MSE Colloquium - Dr. Kevin Moore, LLNL
Date: September 24, 2010 from 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm EDT
Location: Room 214 in S. W. Mudd
Contact: For further information regarding this event, please contact Wesley Hattan by sending email to or by calling 2128547860.
Info: Click Here to Visit Website.
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X-ray and electron microscopy of actinide materials: Fundamentals for nuclear energy and atomic crystal structure

  Actinide elements form the backbone of nuclear fuels. Regardless of this important role, a great many of their thermodynamic and quantum mechanical properties are unknown. In this talk, I will discuss how x-ray and electron probes are used to determine fundamental properties of actinide materials, including valence, spin-orbit interaction of the 5f states, and magnetism.


The atomic crystal structure of some metals in the Periodic Table is a result of the element's intrinsic magnetism, meaning polarization of bonding electrons dictates atomic geometry. A well-known example of this is iron. The actinide metal curium was recently shown to have a crystal structure stabilized by magnetism (Heathmen et al., Science 2005). We will show that magnetic stabilization of a metalís crystal structure is tied to itís proximity to the crossover from magnetic to superconducting behavior (see attached figure). This understanding will be extended for all transition-series metals throughout the Periodic Table.