Neutron and muon sources

Neutrons and muons provide detailed information on the structure and dynamics of materials on the scale of atoms and molecules across a very wide range of science areas. We own and operate the ISIS Neutron and Muon Source at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, and provide access for UK researchers to the Institut Laue Langevin (ILL) reactor source in Grenoble. We are also responsible for managing the UK contribution to the construction of the European Spallation Source (ESS), currently being built in Lund, Sweden.

Neutrons and muons are used by researchers from a broad range of scientific disciplines including:

  • condensed matter science
  • materials science
  • chemistry
  • engineering
  • earth science
  • engineering
  • archaeometry


Neutrons and muons enable scientists to study the atomic and molecular arrangements that give materials their unique properties.

Research carried out using neutrons or muons is often complementary to that carried out using x-rays.  Further information on x-ray sources.

ISIS, located at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, is a world centre for research in the physical and life sciences using neutrons and muons owned and operated by STFC.

STFC manages the UK subscription to the Institut Laue-Langevin (ILL), an international centre for neutron science in Grenoble, France.

The European Spallation Source (ESS) will be the world’s highest power accelerator-based neutron source when completed around 2020. STFC is managing the UK’s involvement in the ESS project.

Science and Technology Facilities Council Switchboard: 01793 442000