Hi all, I've only just started studying nuclear physics so forgive me if this question makes no sense. I've read that the way neutron shielding works (in simple terms)is that the neutrons act as billiard balls by knocking into the shielding material atoms and being scattered like this until all their energy is eventually dissapated. Apparently this is the reason neutron shielding must be made from dense, thick shielding. My question is: can a material be made from some sort of 'spring-like' molecules that absorb the large energies by slowing the neutrons down a bit more gradually instead of just acting like billiard balls. By spring-like molecules I mean a molecule that has slightly flexible bonds and if a collision occured, the bonds may be able to flex? I have a feeling that if anything, the energy of most neutron radiation would be too large for any bonds to withstand.