EPJ A Highlight - Prompt x-rays emitted in neutron-induced fission help unveil the evolution of fission fragment charge yields as a function of incident neutron energy
- Published on 17 September 2013
Nuclear fission is accompanied by the prompt emission of neutrons, gamma rays and x-rays. It has been known since the sixties that fission prompt x-rays originate essentially as a consequence of the internal conversions occurring in the prompt gamma deexcitation cascades of fission fragments.
This work presents for the first time a measurement of the prompt fission x-ray yields in 238U(n,f) for average incident neutron energies ranging from 3 to 200 MeV. These results provide new information on fission fragment deexcitation and allow testing the current knowledge of fission fragment nuclear structure. These results provide also a means to investigate the evolution, as a function of incident neutron energy, of fission fragment charge yields and elemental prompt x-ray emission probabilities.
Fission fragment charge distributions are derived from the measured x-ray yields using x-ray emission probabilities per fragment obtained in an earlier work on low energy fission. The results are found to be in a remarkable agreement with the Wahl phenomenological systematics for fission product yields, as well as with the more sophisticated GEF fission model. This agreement shows that the variation of x-ray emission probabilities remains moderate over a wide range of incident neutron energies. More detailed comparisons demonstrate that x-ray emission evolution with increasing incident neutron energy tends to be dominated by the transition towards lighter fragments which on average are closer to closed-shell nuclei and are thus less subject to internal conversion.
Measurement of prompt x-rays in 238U(n,f) from threshold to 400 MeV, T. Granier, R.O. Nelson, T. Ethvignot, M. Devlin, N. Fotiades, P.E. Garrett, and W. Younes (2013), European Physical Journal A 49:114, DOI 10.1140/epja/i2013-13114-8