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Used for both proton decay searches and neutrino physics, large water Cherenkov (WC) detectors have been very successful tools in particle physics. They are notable for their large masses and charged particle detection capabilities. While current WC detectors reconstruct charged particle tracks over a wide energy range, they cannot efficiently detect neutrons. Gadolinium (Gd) has the largest thermal neutron capture cross section of all stable nuclei and produces an 8 MeV gamma cascade that can be detected with high efficiency. Because of the many new physics opportunities that neutron tagging with a Gd salt dissolved in water would open up, a large-scale R&D; program called EGADS was established to demonstrate this technique’s feasibility. EGADS features all the components of a WC detector, chiefly a 200-ton stainless steel water tank furnished with 240 photo-detectors, DAQ, and a water system that removes all impurities from water while keeping Gd in solution. In this paper we discuss the milestones towards demonstrating the feasibility of this novel technique, and the features of EGADS in detail.
Photovoltaic Response of Thin-Film CdTe Solar Cells under Accelerated Neutron Radiation in a TRIGA ReactorCadmium telluride (CdTe) solar cells are a promising photovoltaic (PV) technology for producing power in space owing to their high-efficiency (> 22.1 %), potential for specific power, and cost-effective manufacturing processes. In contrast to traditional space PVs, the high-Z (atomic number) CdTe absorbers can be intrinsically robust under extreme space radiation, offering long-term stability. Despite these advantages, the performance assessment of CdTe solar cells under high-energy particle irradiation (e.g., photons, neutrons, charged particles) is limited in the literature, and their stability is not comprehensively studied. In this work, we present the PV response of n-CdS / p-CdTe PVs under accelerated neutron irradiation. We measure PV properties of the devices at different neutron/photon doses. The equivalent dose deposited in the CdTe samples is simulated with deterministic and Monte Carlo radiation transport methods. Thin-film CdTe solar cells were synthesized on a fluorine-doped tin oxide (FTO) coated glass substrate (≈ 4 cm × 4 cm). CdS:O (≈ 100 nm) was reactively RF sputtered in an oxygen/argon ambient followed by a close-spaced sublimation deposition of CdTe (≈ 3.5 μm) in an oxygen/helium ambient. The sample was exposed to a 10 min vapor CdCl2 in oxygen/helium ambient at 430˚C. The samples were exposed to amore »
X-ray radiography and computed tomography (CT) reveal hidden subsurface features within fossil specimens embedded in matrix. With X-rays, distinguishing features from the background (i.e., contrast) results from sample density and atomic X-ray attenuation—fundamental properties of the sample. However, even high energy X-rays may poorly resolve hard and soft tissue structures when the matrix has similar density or X-ray attenuation to the fossil. Here, neutron radiography and neutron tomography complement X-ray imaging, as the source of contrast comes instead from how a neutron beam interacts with the sample's atomic nuclei. The contrast is highly nonlinear across the periodic table, and so researchers can see enhanced contrast between adjacent features when X-ray imaging could not. As the signal source is completely different than X-ray imaging, some intuition from X-rays must be discarded. For instance, neutrons quite easily pass through lead, but are blocked by hydrogen. Since neutron imaging is uncommon within paleontology, we introduce this exciting technology at a high level with an emphasis on applications to paleontology. We cover some basic physics underlying neutron imaging, where one can perform such experiments, and sample considerations. The neutron source, concepts of beam flux, and image resolution will also be covered. As neutron imagingmore »
The search for quantum spin liquids—topological magnets with fractionalized excitations—has been a central theme in condensed matter and materials physics. Despite numerous theoretical proposals, connecting experiment with detailed theory exhibiting a robust quantum spin liquid has remained a central challenge. Here, focusing on the strongly spin-orbit coupled effective
S= 1/2 pyrochlore magnet Ce2Zr2O7, we analyze recent thermodynamic and neutron-scattering experiments, to identify a microscopic effective Hamiltonian through a combination of finite temperature Lanczos, Monte Carlo, and analytical spin dynamics calculations. Its parameter values suggest the existence of an exotic phase, a π-flux U(1) quantum spin liquid. Intriguingly, the octupolar nature of the moments makes them less prone to be affected by magnetic disorder, while also hiding some otherwise characteristic signatures from neutrons, making this spin liquid arguably more stable than its more conventional counterparts.
Transport of strongly interacting fermions is crucial for the properties of modern materials, nuclear fission, the merging of neutron stars, and the expansion of the early Universe. Here, we observe a universal quantum limit of diffusivity in a homogeneous, strongly interacting atomic Fermi gas by studying sound propagation and its attenuation through the coupled transport of momentum and heat. In the normal state, the sound diffusivity D monotonically decreases upon lowering the temperature, in contrast to the diverging behavior of weakly interacting Fermi liquids. Below the superfluid transition temperature, D attains a universal value set by the ratio of Planck’s constant and the particle mass. Our findings inform theories of fermion transport, with relevance for hydrodynamic flow of electrons, neutrons, and quarks.