The Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Kentucky operates a 7-MV CN Van de Graaff accelerator that produces primary beams of protons, deuterons, and helium ions. An in-terminal pulsing and bunching system operates at 1.875 MHz and is capable of providing 1 ns beam bunches at an average current of several microamperes. Nearly all ongoing research programs involve secondary pulsed neutrons produced with gas cells containing deuterium or tritium, as well as with a variety of solid targets. Most experiments are performed at a target station positioned over a deep pit, so as to reduce the background created by backscattered neutrons. Recent experiments will be described; these include: measurements of n-p scattering total cross sections from En= 90 to 1800 keV to determine the n-p effective range parameter; the response of the plastic scintillator BC-418 below 1 MeV to low-energy recoil protons; n-p radiative capture cross sections important for our understanding of nucleosynthesis approximately 2 minutes after the occurrence of the Big Bang; γ-ray spectroscopy following inelastic neutron scattering to study nuclear structure relevant to double-β decay and to understand the role of phonon-coupled excitations in weakly deformed nuclei; and measurements of neutron elastic and inelastic scattering cross sections for nuclei that are important for energy production and for our global understanding of the interaction of neutrons with matter.
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This work was supported in part by grants from Department of Energy NNSA/SSAA Grant DE-NA0003348, the National Science Foundation under Grant No. PHY-1606890, and the Department of Energy NNSA/SSAA Grant DE-NA0002931.
Hicks, S. F. and Kovash, Michael A., "Research at the University of Kentucky Accelerator Laboratory" (2017). Physics and Astronomy Faculty Publications. 506.