Possible observation of light neutron nuclei in the alpha-particle-induced fission of 238U
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Searches for nuclear-stable multineutrons among products originating from the fission of 238U nuclei that is induced by 62-MeV alpha particles were performed by the activation method. The reaction involving the transfer of four neutrons and occurring on the isotope 88Sr, 88Sr(xn, (x − 4) n)92Sr→92Y, was used to identify nuclear-stable multineutrons. A line at the energy of E = 1384 keV was found in the measured gamma-ray spectra of irradiated samples. This line, together with the measured time dependence of the decrease in its activity, is indicative of the formation of the beta-active nucleus 92Sr. This result was reproduced in repeated measurements. It suggests the possible existence of nuclear-stable multineutrons (xn) for x ≥ 6. The differential cross section for the xn yield at an angle of 30° in the alpha-particle-induced fission of 238U was about 6 × 10−2 mb/sr.
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