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.

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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