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Triple proton coincidences following pion absorption in helium McAlister, John


An experimental investigation of the absorption reaction ⁴He(π⁺,ppp) has been undertaken on the M11 beamline at the TRIUMF cyclotron. Positive pions at an average kinetic energy of 165 MeV were directed onto a cylindrical liquid 4He target and the outgoing protons were measured by a combination of two time-of-flight arrays and two plastic scintillator telescopes. A description of the apparatus, experimental technique and calibration is presented. Results from triple proton coincidences at a single orientation of three of the detectors are discussed. Their angular settings with respect to the pion beam were 40°, 136° and —55°. Comparisons are made with Monte-Carlo simulations of three and four body phase spaces. Identification of a quasi-free three nucleon absorption mode is made for the first time at this energy. An integrated cross-section for this process is determined (σQ₃N = 4.4 ± 0.6mb). The quantitative agreement between these results and those of another recent experiment¹ indicate that a small fraction(≈10%) of the coincidences could be due to a two step absorption mechanism. ¹Backenstoss et al. Phys. Rev. Lett 61:923(1988)

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