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1.1 BACKGROUND OF STUDY
Over the years there have been so many software used in the determination of alpha particle ranges in different noble gases. It is also evident that a heavy charged particle, such as an alpha particle, has a fairly definite range in a gas, liquid, or solid. The particle loses energy primarily by the excitation and ionization of atoms in its path.
In this laboratory, counter telescopes consisting of gas-filled proportional counters and surface-barrier silicon detectors are used to investigate (n, ⍺)-reactions1-3 the counter pulse heights are analyzed to identify alpha particles and to obtain their energies. For that purpose the ranges of alpha particles in the counting gas must be known rather well. Comprehensive tables of heavy-particle energy-loss data have been published by Barkas and Berger 4) and, more recently, by Northcliffe and Schillings). The tables of Barkas and Berger contain proton data only down to 1 MeV. From those alpha-particle ranges may be calculated down to 4 MeV. Stopping-power and range data down to alpha-particle energies as low as 50 keV have been presented by Northcliffe and Schilling. Their data, however, are not consistent with those of Barkas and Berger in the energy region between 4 and 15 MeV. Furthermore, when we tried to use the data of Northcliffe and Schilling for our alpha-particle identifying method6), we did not succeed. For these reasons we have measured energy losses of alpha particles in H2, He, CH 4 and CO2 in the energy region between 0.5 and 5.3 MeV.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
What really instigated the study was due to the difficulty encounter in the determination of alpha particle range in different noble gases using other software. There have been series of variation in the range of alpha particle in various gases (He, Ne, Ar, Og, Kr and Xe) and the inability of most software to detect the range of alpha particles is the major concern of the research work.
1.3 AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF STUDY
The main aim of the research work is to evaluate the determination of alpha particle range in different noble gases using SRIM software. Other specific objectives of the study include:
- To determine the differences between interaction of heavy charged particles (such as alpha particles) with matter and interaction of electrons with matter
- To investigate on the factors affecting energy loss of alpha particle in different noble gases
- To determine the ionization and excitation energy of alpha particles in different noble gases
- To compare the efficiency of the SRIM software with other method of detection of alpha particle range in noble gases
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The study came up with research questions so as to ascertain the above stated objectives of study. The specific research questions are stated below as follows:
- What are the differences between interaction of heavy charged particles (such as alpha particles) with matter and interaction of electrons with matter?
- What are the factors affecting energy loss of alpha particle in different noble gases?
- What is the ionization and excitation energy of alpha particles in different noble gases?
- What is the difference in efficiency of the SRIM software with other method of detection of alpha particle range in noble gases
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY
The study will be of immense benefit to the physics department and other researchers that wish to carry out similar research on the above topic as it will discuss in details the determination of alpha particle range in different noble gases using SRIM software.
1.6 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The study on determination of alpha particle range in different noble gases using SRIM software will be limited to the study of alpha particle range in the following noble gases He and Ne
1.7 ORGANISATION OF CHAPTERS
The chapter one of the research work will consist of the introduction and the background of the study; the chapter two of the research work will consist of the reviews on related literature, the chapter three of the research work will consist of materials and method used for the experiment, the chapter four of the research work will consist of experiment and analysis while the chapter five of the research work will consist of the summary, conclusion and recommendation.
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS
ALPHA PARTICLE: a helium nucleus emitted by some radioactive substances, originally regarded as a ray
NOBLE GASES: any of the gaseous elements helium, neon, argon, krypton, xenon, and radon, occupying Group 0 (18) of the periodic table.
- Brendle, M. M6rike, G. Staudt and G. Steidle, Z. Naturforsch. 23a (1968) 1229. ‘~) M. Brendle, M. M6rike, G. Staudt and G. Steidle, Nucl. Instr. and Meth. 81 (1970) 141. 3) M. Brendle and G. Steidle, to be published. 4) W. H. Barkas and M. J. Berger, National Academy of Sciences, National Research Council, Publication 1133. 5) L. C. Northcliffe and R. F. Schilling, Nucl. Data Tables A7 (1970) 233. 6) M. Brendle, Nucl. Instr. and Meth. 128 (1975) 69. 7) E. Rotondi and K. W. Geiger, Nucl. Instr. and Meth. 40 (1966) 192. 8) W. Kunz and J. Schintlmeister, Tabellen der Atomkerne, vol. 2 (Akademie-Verlag, Berlin, 1959). 9) j. Mathews and R. L. Walker, Mathematical methods of physics (W. A. Benjamin, Inc., New York, 1965). 10) B. Ostle, Statistics in research (Iowa State University Press, Ames, Iowa, 1963).