One subject of primary interest in fundamental physics is the study of quantum correlation effects in condensed matter. Intensive research on advanced materials has led to the discovery of new compounds with spectacular properties driven by strongly correlated electrons. High magnetic fields allow to finely tune the delicate balance between different correlation effects. The ability to study these materials under such extreme conditions is therefore of fundamental importance.
X-ray and neutron diffraction are similar techniques but the different type of radiation and interactions give complementary information. Basically, a sample to be examined is placed in X-ray or neutron beam and the intensity pattern around the sample brings information about the electronic (X-ray) or nuclear and magnetic ordering (neutron). More specifically, in a crystal, X-ray or neutrons are scattered at specific angles (corresponding to Bragg reflections), directly related to the spacing between atomic planes, and by measuring the scattered intensities at those angles, the atomic structure of the material can be deduced. Moreover, due to its magnetic moment, the neutron interacts with the atomic magnetic moments as strongly as with the nuclei so that neutron diffraction is considered by far as the dominant method for the determination of magnetic structures. The precise knowledge of the atomic and magnetic structures is a prerequisite to describe and understand the key parameters of a material.
This topic deals with the experiments performed by combining X-ray and neutron diffraction with high pulsed magnetic field.
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