, Volume 39, Issue 2, pp 179-186
Date: 21 Jan 2009

Ultra-sensitive in-beam \( \gamma\) -ray spectroscopy for nuclear astrophysics at LUNA

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Ultra-sensitive in-beam \( \gamma\) -ray spectroscopy studies for nuclear astrophysics are performed at the LUNA (Laboratory for Underground Nuclear Astrophysics) 400 kV accelerator, deep underground in Italy’s Gran Sasso laboratory. By virtue of a specially constructed passive shield, the laboratory \( \gamma\) -ray background for \(\ensuremath E_{\gamma}\) < 3 MeV at LUNA has been reduced to levels comparable to those experienced in dedicated offline underground \( \gamma\) -counting setups. The \( \gamma\) -ray background induced by an incident \( \alpha\) -beam has been studied. The data are used to evaluate the feasibility of sensitive in-beam experiments at LUNA and, by extension, at similar proposed facilities.