Modern status of photonuclear data
The reliability of experimental cross sections obtained for (γ, 1n), (γ, 2n), and (γ, 3n) partial photoneutron reactions using beams of quasimonoenergetic annihilation photons and bremsstrahlung is analyzed by employing data for a large number of medium-heavy and heavy nuclei, including those of 63,65Cu, 80Se, 90,91,94Zr, 115In, 112−124Sn, 133Cs, 138Ba, 159Tb, 181Ta, 186−192Os, 197Au, 208Pb, and 209Bi. The ratios of the cross sections of definite partial reactions to the cross section of the neutron-yield reaction, F i = σ(γ, in)/σ(γ, xn), are used as criteria of experimental-data reliability. By definition, positive values of these ratios should not exceed the upper limits of 1.00, 0.50, 0.33,... for i = 1, 2, 3,..., respectively. For many nuclei, unreliable values of the above ratios were found to correlate clearly in various photon-energy regions F i with physically forbidden negative values of cross sections of partial reactions. On this basis, one can conclude that correspondent experimental data are unreliable. Significant systematic uncertainties of the methods used to determine photoneutron multiplicity are shown to be the main reason for this. New partial-reaction cross sections that satisfy the above data-reliability criteria were evaluated within an experimental–theoretical method [σ eval(γ, in) = F i theor (γ, in) × σ expt(γ, xn)] by employing the ratios F i theor (γ, in) calculated on the basis of a combined photonuclear-reaction model. It was obtained that cross sections evaluated in this way deviate substantially from the results of many experiments performed via neutron-multiplicity sorting, but, at the same time, agree with the results of alternative activation experiments. Prospects of employing methods that would provide, without recourse to photoneutron-multiplicity sorting, reliable data on cross sections of partial photoneutron reactions are discussed.
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