The neutron capture cross sections of the main uranium isotopes, U235 and U238, were measured simultaneously for keV energies, for the first time by combining activation technique and atom counting of the reaction products using accelerator mass spectrometry. New data, with a precision of 3%-5%, were obtained from mg-sized natural uranium samples for neutron energies with an equivalent Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution of kT∼25keV and for a broad energy distribution peaking at 426 keV. The cross-section ratio of U235(n,γ)/U238(n,γ) can be deduced in accelerator mass spectrometry directly from the atom ratio of the reaction products U236/U239, independent of any fluence normalization. Our results confirm the values at the lower band of existing data. They serve as important anchor points to resolve present discrepancies in nuclear data libraries as well as for the normalization of cross-section data used in the nuclear astrophysics community for s-process studies.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)