Large Scale Testing and Development of Gadolinium Trichloride for Use in Neutron Detection in Large Water

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Water Cherenkov detectors have been used for many years as inexpensive, effective detectors for neutrino interactions and nucleon decay searches. While many important measurements have been made with these detectors a major drawback has been their inability to detect the absorption of thermal neutrons. We believe an inexpensive, effective technique could be developed to overcome this situation via the addition to water of a solute with a large neutron cross section and energetic gamma daughters which would make neutrons detectable. Gadolinium seems an excellent candidate especially since in recent years it has become very inexpensive, now less than $8 per ... continued below

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Vagine, Mark September 18, 2007.

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Water Cherenkov detectors have been used for many years as inexpensive, effective detectors for neutrino interactions and nucleon decay searches. While many important measurements have been made with these detectors a major drawback has been their inability to detect the absorption of thermal neutrons. We believe an inexpensive, effective technique could be developed to overcome this situation via the addition to water of a solute with a large neutron cross section and energetic gamma daughters which would make neutrons detectable. Gadolinium seems an excellent candidate especially since in recent years it has become very inexpensive, now less than $8 per kilogram in the form of commercially-available gadolinium trichloride, GdCl{sub 3}. This non-toxic, non-reactive substance is highly soluble in water. Neutron capture on gadolinium yields a gamma cascade which would be easily seen in detectors like Super-Kamiokande. We have begun to investigate the use of GdCl{sub 3} as a possible upgrade for the Super-Kamiokande detector with a view toward improving its performance as a detector for atmospheric neutrinos, supernova neutrinos, wrong-sign solar neutrinos, reactor neutrinos, proton decay, and also as a target for the coming T2K long-baseline neutrino experiment. This large-scale investigation, conducted in the one kiloton water Cherenkov detector built for the K2K long-baseline experiment, follows up on highly promising benchtop-scale work previously carried out with the assistance of a 2003 Advanced Detector Research Program grant.

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  • Report No.: DOE/ER/41386
  • Grant Number: FG02-05ER41386
  • DOI: 10.2172/915115 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 915115
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc879831

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  • September 18, 2007

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 22, 2016, 2:13 a.m.

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  • Dec. 30, 2017, 8:07 p.m.

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Vagine, Mark. Large Scale Testing and Development of Gadolinium Trichloride for Use in Neutron Detection in Large Water, report, September 18, 2007; Irvine, California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc879831/: accessed August 16, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.