. Lander, for his cooperation with the Commission. I should also like to thank all members of the Commission itself for their help during the last three years and wish those members who are retiring well for the future.

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