Electron Emission from Slightly Oxidized Depleted Uranium Generated by its Own Radioactivity Measured by Electron Spectroscopy, and Electron-Induced Dissociation and Ionization of Hydrogen Near its Surface.

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Energy dependent electron emission (counts per second) between zero and 1.4 keV generated by the natural reactivity of uranium was measured by an electrostatic spectrometer with known acceptance angle and acceptance area. The electron intensity decreases continuously with energy, but at different rates in different energy regimes, suggesting that a variety of processes may be involved in producing the observed electron emission. The spectrum was converted to energy dependent electron flux (e-/cm{sup 2} s) using the assumption that the emission has a cosine angular distribution. The flux decreased rapidly from {approx}10{sup 6}/cm{sup 2}s to {approx}10{sup 5}/cm{sup 2}s in the energy ... continued below

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Siekhaus, W J & Nelson, A J October 26, 2011.

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Energy dependent electron emission (counts per second) between zero and 1.4 keV generated by the natural reactivity of uranium was measured by an electrostatic spectrometer with known acceptance angle and acceptance area. The electron intensity decreases continuously with energy, but at different rates in different energy regimes, suggesting that a variety of processes may be involved in producing the observed electron emission. The spectrum was converted to energy dependent electron flux (e-/cm{sup 2} s) using the assumption that the emission has a cosine angular distribution. The flux decreased rapidly from {approx}10{sup 6}/cm{sup 2}s to {approx}10{sup 5}/cm{sup 2}s in the energy range from zero to 200 eV, and then more slowly from {approx}10{sup 5}/cm{sup 2}s to {approx}3*10{sup 4}/cm{sup 2} s in the range from 200 to 1400 eV. The energy dependent electron mean free path in gases together with literature cross sections for electron induced reactions were used to determine the number of ionization and dissociation reactions per cm{sup 2}s within the inelastic mean free path of electrons, and found to be about 1.3*10{sup 8}/cm{sup 2}s and 1.5*10{sup 7}/cm{sup 2}s, respectively, for hydrogen. An estimate of the number of ionization and dissociation reactions occurring within the total range, rather than the mean free path of electrons in gases resulted in 6.2*10{sup 9}/cm{sup 2}s and 1.3*10{sup 9}/cm{sup 2}s, respectively. The total energy flux carried by electrons from the surface is suspiciously close to the total possible energy generated by one gram of uranium. A likely source of error is the assumption that the electron emission has a cosine distribution. Angular distribution measurements of the electron emission would check that assumption, and actual measurement of the total current emanating from the surface are needed to confirm the value of the current calculated in section II. These results must therefore be used with caution - until they are confirmed by other measurements.

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  • Report No.: LLNL-TR-509034
  • Grant Number: W-7405-ENG-48
  • DOI: 10.2172/1035297 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 1035297
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc837934

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  • October 26, 2011

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • May 19, 2016, 3:16 p.m.

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  • Dec. 5, 2016, 2:49 p.m.

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Siekhaus, W J & Nelson, A J. Electron Emission from Slightly Oxidized Depleted Uranium Generated by its Own Radioactivity Measured by Electron Spectroscopy, and Electron-Induced Dissociation and Ionization of Hydrogen Near its Surface., report, October 26, 2011; Livermore, California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc837934/: accessed October 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.