A Further Measurement of the beta-Delayed alpha-Particle Emission of 16N

R. H. France III, E. L. Wilds, J. E. McDonald, M. Gai

Submitted on 8 February 2007


We measured the beta-delayed alpha-particle emission spectrum of 16N with a sensitivity for beta-decay branching ratios of the order of 10-10. The 16N nuclei were produced using the d(15N,16N)p reaction with 70 MeV 15N beams and a deuterium gas target 7.5 cm long at a pressure of 1250 torr. The 16N nuclei were collected (over 10 s) using a thin aluminum foil with an areal density of 180 mu g/cm2 tilted at 7 Deg with respect to the beam. The activity was transferred to the counting area by means of a stepping motor in less than 3 s with the counting carried out over 8 s. The beta-delayed alpha-particles were measured using a time of flight method to achieve a sufficiently low background. Standard calibration sources (148Gd, 241Am, 208,209Po, and 227Ac) as well as alpha-particles and 7Li from the 10B(n,alpha)7Li reaction were used for an accurate energy calibration. The energy resolution of the catcher foil (180-220 keV) was calculated and the time of flight resolution (3-10 nsec) was measured using the beta-delayed alpha-particle emission from 8Li that was produced using the d(7Li,8Li)p reaction with the same setup. The line shape was corrected to account for the variation in the energy and time resolution and a high statistics spectrum of the beta-delayed alpha-particle emission of 16N is reported. However, our data (as well as earlier Mainz data and unpublished Seattle data) do not agree with an earlier measurement of the beta-delayed alpha-particle emission of 16N taken at TRIUMF after averaging over the energy resolution of our collection system. This disagreement, amongst other issues, prohibits accurate inclusion of the f-wave component in the R-matrix analysis.


Comment: Supported by USDOE grants No. DE-FG02-91ER40609 and DE-FG02-94ER40870

Subjects: Nuclear Experiment; Astrophysics; Nuclear Theory