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Nuclear Energy pp 254-256 | Cite as

General Considerations Concerning the Lattice Structure

  • A. M. Weinberg
  • E. P. Wigner
Part of the The Collected Works of Eugene Paul Wigner book series (WIGNER, volume A / 5)

Abstract

Every cycle in a chain reaction has three parts. Let us trace the course of the cycle by following the life of a neutron. Each neutron is created, together with 1 or 2 brothers, by the fission rocess, i. e. the disintegration of a U nucleus into two fragments with the simultaneous emission of 2 to 3 neutrons. This is s the first part of the cycle. The neutron, when created, has a very large energy, about 2 Mev (a velocity of 12,000 miles/sec) and it must be slowed down to thermal velocities (1 mile/sec). This is the second part of the cycle; it occurs in the damper by collisions with relatively light atoms (carbon in the usual H arrangement). The slowing down of the neutrons is necessary because slow neutrons are much more easily absorbed by U than are fast neutrons. The absorption of the neutrons by the U is the third part of the cycle; it causes the U atom by which it is absorbed to undergo fission and thus emit, in its turn, 1 new neutrons.

Keywords

Fast Neutron Resonance Absorption Thermal Loss Light Atom Neutron Absorption 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. M. Weinberg
  • E. P. Wigner

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