Capture of Slow Neutrons in Light Elements


BY means of a small boron-lined ionization chamber we have studied the density distribution of neutrons around a source (Ra + Be) placed in a large container filled with a hydrogenous liquid1. From the measured distribution the total number of neutrons present at any instant is obtained by integration. This figure does not depend on the scattering properties but only on the capture cross-sections of the nuclei constituting the liquid. If a constant number of neutrons is emitted from the source, then the mean number present at any instant is inversely proportional to the total capture probability.


  1. 1

    Amaldi, E., and Fermi, E., Phys. Rev., 50, 899 (1936).

  2. 2

    Burcham, W. E., and Goldhaber, M., Proc. Camb. Phil. Soc., 32, 632 (1936).

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FRISCH, O., VON HALBAN, H. & KOCH, J. Capture of Slow Neutrons in Light Elements. Nature 140, 895 (1937).

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