A Study of High-Energy Proton-Induced Nuclear Reactions

Publication Year



chemistry, nuclear reactions, energy, total reaction cross sections


Analytical Chemistry | Chemistry | Physical Sciences and Mathematics


The purpose of this research project was two-fold: first, to develop a direct-counting technique for use in the analysis of nuclear reaction products, and to use this technique to study total reaction cross sections* for proton-induced nuclear reactions at energies of 400 Mev.

The direct-counting technique was developed in an effort to reduce the error in quantitative analysis of reaction products and involved the direct application of gamma-ray spectroscopy over a relatively narrow energy region.

The system under investigation consisted of a series of proton-induced reactions on a germanium target. Specifically, the reactions studied were: Ge74 (p,2p) Ga73; Ge74 (p,2p6n) Ga67; Ge74 (p,3p) Zn72; Ge74 (p,3p3n) Zn69m; Ge74 (p,4n) As71.

The total reaction cross sections observed for these reactions were in good agreement with those which had been predicted based on comparison with literature values of cross sections for similar reactions on other medium mass nuclei. This would tend to indicate that the direct counting technique developed is a valid analytical technique for elements in this mass range.

*A total reaction cross section is a measure of the total probability of a given nuclear reaction occurring, regardless of the mechanism by which the reaction takes place.

Department 1 Awarding Honors Status


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