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Neutron scattering for soft matter materials (2024)

This course is supported by the Center for High Resolution Neutron Scattering, a partnership between NSF and NIST.


Announcement for the online neutron course in the fall semester of 2024 (03/19/2024)

Dr. Yun Liu will offer an online neutron course in the fall semester of 2024. The registration website is open now. (Please click the link to register.) There will be weekly homework and three quizzes for this course. The class will start at the end of August and end in early December.  The details of the class schedule will be announced soon. The number of spots for for-credit students is limited to 50 with the priority given to students in North America. 


Registration deadline: August 1, 2024

Registration link: Please click the link to register.

Students can select ether credit or audit.

For students who select credit, the student’ attendance will be recorded for each lecture. And all homework/quiz will be graded. A letter grade will be assigned at the end of the course. During the registration, the contact information of the  faculty responsible for the course credit at the home university needs to be provided.

(IMPORTANT: It is up to each student’s own university to decide if the home university can approve this course as an equivalent course .)

Students, who select audit, are recommended to attend each lecture, and finish the homework and quiz as much as possible even though these are not required. 


Every Wednesday and Friday. Each lecture lasts 1h 15m.
Time: 1:25pm-2:40pm (US ET)
Lecture format: Online teaching.
Tentative first lecture date : August 28, 2024.  


Neutron Scattering for Soft Matters

Soft matter materials, such as proteins, DNA, and polymers, play important roles in our daily life. And understanding their structure and dynamics is the key to predict and control the material properties. This course covers the applications of neutron scattering techniques to probe the structure of soft matter materials from a few Ångstroms to microns, and the dynamics from picoseconds to seconds. We intend to discuss fundamental concepts of neutron scattering, small angle neutron scattering (SANS), neutron reflectometry, quasielastic neutron scattering (QENS), and neutron spin echo (NSE). The focuses are to introduce the relevant neutron scattering theories to interpret neutron scattering data of soft matter materials, and explain the physical design of some neutron instruments useful for planning an efficient neutron scattering experiment. Some commonly used software, including SASView, will be introduced too.


Principle Instructor

Yun Liu

Physicist, Center for Neutron Research, National Institute of Standards and Technology, MD

Affiliated Faculty, Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering Department, University of Delaware

Phone: (301) 975-6235

Email: yunliu [at] (yunliu[at]nist[dot]gov) or yunliu [at] (yunliu[at]udel[dot]edu)

Office hours are available before or after each lecture, and/or through a teleconference meeting.



Created July 1, 2021, Updated April 5, 2024