Neutron spectroscopy is a method used to measure the spectrum of energy from free neutrons. Currently, 3He is being widely used to measure thermal neutron flux, due to its high capture cross section. Thermal neutrons are neutrons that have reached a minimum in energy due to their interactions with surrounding particles. However, 3He is very expensive; 14N is being investigated as an alternative. The plots below show the excellent energy resolution at the MeV scale when using Nitrogen in a SPC.
Low-Concentration Radon Measurements
Gaseous spherical detectors are ideal for measuring very low concentrations of Radon in the air. 222Radon is an important background for SPC’s as it follows a decay chain with multiple alpha emitters that ends in 210Pb. This radioactive isotope has a 23 year half life, making Radon an important background to eliminate. Due to the large volume of SPC’s, the entire chain of decay has the potential to be captured within the volume.