Key Characteristics of Inelastic Scattering

Key Characteristics of Inelastic Scattering

  • During an inelastic scattering the neutron is absorbed and then re-emitted.
  • While momentum is conserved in an inelastic collision, kinetic energy of the “system” is not conserved.
  • Some energy of the incident neutron is absorbed to the recoiling nucleus and the nucleus remains in the excited state.
  • The nucleus gives up excitation energy by emitting one or more gamma rays.
  • General notation: A(n, n’)A* or A(n, 2n’)B; Example: 14O(n, n’)14O*.
  • Inelastic scattering is a threshold reaction and occurs above a threshold energy.
  • Inelastic scattering cross section is relatively small for light nuclei.
  • For hydrogen nucleus, inelastic scattering does not occur, because it does not have excited states.
  • Inelastic scattering plays an important role in slowing down neutrons especially at high energies and by heavy nuclei (e.g. 238U).
  • Inelastic scattering may be significant for heterogeneous reactors with highly enriched fuel (e.g. in fast neutron reactors).
Inelastic neutron scattering

Inelastic Scattering Cross-section

Inelastic Neutron Scattering Cross-section
Inelastic scattering plays an important role in slowing down neutrons especially at high energies and by heavy nuclei.
Nuclear and Reactor Physics:
  1. J. R. Lamarsh, Introduction to Nuclear Reactor Theory, 2nd ed., Addison-Wesley, Reading, MA (1983).
  2. J. R. Lamarsh, A. J. Baratta, Introduction to Nuclear Engineering, 3d ed., Prentice-Hall, 2001, ISBN: 0-201-82498-1.
  3. W. M. Stacey, Nuclear Reactor Physics, John Wiley & Sons, 2001, ISBN: 0- 471-39127-1.
  4. Glasstone, Sesonske. Nuclear Reactor Engineering: Reactor Systems Engineering, Springer; 4th edition, 1994, ISBN: 978-0412985317
  5. W.S.C. Williams. Nuclear and Particle Physics. Clarendon Press; 1 edition, 1991, ISBN: 978-0198520467
  6. G.R.Keepin. Physics of Nuclear Kinetics. Addison-Wesley Pub. Co; 1st edition, 1965
  7. Robert Reed Burn, Introduction to Nuclear Reactor Operation, 1988.
  8. U.S. Department of Energy, Nuclear Physics and Reactor Theory. DOE Fundamentals Handbook, Volume 1 and 2. January 1993.

Advanced Reactor Physics:

  1. K. O. Ott, W. A. Bezella, Introductory Nuclear Reactor Statics, American Nuclear Society, Revised edition (1989), 1989, ISBN: 0-894-48033-2.
  2. K. O. Ott, R. J. Neuhold, Introductory Nuclear Reactor Dynamics, American Nuclear Society, 1985, ISBN: 0-894-48029-4.
  3. D. L. Hetrick, Dynamics of Nuclear Reactors, American Nuclear Society, 1993, ISBN: 0-894-48453-2. 
  4. E. E. Lewis, W. F. Miller, Computational Methods of Neutron Transport, American Nuclear Society, 1993, ISBN: 0-894-48452-4.

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See above:

Neutron Reactions

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