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July 24, 2001

Stephen Shapiro Named Director of Brookhaven Lab's Center for Neutron Science 

UPTON, NY - Stephen Shapiro, a physicist at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory since 1971, has been named the Laboratory's Director of the Center for Neutron Science, effective May 1, 2001. 

In neutron science experiments, researchers aim beams of neutrons traveling at about the speed of sound against a particular material of interest. When they hit the sample, the neutrons scatter, and reveal information about the positions and motions of atoms, which is the basis of understanding the properties of materials. In particular, neutron research at Brookhaven has led to advances in the understanding of superconductivity and magnetism.

Brookhaven Lab is a world-leader in neutron research. From 1965 to 1997, this research took place at the Laboratory's High Flux Beam Reactor (HFBR). After the research reactor was shut down in 1997, Brookhaven's neutron scientists conducted their experiments in the U.S. at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in Gaithersburg, Maryland, and at the High Flux Isotope Reactor at DOE's Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. They also make use of about a dozen major neutron research facilities around the world."

Neutrons are an important probe for research in condensed-matter science, and Brookhaven Lab has made major contributions to that science," said Shapiro. "We would like to continue to be an active participant in this research. In particular, we would like to attract distinguished neutron scientists to our staff and help train a new generation of scientists to do research at the Spallation Neutron Source (SNS), which is now under construction."

When it is completed in 2006, the SNS at Oak Ridge National Laboratory will be the most powerful neutron-scattering facility in the world. Brookhaven is one of six DOE laboratories that are designing and constructing the SNS.

Shapiro has started to develop strong links to institutions with neutron-scattering facilities, and he is establishing a scientific alliance with NIST for neutron science measurements. He also will take the lead in relocating an instrument called the U.S.-Japan Triple Axis Spectrometer from the closed HFBR to the operating reactor at Oak Ridge. The spectrometer, built by a U.S. and Japanese collaboration, is an important instrument for studying the location, motion and magnetic properties of atoms.

After Shapiro earned a B.S. in physics in 1963 from Union College and a Ph.D. in physics from The Johns Hopkins University in 1969, he became a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Paris, 1969 to 1971. He joined Brookhaven as a research associate and rose through the ranks to become a senior physicist in 2000. As Associate Chair of the Physics Department from 1994 to 2000, he also served as head of Brookhaven's Solid State Physics Program.

Note to local editors: Stephen Shapiro lives in Wading River, NY

The U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory conducts research in the physical, biomedical, and environmental sciences, as well as in energy technologies. Brookhaven also builds and operates major facilities available to university, industrial, and government scientists. The Laboratory is managed by Brookhaven Science Associates, a limited liability company founded by Stony Brook University and Battelle, a nonprofit applied science and technology organization.