Nuclear transitions induced by synchrotron x-rays.

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We discuss two rare but interesting processes by which synchrotron x-rays with energies up to about 100 keV may be used to induce nuclear transitions. In the NEET (Nuclear Excitation by Electronic Transition) process, an intense x-ray beam is employed to make vacancies, e.g. K-holes, in the atoms of a specific nuclear isotope. When a vacancy is filled by an electronic transition from a higher atomic level, there is some probability that instead of the usual x-ray or Auger emission, the nucleus of the atom itself will be excited. This is then followed by a nuclear decay exhibiting characteristic gamma-rays ... continued below

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Gemmell, D. S. June 5, 2002.

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We discuss two rare but interesting processes by which synchrotron x-rays with energies up to about 100 keV may be used to induce nuclear transitions. In the NEET (Nuclear Excitation by Electronic Transition) process, an intense x-ray beam is employed to make vacancies, e.g. K-holes, in the atoms of a specific nuclear isotope. When a vacancy is filled by an electronic transition from a higher atomic level, there is some probability that instead of the usual x-ray or Auger emission, the nucleus of the atom itself will be excited. This is then followed by a nuclear decay exhibiting characteristic gamma-rays or other types of radiation, with time delays typical of the nuclear states involved. The probability for NEET increases when the energies of the atomic and the nuclear transitions become close. We address some theoretical aspects of the process and describe experimental efforts to observe it in {sup 189}Os and {sup 197}Au. The second process to be discussed is the possibility of ''triggering'' the decay of a nuclear isomer by irradiation with an x-ray beam. We focus on the case of the 31-year, 2.4-MeV, 16+ isomer of {sup 178}Hf. There has been speculation that if one could isolate gram quantities, say, of this isomer and then have the capability to accelerate its decay in a controlled way, one would have a powerful triggerable source of enormous energy. This could be used to generate explosions, for rapid irradiations, or for more general energy-storage applications, depending on the rate of energy release. We describe attempts to observe this process.

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  • 19th International Conference on X-ray and Inner-Shell Processes (X2002), Rome (IT), 06/24/2002--06/28/2002

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  • Report No.: ANL/PHY/CP-107138
  • Grant Number: W-31-109-ENG-38
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 797918
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc742090

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  • June 5, 2002

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  • Oct. 19, 2015, 7:39 p.m.

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  • March 23, 2016, 10:45 a.m.

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Gemmell, D. S. Nuclear transitions induced by synchrotron x-rays., article, June 5, 2002; Illinois. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc742090/: accessed August 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.