neutron capture | Energy Glossary

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neutron capture

1. n. []

A neutron interaction in which the neutron is absorbed by the target nucleus, producing an isotope in an excited state. The activated isotope de-excites instantly through the emission of characteristic gamma rays. Neutron capture, also called thermal capture, usually occurs at low thermal energies at which the neutrons have about the same energy as the surrounding matter, typically below 0.4 eV (0.025 eV at room temperature). Some elements are better thermal absorbers than others. Neutron capture is an important principle behind the pulsed neutron capture log, the elemental capture spectroscopy log, the pulsed neutron spectroscopy log and the thermal neutron porosity measurement.

Synonyms: thermal capture

See: chemical neutron sourcefast-neutron reactioninelastic neutron scatteringneutron generatorneutron interactions