The Energy Distribution of Neutrons Slowed by Elastic Impacts

  • E. U. Condon
  • G. Breit


The problem of finding the distribution in energy of particles of mass m, initially of the same energy, which have made n impacts with particles of mass M all initially at rest, is solved. It is supposed the impacts are elastic and the distribution in angle igotropic in a coordinate system in which the center of mass is at rest. If x is the ratio of the energy after n impacts to the initial energy then the chance that x lie in dx at x is (log l/x) n-1 /(n - 1)! for m = M. For unequal masses the expression is more complicated but easy to calculate. The results have some interest in connection with the slowing of neutrons by elastic impacts with other nuclei, especially with hydrogen nuclei.


Energy Distribution Recursion Relation Initial Energy Neutron Energy Incomplete Gamma Function 
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    The problem is also discussed by H.P. Lawther, Jr., Annals of Math. Statistics 4, 241 (1933) whose Fig. 1 graphs the distribution function for n = 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32.MATHCrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    Karl Pearson, ed. Tables of the Incomplete Gamma Function (London, H. M. Stationery Office, 1922).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • E. U. Condon
    • 1
  • G. Breit
    • 1
  1. 1.Palmer Physical LaboratoryPrinceton UniversityUSA

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