Research at the University of Kentucky Accelerator Laboratory

S. F. Hicks, M. A. Kovash

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Kentucky operates a 7-MV CN Van de Graaff accelerator that produces primary beams of protons, deuterons, and helium ions. An in-terminal pulsing and bunching system operates at 1.875 MHz and is capable of providing 1 ns beam bunches at an average current of several microamperes. Nearly all ongoing research programs involve secondary pulsed neutrons produced with gas cells containing deuterium or tritium, as well as with a variety of solid targets. Most experiments are performed at a target station positioned over a deep pit, so as to reduce the background created by backscattered neutrons. Recent experiments will be described; these include: measurements of n-p scattering total cross sections from En = 90 to 1800 keV to determine the n-p effective range parameter; the response of the plastic scintillator BC-418 below 1 MeV to low-energy recoil protons; n-p radiative capture cross sections important for our understanding of nucleosynthesis approximately 2 minutes after the occurrence of the Big Bang; γ-ray spectroscopy following inelastic neutron scattering to study nuclear structure relevant to double-β decay and to understand the role of phonon-coupled excitations in weakly deformed nuclei; and measurements of neutron elastic and inelastic scattering cross sections for nuclei that are important for energy production and for our global understanding of the interaction of neutrons with matter.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)440-447
Number of pages8
JournalPhysics Procedia
StatePublished - 2017
EventConference on the Application of Accelerators in Research and Industry, CAARI 2016 - Fort Worth, United States
Duration: Oct 30 2016Nov 4 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 The Authors.


  • Neutron-proton total cross sections
  • neutron detection
  • neutron elastic scattering cross sections
  • neutron inelastic scattering cross sections
  • neutron production
  • p(n,dγ) radiative capture cross sections
  • γ-ray spectroscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


Dive into the research topics of 'Research at the University of Kentucky Accelerator Laboratory'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this