Neutron Cross Sections by Donald J. Hughes

By Donald J. Hughes

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Before saturation is reached, the rate of change of the number of activated atoms is given by dNa/dt = ηνσΆΟίΝ' - AU (1-13) and the growth of the number of activated atoms, or of the activity (I = JVflX), is obtained by integration of Eq. (1-12), / = / o ( l -

Before beginning the detailed description of cross sections at various energies, we shall now consider the basic theory of nuclei and of their interactions with neutrons that are manifested as cross sections. R E F E R E N C E S FOR A D D I T I O N A L I N F O R M A T I O N 1. B. T. FELD, Experimental Nuclear Physics, Vol. II (E. SEGRÉ, editor), (Wiley, 1953), pp. 209-247. The basic properties of neutrons, including accounts of early significant discoveries. 2. W. HEITLER, Elementary Wave Mechanics, (Oxford, 1944), Chapters I and Π.

10 The decay of a radioisotope of initial activity I0 is usually quite simple, as compared with natural radioactivity, because there are few complicated parent-daughter relationships. If the radioisotope gives rise to a stable daughter, as is usually the case, the activity will be observed to decay as / = V->>< (1-15) The decay curve for Na24 is also shown in Fig. 1-10, as well as the decay for the case of removal before the attainment of saturation. Combination of Eqs. (1-14) and (1-15) gives a useful result for the calculation of the saturated activity of a radioisotope when the actual activity lis produced in a neutron flux for a time tu and then measured for activity at a time t2 after the end of the irradiation: /o = e-λί^ι — e-Kt,) (1-16) CROSS SECTIONS AND PRINCIPLES OF MEASUREMENT 27 The activation cross section, in terms of the observed activity and flux, is given simply by *act = hinvNt .

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