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The Neutron

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the neutron in the atomic nucleus, in the laboratory and in the densest stars.

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the neutron, one of the particles found in an atom's nucleus. Building on the work of Ernest Rutherford, the British physicist James Chadwick won the Nobel Prize for Physics for his discovery of the neutron in 1932. Neutrons play a fundamental role in the universe and their discovery was at the heart of developments in nuclear physics in the first half of the 20th century.


Val Gibson
Professor of High Energy Physics at the University of Cambridge and fellow of Trinity College

Andrew Harrison
Chief Executive Officer of Diamond Light Source and Professor in Chemistry at the University of Edinburgh


Frank Close
Professor Emeritus of Physics at the University of Oxford.

Available now

46 minutes

Last on

Thu 14 Apr 2016 21:30



Val Gibson at the University of Cambridge

Andrew Harrison at Diamond Light Source

Frank Close at the University of Oxford

The rise of neutron scattering –

Neutron scattering: Materials research for modern life – Science & Technology Facilities Council

Exploring Matter with Neutrons encyclopaedia (2005) - Institut Laue-Langevin

Neutron scattering – Institute of Physics

‘Neutrons for Science’ film - Institut Laue-Langevin

Neutron - Wikipedia



James Byrne, Neutrons, Nuclei and Matter: An Exploration of the Physics of Slow Neutrons (Dover Publications, 2011)

Brian Cathcart, The Fly in the Cathedral: How a Group of Cambridge Scientists Won the International Race to Split the Atom (Farrar Straus Giroux, 2004)

Frank Close, Nuclear Physics: A Very Short Introduction to Nuclear Physics (Oxford University Press, 2015)

Frank Close, Half Life: The Divided Life of Bruno Pontecorvo, Physicist or Spy (Oneworld Publications, 2015)

Graham Farmelo, Churchill’s Bomb: A Hidden History of Science, War and Politics (Faber & Faber, 2013)

Paul Reuss, Neutron Physics (EDP Sciences, 2008)

Richard Rhodes, The Making of the Atomic Bomb (HarperCollins, 2012)



Role Contributor
Presenter Melvyn Bragg
Interviewed Guest Val Gibson
Interviewed Guest Andrew Harrison
Interviewed Guest Frank Close
Producer Simon Tillotson


  • Thu 14 Apr 2016 09:00
  • Thu 14 Apr 2016 21:30

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