Forschungsreaktor München II

The Forschungs-Neutronenquelle Heinz Maier-Leibnitz (FRM II, research reactor Munich II) is the leading German research reactor. It is a world best reactor for neutron source, and is officially named Forschungs-Neutronenquelle Heinz Maier-Leibnitz (Research Neutron Source Heinz Maier-Leibnitz) in honor of the physicist Heinz Maier-Leibnitz who had conducted a highly successful research program at its predecessor, the FRM I.


Research reactor Munich I (foreground) and II (background)

The FRM II is located in the immediate neighbourhood of FRM I, on the research and university campus near Garching (18 km north of Munich). It is operated by Technische Universität München. Several other universities and research institutions are taking part in the scientific use.

The reactor was built by Siemens AG. It went critical on March 2, 2004, and reached the full power of 20 MW on August, 24. Since April 2005, it is in routine operation. The regular schedule comprises 4 reactor cycles per year, with 60 days per cycle.

Highly enriched uranium in a high-density uranium silicide-aluminium dispersion fuel element yields an excellent ratio of neutron flux to thermal power. A liquid deuterium moderator ("cold source") gives a world-leading cold-neutron flux density.


The FRM II is optimized for neutron scattering experiments at beam tubes and neutron guides. Furthermore, there are irradiation facilities, for example to produce medically used radioisotopes (as Lu-177), and a tumour treatment facility. The more than 25 scientific instruments are operated by different chairs of the TU München, other universities, Helmholtz Centres and Max-Planck Institutes. The Jülich Centre for Neutron Science (JCNS) of the Forschungszentrum Jülich operates its own outstation at the FRM II. Each instrument offers 2/3 of its beam time for scientists from all over the world. 30 percent is foreseen for industrial use. [1]


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Coordinates: 48°15′58″N 11°40′34″E / 48.266°N 11.676°E


Hafnium is a chemical element with symbol Hf and atomic number 72. A lustrous, silvery gray, tetravalent transition metal, hafnium chemically resembles zirconium and is found in many zirconium minerals. Its existence was predicted by Dmitri Mendeleev in 1869, though it was not identified until 1923, by Coster and Hevesy, making it the last stable element to be discovered. Hafnium is named after Hafnia, the Latin name for Copenhagen, where it was discovered.Hafnium is used in filaments and electrodes. Some semiconductor fabrication processes use its oxide for integrated circuits at 45 nm and smaller feature lengths. Some superalloys used for special applications contain hafnium in combination with niobium, titanium, or tungsten.

Hafnium's large neutron capture cross-section makes it a good material for neutron absorption in control rods in nuclear power plants, but at the same time requires that it be removed from the neutron-transparent corrosion-resistant zirconium alloys used in nuclear reactors.

Heinz Maier-Leibnitz

Heinz Maier-Leibnitz (28 March 1911 in Esslingen am Neckar – 16 December 2000 in Allensbach) was a German physicist. He made contributions to nuclear spectroscopy, coincidence measurement techniques, radioactive tracers for biochemistry and medicine, and neutron optics. He was an influential educator and an advisor to the Federal Republic of Germany on nuclear programs.

During World War II, Maier-Leibnitz worked at the Institute of Physics of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Medical Research, in Heidelberg. After the war, he spent a year working in North America, after which he returned to the Institute of Physics. In 1952, he assumed the Chair for Technical Physics and directorship of the Laboratory for Technical Physics at the Technische Hochschule München. He became a leader in establishing and building centers which used nuclear reactors as neutron sources for research. The first was the Research Reactor Munich, which was the seed for the entire Garching research campus of the Technische Hochschule München. The second was the German-French project to construct a high-flux neutron source and found the Institut Laue-Langevin in Grenoble, France; he was also its first director. His leadership also helped establish the Physics Department at the Technische Hochschule München. Maier-Leibnitz was the chairman of a special committee for designing the German Nuclear Program, and thus he was the architect of the first full-scale nuclear program of the Federal Republic of Germany. He was a signatory of the Göttingen Manifest.

In his honor, the German Research Foundation annually awards six scientists with the Heinz Maier-Leibnitz-Preis. The research reactor Forschungsreaktor München II is officially named Forschungsneutronenquelle Heinz Maier-Leibnitz.

Neutron electric dipole moment

The neutron electric dipole moment (nEDM) is a measure for the distribution of positive and negative charge inside the neutron. A finite electric dipole moment can only exist if the centers of the negative and positive charge distribution inside the particle do not coincide. So far, no neutron EDM has been found. The current best upper limit amounts to |dn| < 3.0×10−26 e⋅cm.

Technical University of Munich

Technical University of Munich (TUM) (German: Technische Universität München) is a research university with campuses in Munich, Garching and Freising-Weihenstephan. It is a member of TU9, an incorporated society of the largest and most notable German institutes of technology. TUM is ranked 4th overall in Reuters 2017 European Most Innovative University ranking.TUM's alumni include 17 Nobel laureates, 18 Leibniz Prize winners and 22 IEEE Fellow Members.

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