ORNL Neutron Accelerator World's Most Powerful

OAK RIDGE, Tenn. (AP) -- The Spallation Neutron Source facility, though still powering up, has established a new mark as the world's most powerful accelerator-based source of neutrons for scientific research.

The Oak Ridge National Laboratory announced today that the SNS's neutron beam reached 183 kilowatts on August 11th. This surpassed the 163 kilowatt record held by the ISIS facility at Rutherford Appleton Laboratory near Oxford, England.

Although the capacity of the ISIS facility is being doubled, Oak Ridge officials said their accelerator is designed to produce up to 10 times more neutrons than now.

The more wattage, the more neutrons, the more researchers can see.

Neutron scattering, discovered at Oak Ridge in the 1940s, is an important tool for studying how materials are made so that they can be improved upon -- lighter, cheaper, stronger.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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