Analysis of Data from Neutron Detectors

Faculty Mentor(s)

Dr. Paul DeYoung, Hope College

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This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. PHY0969058.


Accurate simulation of 1-100 MeV neutrons is essential for interpretation of data taken from scintillator arrays such as the Modular Neutron Array (MoNA). Since neutrons are uncharged, they interact with MoNA only in nucleon-nucleon scattering, and are indirectly detected by the presence of charged byproducts of these interactions. The neutron retains a portion of its initial energy, and can therefore interact elsewhere in the detector. These multiple detections make it difficult to determine the number of neutrons present in MoNA, and must therefore be reproduced with simulation to interpret data from MoNA. Geant4, a high-energy physics simulation, is capable of simulating the passage of particles through matter, but is designed for energies of several GeV, and must therefore be modified to model accurately the actions of neutrons in this lower energy regime.

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