Neutron Attenuation in Polyethylene Using an AmBe Source

Neutron Attenuation in Polyethylene Using an AmBe Source

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Dylan Barbagallo,1, a) Brooke Bolduc,1 Brian Hassett,1 Walter Johnson,1 Kendrick Koumba,1 Ally Leeming,1 Phuc Mach,1 Joe McCormack,2 Molly McDonough,1and Jacqueline Nyamwanda1, b)

1 Department of Physics, Suffolk University, 20 Somerset St., Boston, Massachusetts 02108, USA
2 Massachusetts General Hospital, Proton Center, 55 Fruit St., Boston, Massachusetts 02114, USA
a) Corresponding author: dbarbagallo [at]
b) jnyamwanda [at]


In this project an americium-beryllium (AmBe) neutron source was used to study the attenuation characteristics of polyethylene on an incident flux of varying neutron energies from 200 keV to 10 MeV. The linear absorption coefficient suitable for a single neutron energy was found to vary with absorber thickness due to the higher cross section for absorption of low-energy neutrons. The attenuation coefficient for a thickness greater than 15 cm was found to be associated with higher velocity neutrons.