Tagging fast neutrons from a 252Cf fission-fragment source

Coincidence and time-of-flight measurement techniques are employed to tag fission neutrons emitted from a 252Cf source sealed on one side with a very thin layer of Au. The source is positioned within a gaseous 4He scintillator detector. Together with alpha particles, both light and heavy fission fragments pass through the thin layer of Au and are detected. The fragments enable the corresponding fission neutrons, which are detected in a NE-213 liquid-scintillator detector, to be tagged. The resulting continuous polychromatic beam of tagged neutrons has an energy dependence that agrees qualitatively with expectations. We anticipate that this technique will provide a cost-effective means for the characterization of neutron-detector efficiency in the energy range 1 - 6 MeV.

Comments: 15 pages, 8 figures, to be submitted to Applied Radiation and Isotopes

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