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  1. Abstract

    Neutron-capture cross sections of neutron-rich nuclei are calculated using a Hauser–Feshbach model when direct experimental cross sections cannot be obtained. A number of codes to perform these calculations exist, and each makes different assumptions about the underlying nuclear physics. We investigated the systematic uncertainty associated with the choice of Hauser-Feshbach code used to calculate the neutron-capture cross section of a short-lived nucleus. The neutron-capture cross section for$$^{73}\hbox {Zn}$$73Zn(n,$$\gamma $$γ)$$^{74}\hbox {Zn}$$74Znwas calculated using three Hauser-Feshbach statistical model codes: TALYS, CoH, and EMPIRE. The calculation was first performed without any changes to the default settings in each code. Then an experimentally obtained nuclear level density (NLD) and$$\gamma $$γ-ray strength function ($$\gamma \hbox {SF}$$γSF) were included. Finally, the nuclear structure information was made consistent across the codes. The neutron-capture cross sections obtained from the three codes are in good agreement after including the experimentally obtained NLD and$$\gamma \hbox {SF}$$γSF, accounting for differences in the underlying nuclear reaction models, and enforcing consistent approximations for unknown nuclear data. It is possible to use consistent inputs and nuclear physics to reduce the differences in the calculated neutron-capture cross section from different Hauser-Feshbach codes. However, ensuring the treatment of the input of experimental data and other nuclear physics are similar across multiple codes requires a careful investigation. For this reason, more complete documentation of the inputs and physics chosen is important.

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