Fusion Message Board

In this space, visitors are invited to post any comments, questions, or skeptical observations about Philo T. Farnsworth's contributions to the field of Nuclear Fusion research.

Subject: Re: Homemade neutron detector?
Date: Jan 26, 10:51 am
Poster: Jones Beene

On Jan 26, 10:51 am, Jones Beene wrote:

Measuring neutrons accurately is not an easy task even with fairly expensive equipment. As much art as science, it seems.

With that in mind, has anyone constructed or even thought about a homemade neutron detector that would employ, say a normal gamma detector placed adjacent to a large container full of perhaps boric acid? In effect you could have a giant BF3 tube. Alternatively a plate of cadmium steel might work as well.

One of the reasons that the BF tubes are so inefficient is that they contain only milligrams of actual boron (maybe micrograms? ). With few neutrons being produced and few atoms of boron to intercept them, then, of course statistically there can be only a few hits.

But you could multiply the boron inventory of a detector by billions of times with a pound of boric acid from the drug store dissolved in a few quarts of water. As a bonus you have your moderator built in. The drug store product is not pure stuff, of course, but it is unlikely that anything else in the mix would detract from the ability of the boron to react with neutrons from a fusor.

The n + Boron 10 ---> He4 + Li7 + 2.78 Mev may not produce a gamma signature itself but all of those resultant Mev alphas and Li ions zipping through the water would definitely give your gamma counter plenty to look at.

Any thoughts?