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Neutron Detection with Centrifugally-Tensioned Metastable Fluid Detectors (CTMFD)

[+] Author Affiliations
Y. Xu, P. Smagacz, J. Lapinskas, J. Webster, P. Shaw, R. P. Taleyarkhan

Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN

Paper No. ICONE14-89199, pp. 389-394; 6 pages
  • 14th International Conference on Nuclear Engineering
  • Volume 3: Structural Integrity; Nuclear Engineering Advances; Next Generation Systems; Near Term Deployment and Promotion of Nuclear Energy
  • Miami, Florida, USA, July 17–20, 2006
  • Conference Sponsors: Nuclear Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4244-4 | eISBN: 0-7918-3783-1
  • Copyright © 2006 by ASME


Tensioned metastable liquid states at room temperature were utilized to display sensitivity to impinging nuclear radiation, that manifests itself via audio-visual signals that one can see and hear. A centrifugally-tensioned metastable fluid detector (CTMFD), a diamond shaped spinning device rotating about its axis, was used to induce tension states, i.e. negative (sub-vacuum) pressures in liquids. In this device, radiation induced cavitation is audible due to liquid fracture and is visible from formed bubbles, so called hearing and seeing radiation. This type of detectors is selectively insensitive to Gamma rays and associated indication devices could be extremely simple, reliable and inexpensive. Furthermore, any liquids with large neutron interaction cross sections could be good candidates. Two liquids, isopentane and methanol, were tested with three neutron sources of Cf-252, PuBe and Pulsed Neutron Generator (PNG) under various configurations of neutron spectra and fluxes. The neutron count rates were measured using a liquid scintillation detector. The CTMFD was operated at preset values of rotating frequency and a response time was recorded when a cavitation occurred. Other parameters, including ambient temperature, ramp rate, delay time between two consecutive cavitations, were kept constant. The distance between the menisci of the liquid in the CTMFD was measured before and after each experiment. In general, the response of liquid molecules in a CTMFD varies with the neutron spectrum and flux. The response time follows an exponential trend with negative pressures for a given neutron count rate and spectra conditions. Isopentane was found to exhibit lower tension thresholds than methanol. On the other hand, methanol offered a larger tension metastability state variation for the various types of neutron sources, indicating the potential for offering significantly better energy resolution abilities for spectroscopic applications.

Copyright © 2006 by ASME
Topics: Neutrons , Fluids , Sensors



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