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Name: Ramakrishna
Status: student
Age: 19
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: 1/9/2004


Question:
How are neutrons accelerated, since they are neutral particles? What are the devices used to accelerate them?


Replies:
One way to accelerate a neutron is to package it with a proton, in a deuterium atom; accelerate that as you would any other charged particle; and then strip off the proton by bashing the deuterium atom into a target. Another way is to accelerate protons to very high energy and bash them into a target, causing atoms in the target to emit neutrons.

Tim Mooney


Free neutrons (i.e. outside an atomic nucleus) has a half-life of only about 10 minutes. As sub-atomic nuclear particles go that is a long, long time. It has spin = 1/2 so in principle it could be accelerated by a magnetic field; however, neutrons with a variety of kinetic energies are available from fissionable nucleii, and they can travel macroscopic distances. You may find the web site below interesting:

http://nop.riken.go.jp/research/plan/index.html

Vince Calder



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