Since its discovery 50 years ago, the neutron has commanded public attention and respect. As an intermediary in nuclear fission, it is woven into the political fabric of modern life and seems destined to remain so. But the neutron plays many other, less prominent and controversial roles as well. It has, for example, technological applications in fields as diverse as logging oil wells, detecting art forgeries and doping electronic semiconductor materials, as D. Allan Bromley has reviewed in these pages.

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