A Measurement of the 12c(N,2n)11c Cross-Section for Use as an Inertial Confinement Fusion Diagnostic

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Hartshaw, Garrett
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Houghton College
In inertial confinement fusion (ICF), nuclear fusion reactions are initiated by bombarding a small fuel pellet with high power lasers. One ICF diagnostic involves measuring the high-energy neutron yield via activation of 12C, requiring an accurate value for the 12C(n,2n)11C cross-section. An experiment to determine this cross-section in the energy range of 20-27 MeV was performed using the tandem van de Graaff accelerator at Ohio University. Monoenergetic neutrons, produced via the T(d,n)α reaction, were allowed to strike targets of polyethylene and graphite. Target activation was determined by counting positron annihilations due to β+ decay using back-to-back NaI detectors and the neutron flux was determined indirectly via protons elastically scattered from the polyethylene target. The cross-section will be determined from the number of 11C present in the target after activation, the number of protons detected during activation, and the geometry of the experiment. Funded in part by a LLE contract through the DOE.
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