German Engineering

Just surveyed a homemade collimator for some of our researchers.  It consisted of hundreds of extremely thin, extremely closely-spaced kapton/boron sheets. 

It is elegant in its sheet simplicity.  Neutrons flying straight and true pass through unimpeded.  Neutrons deviating even slightly from their approved flight plan get a snootful of boron.

I mentioned it was homemade, right? Staring at this marvel, I asked the scientist how long it took to assemble.  He barked out a little chuckle.  “Oh!  A long time.  A very long time.”

Science geeks are awesome.  They’re the right kind of crazy.

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About wormme

I've accepted that all of you are socially superior to me. But no pretending that any of you are rational.
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3 Responses to German Engineering

  1. SeanB says:

    One sheet kapton, one sheet of mylar. 2 thin spacers at each end. Repeat as needed, then clamp at edges and tension the lot. Carefully remove mylar sheets one at a time.

    You need patience and a steady hand. serf labour ( undergrads looking for a good mark are cheap, only costs you a little of your beer money) is good for this.

  2. Socratease says:

    So the off-axis attenuation comes from what? Just the cosine factor on the sheet’s thickness?

    • wormme says:

      I’m guessing…yes? I know the physics of it, but not the actual shielding calculations they used. Boron has an immense cross-section for neutron capture. It takes little of it to mop up huge numbers of free neutrons. Since those sheets are about 12″x12″, it doesn’t matter than they’re < 1mm thick. Essentially all neutrons that aren't on the right path are absorbed.

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