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Neutron sprayer

  1. May 17, 2005 #1
    At the centre of an atomic bomb, there is a neutron sprayer, something that can produce neutron streams. What is this component? how do they work?

    How do we produce free neutrons on particle accelerators?

  2. jcsd
  3. May 18, 2005 #2


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    Where did you get information about a "neutron sprayer"? In an atomic bomb, there is a neutron source just to make sure the bomb goes off when the fissionable material is made supercritical.

    Particle accelerators handle charge particles. Neutrons may be produced as a product in some experiments.
  4. May 19, 2005 #3


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    Although there are no neutrons in a particle accelerators as mathman has indicated, neutrons can be generated using particle accelerators. The spallation neutron source being constructed at Oak Ridge is one example.

    http://www.sns.gov/aboutsns/aboutsns.htm [Broken]

    In fact, the construction of SNS is currently the largest accelerator project in the US.

    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017
  5. May 19, 2005 #4
    Cross section

    As ZapperZ said, creates neutrons from the interaction of charged particles with matter. Enrico Fermi's Nobel Prize was for the production of thermal neutrons from the interaction of alphas and protons with wax, and using those neutrons to induce artificial radioactivity. Basically, Beryllium has an enormous cross section for the production of neutrons by bombardment of medium energy alphas or protons. Most neutron sources are simply linear accelerators whose beams impinge upon Be targets.
  6. May 19, 2005 #5
    Don't forget that, when in an A-bomb, polonium and Beryllium are fused by shock when fuel density is max, and it furnishes 6 or so neutrons in the 5 microsecond window of super-criticalllity. Once the fission comences each fission produces two or three free neutrons that are available to cause the chain reaction - there are also 2 or three gamma photons per fission that were actually used to compress the liquid deuterium of the first US H-bomb. Cheers, Jim
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