Friday, June 7, 2013

1306.1261 (E. I. Sharapov et al.)

Measurements of ultracold neutron upscattering and absorption in
polyethylene and vanadium

E. I. Sharapov, C. L. Morris, M. Makela, A. Saunders, Evan R. Adamek, Yelena Bagdasarova, L. J. Broussard, C. B. Cude-Woods, Deon E Fellers, Peter Geltenbort, S. I. Hasan, K. P. Hickerson, G. Hogan, A. T. Holley, Chen-Yu Liu, M. P. Mendenhall, J. Ortiz, R. W. Pattie Jr., D. G. Phillips, J. Ramsey, D. J. Salvat, S. J. Seestrom, E. Shaw, Sky Sjue, W. E. Sondheim, B. VornDick, Z. Wang, T. L. Womack, A. R. Young, B. A. Zeck
The study of neutron cross sections for elements used as efficient ``absorbers'' of ultracold neutrons (UCN) is crucial for many precision experiments in nuclear and particle physics, cosmology and gravity. In this context, ``absorption'' includes both the capture and upscattering of neutrons to the energies above the UCN energy region. The available data, especially for hydrogen, do not agree between themselves or with the theory. In this report we describe measurements performed at the Los Alamos National Laboratory UCN facility of the UCN upscattering cross sections for vanadium and for hydrogen in CH$_2$ using simultaneous measurements of the radiative capture cross sections for these elements. We measured $\sigma_{up}=1972\pm130$ b for hydrogen in CH$_2$, which is below theoretical expectations, and $\sigma_{up} < 25\pm9$ b for vanadium, in agreement with the expectation for the neutron heating by thermal excitations in solids.
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