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Vasily Arzhanov

Reactor Physics, KTH

HT2008 Elastic Scattering 2

Elastic Scattering

• Moderation by Elastic Scattering

• Inelastic Scattering

• Lab and CoM Reference Systems

• Scattering from Stationary Nuclei

• Change of Variables

• Isotropic Scattering in CoM Frame

• Post Collision Energy Distribution

• Average Logarithmic Energy Loss

• Neutron Scattering from Molecules

HT2008 Elastic Scattering 3

Chain Reaction

ν

β

γ

β

ν

n

235

92

U

2 MeV n ∼

0.1 eV n ∼

235

92

U

238

92

U

HT2008 Elastic Scattering 4

Why to Slow Down (Moderate)?

10

-3

10

-2

10

-1

10

0

10

1

10

2

10

3

10

4

10

5

10

6

10

7

Energy (eV)

10

-2

10

-1

10

0

10

1

10

2

10

3

10

4

σ

(

b

a

r

n

s

)

235

U

capture

fission

139 94 1

56 3

23

235 1 236 *

92 0 9

6 7

92 1

6 0

2

2

Ba Kr

U (18%) 2.

U U

4 1

)

0

3 (82% n

n

T yr γ

⎧

⎪

+

+ +

+

→

⋅

→

⎨

≈

⎪

⎩

HT2008 Elastic Scattering 5

Principles of a Nuclear Reactor

1

2

N

N

k ≡

ν

n

/

f

i

s

s

i

o

n

N

1

N

2

Leakage

Fast fission

Resonance abs.

Non-fuel abs.

Leakage

Non-fissile abs.

Fission

S

l

o

w

i

n

g

d

o

w

n

E

n

e

r

g

y

E

2 MeV

1 eV

200 MeV/fission

ν ≈ 2.5

HT2008 Elastic Scattering 6

Breeding

23.5min 2.3day 238 1 239 239 239

92 0 92 93 94

U n U Np Pu + → ⎯⎯⎯→ ⎯⎯⎯→

HT2008 Elastic Scattering 7

Plutonium Cross-Sections

World’s Pu

stockpiles.

Mixed oxide

fuels (MOX)

Many neutrons are absorbed here

HT2008 Elastic Scattering 8

Breeding

23.3min 27.4day 232 1 233 233 233

90 0 90 91 92

Th n Th Pa U + → ⎯⎯⎯→ ⎯⎯⎯→

HT2008 Elastic Scattering 9

Neutron Energy Spectrum

• Importance of neutron energy spectrum

• Neutron energy spectrum is determined by

– Nuclear reactions

– Geometry and size of the reactor

• Nuclear reactions

– Fission

– Absorption (somewhat secondary)

– Scattering (elastic, inelastic)

HT2008 Elastic Scattering 10

Fission Energy Spectrum

3

1.036

0.1 10MeV

2

( ) ; 1.29MeV

( ) 0.453 sinh 2.29

E

kT

E

E

E

N E e T

T

N E e E

π

−

−

≤ ≤

= =

= × ×

HT2008 Elastic Scattering 11

Inelastic Scattering

A

X

A+1

X

*

n

γ

n

θ

Li, Be

2-3 MeV

238

U

40 KeV

1 MeV

50 KeV

Ground

(1) Light (2) Heavy

HT2008 Elastic Scattering 12

General Conclusion on In. Sc.

• Inelastic scattering cross section is

relatively small for light nuclei.

• Heavy nuclei cannot serve as good

moderators in thermal reactors.

• Inelastic scattering may be significant:

– Heterogeneous reactors

– Highly enriched fuel

– Fast reactors

HT2008 Elastic Scattering 13

Laboratory and CoM Systems

A

X

n

v

0

V

0

v

1

V

1

ψ; cos(ψ) ≡ μ

M

θ; cos(θ) ≡ η

m

w

0

w

1

W

0

W

1

Laboratory CoM

Neutron Nucleus Neutron Nucleus

Before

v

0

E

0

V

0

w

0

W

0

After

v

1

E

1

V

1

w

1

W

1

Deflection angle ψ; cos(ψ) ≡ μ θ; cos(θ) ≡ η

Mass(

A

X) ≈ A·m

HT2008 Elastic Scattering 14

Motion in Lab System

( )

0 0 1 1

2 2

0 0 1 1

0 0

2 2 2 2

m M m M

mv MV mv MV

m M m M

+ = +

+ = +

+ ≡ +

2 2

v V v V

c v V

M

m

v

0

V

0

v

1

V

1

ψ

HT2008 Elastic Scattering 15

Velocities in CoM Systems

( )

( )

( )

( )

0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0

1 1 1 1

1 1 1 1

M

m M

m

m M

M

m M

m

m M

≡ − = −

+

≡ − = −

+

≡ − = −

+

≡ − = −

+

w v c v V

W V c V v

w v c v V

W V c V v

M

θ

m

w

0

w

1

W

0

W

1

HT2008 Elastic Scattering 16

Motion in CoM Systems

0 0 1 1

0 0 1 1

2 2 2 2

0 0 1 1

0 0 1 1

0 0 1 1

0

;

2 2 2 2

m M m M

M M

m m

m M m M

w w

W W

+ = + =

= − = −

+ = +

≡ = ≡

≡ = ≡

w W w W

w W w W

w V w V

w w

W W

M

θ

m

w

0

w

1

W

0

W

1

HT2008 Elastic Scattering 17

Stationary Nuclei

2

2

9

neutron: 1eV 14000m s

2

3

Be : ( 300K) 1000m s

2 2

mv

E v

MV

E kT T V

= = ⇒ ≈

= = = ⇒ ≈

0

0 V = Assumption:

The assumption is poor for energy ≤ 0.02 eV

HT2008 Elastic Scattering 18

Useful Relationships

0

m

m M

=

+

c v

M

m

v

0

ψ

c

CoM

w

0

w

1

c

θ

v

1

c

( ) ( )

η θ

θ

η

η

μ

η

μ

μ

ψ

= +

= + +

+ +

= ≈

+

+

=

+ +

⎡ ⎤

= + − −

⎢

≡ ≡ =

⎥

⎣ ⎦

v w c cw

A A M

E E A

A m

E E

A A

E E

1 1

2 2 2

1 0 0

2

1 0

2

1

2

1 0

0 1

0

2 cos

1 2

;

( 1)

cos

1 A

1 A 2A

1

; ;

1 1

2

cos w w

v w c

in Lab:

E is always given the Lab-system!!

HT2008 Elastic Scattering 19

Energy Loss

0 0

E E E α ≤ ≤

2

2

0 0 0

2

1 2 cos 1

( 1) 1

θ + + −

⎛ ⎞

= ⇒ ≤ ≤

⎜ ⎟

+ +

⎝ ⎠

A A A

E E E E E

A A

2

1

1

A

A

α

−

⎛ ⎞

≡

⎜ ⎟

+

⎝ ⎠

θ = 0° θ = 180°

E

0

E

0

E α E

E α

After

collision

E

0

E

HT2008 Elastic Scattering 20

( ) ( )

( )

( )

(

(

)

)

dv

n E n v

dE

dE

n v n

n E dE n v

E

dv

dv =

=

=

3 3

2

neutron neutron

cm ×J cm ×cm

) )

s

2

(

2

( n E

mv

E

n

v m

v

E

⎡ ⎤

⎡ ⎤

⎢ ⎥

⎢ ⎥

⎣ ⎦

⎣ ⎦

= =

E

v

E+dE v+dv

( ) ( ) ( ) 2 ( )

1

( ) ( ) ( )

dE mvdv

dE

n v n E mvn E mE n E

dv

dv

n E n v n v

dE mv

=

= = = ⋅

= =

Change of Variables

( ) n E dE

( ) n v dv

E

n

e

r

g

y

V

e

l

o

c

i

t

y

HT2008 Elastic Scattering 21

E αE

0

E

0

??

( )

0

p E E ←

Post Collision Energy Distribution

( ) p η

Final goal:

Frequency function = probability density distribution of scattering

angles in CoM system. It depends on: (1) E

0

, (2) struck nucleus.

Its form is determined from: (1) experiment, (2) theoretical model.

CoM

HT2008 Elastic Scattering 22

Frequency Function

( ) p d η η =

(1) Probability that a neutron is scattered in CoM into

angle whose cosine lies in [η, η + dη]

(2) Fraction of all scattering collisions which result in

angles whose cosine lie in [η, η + dη]

1

1

(1) ( ) 0

(2) ( ) 1

p

p d

η

η η

−

≥

=

∫

HT2008 Elastic Scattering 23

General Approach

0

( ) ( )

n n

n

p a P η η

∞

=

=

∑

Series expansion:

Legendre polynomials:

( )

2

0 1 2

1

( ) 1; ( ) ; ( ) 3 1

2

P P P η η η η η = = = −

1

,

1

2

( ) ( )

2 1

n m n m

P P d

n

η η η δ

−

=

+

∫

Orthogonality:

1

1

2 1

( ) ( )

2

n n

n

a p P d η η η

−

+

=

∫

Coefficients:

HT2008 Elastic Scattering 24

Simplest Model

0 0 1 1 0 1

( ) ( ) ( ) p a P a P a a η η η η = + + = + + … …

0

( ) p a η =

General form:

We postulate:

Isotropic

scattering in CoM

1

0

1

1

( ) 1 ( )

2

p d a p η η η

−

= ⇒ = =

∫

1 2

0 a a = = = …

Simplest form:

Immediate

consequence:

HT2008 Elastic Scattering 25

Isotropic Scattering in CoM

θ ⋅ r d

θ

θ sin r

w

0

Experiments: elastic scattering is isotropic in CoM.

Number of neutrons emerging through any unit area

on the surface is independent of the position.

( ) ( )

θ θ

π θ θ

π

θ

η θ θ

θ

= =

= =

=

=

⎯⎯→

ring

sphere

A

p d

A

r rd

r

d

p p

2

( )

2 sin

4

1

s

1

(

in

) sin

2

2

( ) ?

HT2008 Elastic Scattering 26

Isotropic Frequency Function

( )

θ θ

η η θ θ

η η θ θ θ η

η θ

=

= −

= − =

≡

=

1

( ) sin

2

( ) ( )

1 1 1

( ) si

co

n c s

2

s

o

2 2

p

p d p d

p d d d d

1

( )

2

p η =

η = cosθ

θ

HT2008 Elastic Scattering 27

Non-Isotropic Frequency

Function

( ) 1 2 1

( )

0 1

1

a

p

a

η η

η

η

+ ≤

⎧

=

⎨

>

⎩

≤

Mathematically, next step is

Physically, it corresponds

to p-scattering

z

θ

z

a = 0 a = 0.5

a = -1 a = 1

n

HT2008 Elastic Scattering 28

Frequency Function in Energy

( )

0

( ) p E E p E ← ≡

( ) p E dE =

Probability that an incident neutron with kinetic energy E

0

will

have energy in dE about E after scattering collision

Fraction of all scattering collisions which result in final kinetic

energies between E and E + dE

( )

2

0 0

2 2

0

2

0

( ) ( ) ( ) ( )

1 2 ( 1)

( 1

( 1) 1

( )

4

) 2

1

d

p E dE p d p E p

dE

A A d A

A

p E

E E

A d

A E

AE

E

E

α

η

η η η

η η

⎫

= ⇒ =

⎪

⎪

⇒

⎬

+ + +

⎪

= ⇒

+

= =

⎪

−

=

+

⎭

in Lab system!!

HT2008 Elastic Scattering 29

E αE

0

E

0

0

1

(1 ) E α −

0

( ) ( ) p E p E E = ←

Post Collision

Energy Distribution

1

{ }

Pr E ε <

0

E

E Δ

0 0 0

1 1

;

2 2

E E E E

α α + −

= Δ =

HT2008 Elastic Scattering 30

( )

0

0

0

2

0

ln ( )

1

1

ln 1 ln 1 ln

1 2 1

( )

o

o

E

E

E

E

E

p E dE

E

A

E A

E A A

p E dE

α

α

α

ξ α

α

−

−

≡ = = + = +

− +

∫

∫

2

for 10

2 3

ξ >

+

A

A

Average Logarithmic

Energy Loss

Nucleus Light

A = 1

Heavy

A >> 1

0 1

1 0

2

1

1

α

−

⎛ ⎞

=

⎜ ⎟

+

⎝ ⎠

A

A

1 ln

1

α

ξ α

α

= +

−

Does not depend

on energy!!!

HT2008 Elastic Scattering 31

Plots of α and ξ

α

ξ

α

ξ

HT2008 Elastic Scattering 32

( )

2

1

1

1 ln

2 1

A

A

A A

ξ

−

−

= +

+

2

2

3

A

ξ

+

Approximate Formula

Mass number, A

HT2008 Elastic Scattering 33

Average Cosine in CoM

η η η η η η

− −

= = =

∫ ∫

1 1

1 1

1

( ) 0

2

p d d

M

m

w

0

w

1

W

0

W

1

η θ ≡ cos

θ = ° 90

θ

HT2008 Elastic Scattering 34

Average Cosine in Lab

μ μ μ μ

−

=

∫

1

1

( ) p d

μ ψ ≡ cos

η

μ μ η η μ η

μ

= ⇒ = ( ) ( ) ( ) ( )

d

p d p d p p

d

η

μ

η

+

=

+ +

2

1 A

1 A 2A

μ μ μ μ μ η η η

− −

= =

∫ ∫

1 1

1 1

( ) ( ) ( ) p d p d

μ =

2

3A

( )

( )

ψ

ψ

≈ °

≈ °

1

238

H 48

U 89.8

HT2008 Elastic Scattering 35

Material A [°]

1

H 1 0 0.667 48.2

2

D 2 0.111 0.333 70.5

4

He 4 0.360 0.167 80.4

6

Li 6 0.510 0.095 83.6

9

Be 9 0.640 0.074 85.8

10

B 10 0.669 0.061 86.2

12

C 12 0.716 0.056 86.8

238

U 238 0.938 0.003 89.8

H

2

O * * 0.037 87.9

D

2

O * * 0.033 88.1

Average Cosine in Lab-System

1

H

2

D

4

He

238

U H

2

O

12

C

10

B

6

Li

ψ

α μ ψ

HT2008 Elastic Scattering 36

Elastic Scattering from Molecules

Fast neutron

Slow (thermal) neutron

Feels only H

Feels whole

molecule

0 τ ∼

coll

k chem

E E

0 τ ≠

∼

coll

k chem

E E

2

(H O) 2 (H) (O) σ σ σ = +

s s s

HT2008 Elastic Scattering 37

Elastic Scattering in Water

E [eV]

0.01 0.1 1 10

50

100

150

200

Chemical binding is

important unimportant

2 (H) (O) σ σ +

s s

[barn] σ

s

HT2008 Elastic Scattering 38

Scattering from Molecules

In case of very slow neutrons, Blatt and Weisskopf have shown:

( )

σ

H

s

F

Scattering cross section of Hydrogen in Free (atomic) state

( )

σ

H

s

B

Scattering cross section of Hydrogen in bound state

( ) ( )

2

4

1

σ σ

⎛ ⎞

=

⎜ ⎟

+

⎝ ⎠

H H

m

s s

B F

m

A

A

m(H) = 1

m(H

2

O) = A

m

( ) ( )

2

2

1

1

σ σ

⎛ ⎞

+

⎛ ⎞

=

⎜ ⎟ ⎜ ⎟

+

⎝ ⎠

⎝ ⎠

A A

m

s s

B F

m

A A

A A

m(O) = A

m(UO

2

) = A

m

U

O O

HT2008 Elastic Scattering 39

Scattering of Hydrogen in Water

Energy [eV]

( )

σ

H

s

B

HT2008 Elastic Scattering 40

1

H Elastic Cross Section

1 MeV 1 eV

HT2008 Elastic Scattering 41

4

He Elastic Cross Section

HT2008 Elastic Scattering 42

9

Be Elastic Cross Section

HT2008 Elastic Scattering 43

16

O Elastic Cross Section

HT2008 Elastic Scattering 44

23

Na Elastic Cross Section

HT2008 Elastic Scattering 45

238

U Elastic Cross Section

HT2008 Elastic Scattering 46

Summary on Elastic Scattering

• Elastic scattering cross-sections for light elements are

more or less independent of neutron energy up to 1 MeV.

• For intermediate and heavy elements, the elastic cross-

section is constant at low energy and exhibit some

variation at higher energy.

• We are usually more interested in light elements as far as

elastic scattering is concerned; so a good approximation

is, σ

s

= const, for all elements of interest.

• Nearly all elements have scattering cross-sections in the

range 2 to 20 barns.

• The important exception is water and heavy water.

HT2008 Elastic Scattering 47

The END

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