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J Instrum. 2012 Mar 16;7(3). pii: C03031.

Novel neutron sources at the Radiological Research Accelerator Facility.

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Radiological Research Accelerator Facility, Columbia University, 136 S. Broadway, P.O. Box 21, Irvington, NY 10533, USA.


Since the 1960s, the Radiological Research Accelerator Facility (RARAF) has been providing researchers in biology, chemistry and physics with advanced irradiation techniques, using charged particles, photons and neutrons.We are currently developing a unique facility at RARAF, to simulate neutron spectra from an improvised nuclear device (IND), based on calculations of the neutron spectrum at 1.5 km from the epicenter of the Hiroshima atom bomb. This is significantly different from a standard fission spectrum, because the spectrum changes as the neutrons are transported through air, and is dominated by neutron energies between 0.05 and 8 MeV. This facility will be based on a mixed proton/deuteron beam impinging on a thick beryllium target.A second, novel facility under development is our new neutron microbeam. The neutron microbeam will, for the first time, provide a kinematically collimated neutron beam, 10-20 micron in diameter. This facility is based on a Proton Microbeam, impinging on a thin lithium target near the threshold of the (7)Li(p,n)(7)Be reaction. This novel neutron microbeam will enable studies of neutron damage to small targets, such as single cells, individual organs within small animals or microelectronic components.

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