Neutron-neutron quasifree scattering in nd breakup at 10 MeV
The neutron-deuteron (nd) breakup reaction provides a rich environment for testing theoretical models of the neutron-neutron (nn) interaction. Current theoretical predictions based on rigorous ab-initio calculations agree well with most experimental data for this system, but there remain a few notable discrepancies. The cross section for nn quasifree (QFS) scattering is one such anomaly. Two recent experiments reported cross sections for this particular nd breakup configuration that exceed theoretical calculations by almost 20% at incident neutron energies of 26 and 25 MeV [1, 2]. The theoretical values can be brought into agreement with these results by increasing the strength of the 1S0 nn potential matrix element by roughly 10%. However, this modification of the nn effective range parameter and/or the 1S0 scattering length causes substantial charge-symmetry breaking in the nucleon-nucleon force and suggests the possibility of a weakly bound di-neutron state . We are conducting new measurements of the cross section for nn QFS in nd breakup. The measurements are performed at incident neutron beam energies below 20 MeV. The neutron beam is produced via the 2H(d, n)3He reaction. The target is a deuterated plastic cylinder. Our measurements utilize time-of-flight techniques with a pulsed neutron beam and detection of the two emitted neutrons in coincidence. A description of our initial measurements at 10 MeV for a single scattering angle will be presented along with preliminary results. Also, plans for measurements at other energies with broad angular coverage will be discussed.
Malone, RC; Crowe, B; Crowell, AS; Cumberbatch, LC; Esterline, JH; Fallin, BA; Friesen, FQL; Han, Z; Howell, CR; Markoff, D; Ticehurst, D; Tornow, W; Witała, H
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