Detecting Beta-delayed Neutron Emission Using Recoil-ion Spectroscopy

Gemma Wilson

Senior Postdoctoral Researcher

LSU Experimental Nuclear Physics

Beta-delayed neutron (βn) emission is process in which a neutron is emitted after beta decay, and is viable in many neutron-rich nuclei. This decay process affects broad areas of physics, from stellar nucleosynthesis to nuclear reactors. The lack of experimental βn data is being addressed with experimental efforts at radioactive ion beam facilities worldwide, including a relatively new and powerful technique called recoil-ion spectroscopy. By design this technique avoids any difficulties inherent in neutron detection, but instead infers all neutron information from a distinct signature of the recoiling emitter nucleus.

This talk will discuss the recoil-ion spectroscopy technique, including how a neutron energy spectrum can be inferred without neutron detection. A new dedicated setup, BEARtrap (BEtA Recoil-ion trap), is currently under construction at Argonne National Laboratory. Details of its design and future prospects will be discussed.