Neutron ‘Flux’

Abstract

MR. STRETCH1 objects to the use of the term ‘neutron flux’ because the entity specified is a scalar, the movement of neutrons involved being random instead of a directed flow ; he contrasts this with the usage of the word ‘flux’ for a vector quantity. This usage, as in ‘heat flux’, is, however, already a degenerate form. Though now often used with a vectorial meaning, ‘flux’ was originally a scalar, albeit derived from a vector. The original meaning, which is still the customary one in electrical theory, is ‘the surface integral of the normal component of a vector’, and this is a scalar. It is this mathematical concept, surely, that should be the standard of orthodoxy.

References

  1. 1

    Stretch, K. L., Nature, 191, 60 (1961).

Download references

Author information

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

HARPER, W. Neutron ‘Flux’. Nature 191, 695 (1961). https://doi.org/10.1038/191695a0

Download citation

Comments

By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.