Photoneutron strengths in 26Mg at energies of astrophysical interest
Background: The 22Ne(α,n)25Mg reaction is an important source of neutrons for s-process nucleosynthesis. The neutron production from the reaction is quite sensitive to the low-energy cross section, which is dominated by narrow resonances. The high level density of the 26Mg compound nucleus above the α separation energy prevents simple extrapolations from higher energy and the high Coulomb barrier makes the direct measurements extremely difficult. For this reason, indirect methods must be employed to study the level properties of 26Mg. Purpose: The current measurement utilizes the reaction 26Mg(γ,n)25Mg to probe the level structure of the 26Mg compound nucleus from the neutron-separation energy at 11.093 MeV up to Ex≈ 12 MeV. Methods: The High-Intensity γ-ray Source of the Triangle Universities Nuclear Laboratory was used to bombard a ∼16 g sample of enriched 26Mg oxide and the resulting decay neutrons were detected with an array of nine liquid scintillator detectors. Neutron time-of-flight peaks with corresponding energies as low as ∼50 keV were detected. An efficiency measurement of the detectors was made at the University of Notre Dame's nuclear science laboratory to energies as low as 45 keV. Results: Five resonances were observed at Eγ = 11.150, 11.289, 11.329, 11.506, and 11.749 MeV and their strengths have been extracted. Conclusion:. The resulting strengths at Eγ = 11.289, 11.329, 11.506, and 11.749 MeV are in good agreement with previous measurements. The strength of the resonance at Eγ = 11.150 MeV is somewhat lower than previously measured but is in reasonable agreement when systematic uncertainties are considered. The results are also consistent with those of 25Mg(n,γ)26Mg studies where a comparison shows that many of the resonances observed here are the result of multiple unresolved narrow resonances. © 2014 American Physical Society.
Deboer, RJ; Best, A; Görres, J; Smith, K; Tan, W; Wiescher, M; Raut, R; Rusev, G; Tonchev, AP; Tornow, W
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