A method for investigation of the D(4He, γ)6Li reaction in the Ultralow energy region under a high background

V. M. Bystritsky, G. N. Dudkin, A. R. Krylov, S. Gazi, J. Huran, B. A. Nechaev, V. N. Padalko, A. B. Sadovsky, Yu Zh Tuleushev, M. Filipowicz, A. V. Philippov

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The cosmological lithium problem, that is, a noticeable discrepancy between the predicted and observed abundances of lithium, is in conflict with the Standard Big Bang Nucleosynthesis model. For example, the abundance of 7Li is 2-4 times smaller than predicted by the Standard Big Bang Nucleosynthesis. As to the abundance of 6Li, recent more accurate optical investigations have yielded only the upper limit on the 6Li/7Li ratio, which makes the problem of 6Li abundance and accordingly of disagreement with the Standard Big Bang Nucleosynthesis predictions less acute. However, experimental study of the D(4He, γ)6Li reaction cross section is still of current importance because there is a theoretical approach predicting its anomalously large value in the region of energies below the Standard Big Bang Nucleosynthesis energy. The work is dedicated to the measurement of the cross section for the D(4He, γ)6Li reaction proceeding in zirconium deuteride at the incident 4He+ion energy of 36 keV. The experiment is performed at a pulsed Hall plasma accelerator with an energy spread of 20% FWHM. A method for direct measurement of the background from the reaction chain D(4He, 4He)D→D(D, n)3He→(n, γ) and/or (n, n′γ) ending with activation of the surrounding material by neutrons is proposed and implemented in the work. An upper limit on the D(4He, γ)6Li reaction cross section σ≤7·10-36 cm2 at the 90% confidence level is obtained.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)24-30
Number of pages7
JournalNuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research, Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jul 2016



  • Cross sections
  • Gamma detectors
  • Gamma spectroscopy
  • Lithium problem in astrophysics
  • Nuclear reaction
  • Targets

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Instrumentation

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