Elastic Neutron Scattering at 96 MeV

Abstract: A facility for studies of elastic neutron scattering in the 50–130 MeV range has been developed. In addition to elastic neutron scattering, it has been used for (n,p) and (n,d) reaction experiments. The performance of the device has been illustrated in measurements of the (n,p) and (n,n) cross sections on 1H and 12C. Elastic neutron scattering from 12C and 208Pb has been studied at 96 MeV in the 10–70 degree interval. The achieved energy resolution, 3.7 MeV, is about one order of magnitude better than for any previous experiment above 65 MeV incident energy. The present experiment represents the highest neutron energy where the ground state has been resolved from the first excited state in neutron scattering. A novel method for normalization of the absolute scale of the cross section has been used. The estimated normalization uncertainty, 3 %, is unprecedented for a neutron-induced differential cross section measurement on a nuclear target. The results are compared with modern optical model predictions, based on phenomenology or microscopic nuclear theory. The data on 208Pb are in general in good agreement with the theory models. All theory models fail to describe the 12C data in the 30–50 degree interval, where the models predict a saddle structure not displayed by the present experimental data. Various reasons for this discrepancy have been investigated. For the other parts of the angular range studied, the agreement is good. These measurements have to a large degree been motivated by needs in various application areas, i.e., nuclear waste incineration by fast neutrons and biomedical effects caused by neutrons. The implications of the present results on these applications are discussed.