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Phys Rev Lett. 2019 Feb 22;122(7):072503. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.122.072503.

Preequilibrium Asymmetries in the ^{239}Pu(n,f) Prompt Fission Neutron Spectrum.

Author information

1
Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, New Mexico 87545, USA.
2
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, California 94550, USA.

Abstract

The physical properties of neutrons emitted from neutron-induced fission are fundamental to our understanding of nuclear fission. However, while state-of-the-art fission models still incorporate isotropic fission neutron spectra, it is believed that the preequilibrium prefission component of these spectra is strongly anisotropic. The lack of experimental guidance on this feature has not motivated incorporation of anisotropic neutron spectra in fission models, though any significant anisotropy would impact descriptions of a fissioning system. In the present work, an excess of counts at high energies in the fission neutron spectrum of ^{239}Pu is clearly observed and identified as an excess of the preequilibrium prefission distribution above the postfission neutron spectrum. This excess is separated from the underlying postfission neutron spectrum, and its angular distribution is determined as a function in incident neutron energy and outgoing neutron detection angle. Comparison with neutron scattering models provides the first experimental evidence that the preequilibrium angular distribution is uncorrelated with the fission axis. The results presented here also impact the interpretation of several influential prompt fission neutron spectrum measurements.

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