Nuclear and Particle Physics, Astrophysics and Cosmology, T-2

An evaporation-based model of thermal neutron induced ternary fission of plutonium

John Lestone

Ternary fission probabilities for thermal neutron induced fission of plutonium are analyzed within the framework of an evaporation-based model where the complexity of time-varying potentials, associated with the neck collapse, are included in a simplistic fashion. If the nuclear temperature at scission and the fission-neck-collapse time are assumed to be ~1.2 MeV and ~10^ -22 s, respectively, then calculated relative probabilities of ternary fission light-charged-particle emission follow the trends seen in the experimental data. The ability of the presented model to reproduce ternary fission probabilities spanning seven orders of magnitude, for a wide range of light particle charges and masses, implies that ternary fission is caused by a coupling of an evaporation-like process with the rapid re-arrangement of the nuclear fluid following scission.

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