Chapter

The basic principles and experimental configurations of neutron diffraction experiments

Nobuo Niimura and Alberto Podjarny

in Neutron Protein Crystallography

Published in print March 2011 | ISBN: 9780199578863
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191725555 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199578863.003.0001

Series: International Union of Crystallography Monographs on Crystallography

The basic principles and experimental configurations of neutron diffraction experiments

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The basic principles and experimental configurations of neutron diffraction experiments are given in this chapter. First, the physics of neutrons and neutron diffraction, such as neutron-scattering lengths and neutron absorption, are reviewed briefly, with special emphases on the comparison of neutron and X-ray diffraction phenomena and on specific features of the interactions between neutrons and bio-macromolecules. The basic principles of neutron protein crystallography (NPC) and the method of obtaining the positions of hydrogen atoms in proteins are also discussed. Two types of neutron sources—steady-state, reactor neutron sources and pulsed, accelerator-driven neutron sources—are then introduced, along with the different techniques used with each source. Because neutron detection is a key technique in NPC, a section is devoted to describing different types of neutron detectors. Based on the preceding knowledge, reactor sources and pulsed sources, as used for NPC, can finally be compared at the end of the chapter.

Keywords: neutron protein crystallography; neutron-scattering length; hydrogen; reactor neutron source; pulsed neutron source; neutron detector; TOF method; monochromator; Quasi-Laue method; neutron image plate

Chapter.  18524 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Crystallography

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