Knowledge of the motions of atomic positions or magnetic fluctuations enables the strength, range and symmetry of the interatomic forces and magnetic coupling in a material to be determined. Increasingly, many of the materials of interest in condensed matter physics are characterised by the coupled interactions between more than one of the charge, lattice, magnetic and atomic orbital motions in all three spatial directions. New experimental approaches combining data from hundreds of neutron scattering datasets coupled with advanced visualisation software now enables complete mapping of the dynamics in materials on a routine basis.

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DOI: 10.1016/S1369-7021(09)70236-6