Understanding the Atom


How solid things such as rocks and gems are held together used to be a mystery. Scientists got their first peek at their crystalline structure in the 1950s after physicist Bertram Brockhouse invented the triple axis neutron spectrometer, which uses a neutron beam produced by a nuclear reactor to probe solids. McMaster University’s Brockhouse would go on to win the Nobel Prize in 1994 for his invention.

His spectrometer was a pioneering development in neutron scattering techniques for studying condensed matter.

Bertram Brockhouse »