Inauguration seminar by Markus Strobl – Niels Bohr Institute - University of Copenhagen

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Inauguration seminar by Markus Strobl

On Imaging or What is imaging and why the hell with neutrons?

In science we work a lot with images. Images help to understand and communicate results, to create models etc. On the other hand there is a wide range of measurement techniques that we refer to as imaging and which still gain importance in particular also at large scale facilities like synchrotron x-ray and neutron sources. However, as many techniques finally produce results in the form of images, how do we define imaging and how does it relate to other techniques like scattering? As image contrast is very often and to a large extend dependent on scattering of radiation, is imaging just another scattering technique? And if so, what is its particular nature that distinguishes it? An obvious prerequisite for imaging is a bright source of radiation, which already explains why imaging finds its way to large-scale facilities as brighter radiation sources than any lab based equipment. But then, the availability of neutron sources and their brightness lacks far behind the one of x-ray sources. Why and when would one hence go for the effort to produce images with such relatively rare and hard to produce radiation like neutrons? These are the main questions we will try - if not to answer - to at least shed some light on and get a clearer image of.