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The photodisintegration of helium-3 at photon energies of 8.06 and 9.17 mev MacDonald, Jack Robert

Abstract

The cross section for the photodisintegration of helium-3 has been measured at gamma ray energies of 8.06 and 9.17 mev. The He³ (ɣ,p)D reaction cross section at 8.06 and 9.17 mev was found to be 0.493± 0.066 and 0.723± 0.087 millibarns respectively. The He³ (ɣ,n)2p reaction cross section at 9.17 mev was found to be 0.25± 0.13 millibarns. These results are compared with other experimental work on the photodisintegration of helium-3 and tritium. The photodisintegration reaction was observed in a cylindrical gridded ionization chamber using a helium-3, methane, and argon gas mixture. The C¹³ (p,ɣ) N¹⁴ reactions at proton bombarding energies of 0.554 and 1.75 mev were used as the source of gamma rays of well defined energy. The preparation of carbon-13 targets is discussed in detail. Theoretical calculations on the photodisintegration of mass 3 nuclei are summarized. Photodisintegration and electron scattering measurements are compared as methods of determining the nature of the ground state wave function of the mass 3 system.

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