The bound coherent neutron scattering lengths of the oxygen isotopes

Henry E Fischer, J Mike Simonson, Jörg C Neuefeind, Hartmut Lemmel, Helmut Rauch, Anita Zeidler, Philip S Salmon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

The technique of neutron interferometry was used to measure the bound coherent neutron scattering length b(coh) of the oxygen isotopes (17)O and (18)O. From the measured difference in optical path between two water samples, either H(2)(17)O or H(2)(18)O versus H(2)(nat)O, where nat denotes the natural isotopic composition, we obtain b(coh,(17)O) = 5.867(4) fm and b(coh,(18)O) = 6.009(5) fm, based on the accurately known value of b(coh,(nat)O) = 5.805(4) fm which is equal to b(coh,(16)O) within the experimental uncertainty. Our results for b(coh,(17)O) and b(coh,(18)O) differ appreciably from the standard tabulated values of 5.6(5) fm and 5.84(7) fm, respectively. In particular, our measured scattering-length contrast of 0.204(3) fm between (18)O and (nat)O is nearly a factor of 6 greater than the tabulated value, which renders feasible neutron diffraction experiments using (18)O isotope substitution and thereby offers new possibilities for measuring the partial structure factors of oxygen-containing compounds, such as water.
LanguageEnglish
Article number505105
JournalJournal of Physics-Condensed Matter
Volume24
Issue number50
DOIs
StatusPublished - 19 Dec 2012

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Oxygen Isotopes
Coherent scattering
coherent scattering
oxygen isotopes
Neutron scattering
Isotopes
neutron scattering
oxygen compounds
Oxygen
Water
Neutron diffraction
optical paths
Interferometry
water
neutron diffraction
Neutrons
interferometry
Substitution reactions
isotopes
Scattering

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The bound coherent neutron scattering lengths of the oxygen isotopes. / Fischer, Henry E; Simonson, J Mike; Neuefeind, Jörg C; Lemmel, Hartmut; Rauch, Helmut; Zeidler, Anita; Salmon, Philip S.

In: Journal of Physics-Condensed Matter, Vol. 24, No. 50, 505105, 19.12.2012.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Fischer, Henry E ; Simonson, J Mike ; Neuefeind, Jörg C ; Lemmel, Hartmut ; Rauch, Helmut ; Zeidler, Anita ; Salmon, Philip S. / The bound coherent neutron scattering lengths of the oxygen isotopes. In: Journal of Physics-Condensed Matter. 2012 ; Vol. 24, No. 50.
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AB - The technique of neutron interferometry was used to measure the bound coherent neutron scattering length b(coh) of the oxygen isotopes (17)O and (18)O. From the measured difference in optical path between two water samples, either H(2)(17)O or H(2)(18)O versus H(2)(nat)O, where nat denotes the natural isotopic composition, we obtain b(coh,(17)O) = 5.867(4) fm and b(coh,(18)O) = 6.009(5) fm, based on the accurately known value of b(coh,(nat)O) = 5.805(4) fm which is equal to b(coh,(16)O) within the experimental uncertainty. Our results for b(coh,(17)O) and b(coh,(18)O) differ appreciably from the standard tabulated values of 5.6(5) fm and 5.84(7) fm, respectively. In particular, our measured scattering-length contrast of 0.204(3) fm between (18)O and (nat)O is nearly a factor of 6 greater than the tabulated value, which renders feasible neutron diffraction experiments using (18)O isotope substitution and thereby offers new possibilities for measuring the partial structure factors of oxygen-containing compounds, such as water.

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