A nuclear-reactor experiment on the search for the emission of neutral pions from the neutron-induced fission of 235U nuclei has been carried out. To this end, an experimental setup for searching for the emission of π0 mesons with high sensitivity to this process has been designed and produced. This setup consisted of two Cherenkov total-absorption spectrometers for the detection and measurements of the energy of two gamma-ray photons from π0-meson decay. The spectrometers were placed at the exits of two coaxial horizontal experimental channels. To protect the detectors from low-energy β and γ rays and neutron fluxes, 3.5-m-long water filters were situated in the channels. To reject the cosmic background, large-area scintillation counters operating in the anticoincidence mode were placed over each spectrometer. The energy and time resolution of the spectrometers, as well as the efficiency of detecting charged particles by scintillation counters, were tested on the secondary electron beam of the Tomsk electron synchrotron Sirius. Runs of measurements of the effect on the operating reactor (duration of 805 h) were alternated with runs of measurements of background on the stopped reactor (duration of 403 h). Statistical processing of the experimental results yields an upper limit of ≤5.3 × 10(-12) with a 90% confidence level for the probability of the emission of neutral pions from the neutron-induced fission of 235U nuclei. This result and results of other works carried out with sources of spontaneously fissioning 252Cf nuclei show that the probabilities of the emission of π0 mesons from spontaneous fission and fission induced by fission-spectrum neutrons are equal to each other.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)