The Surrogate Method: An Indirect Approach to Nuclear Reactions Data to the Benefit of Future Nuclear Energy Systems

Friday, November 13, 2009 - 11:00 p.m. to Saturday, November 14, 2009 - 12:00 a.m.
ChEMS Seminar

Featuring Bethany Goldblum, Ph.D.
Department of Nuclear Engineering
University of California, Berkeley

Location:  DBH 1500 
Free and open to the public

To achieve improved design calculations for fast reactors, the determination or reevaluation of neutron-induced cross section data on a number of minor actinides is required. The Surrogate Method is an indirect technique for extracting neutron-induced reaction cross sections on both stable and radioactive nuclei. There are two means of application of the Surrogate Method, the absolute probability approach, or absolute surrogate technique, and the relative probability approach, or Surrogate Ratio Method (SRM). The Surrogate Method is conducted in the limit that the probability for decay into a given channel is independent of the total angular momentum and parity of the populated state, an assumption that has been shown to breakdown at low excitation energies. Given the possible disparity in the angular momentum populations resulting from the neutron-induced and surrogate reactions, experimental results will be presented showcasing the applicability and limitations of this technique in the actinide and rare earth regions.

About the Speaker:
Bethany Lyles Goldblum completed her doctoral degree with perfect marks in the Department of Nuclear Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley (UCB) in 2007. She is the currently a Clare Boothe Luce Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellow at UCB and maintains active collaborations with researchers in the Physical Sciences Directorate at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, the Nuclear Science Division at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the Department of Physics at the University of Oslo, Norway. Dr. Goldblum’s research interests are in the area of applied nuclear physics, with current emphasis on nuclear data needs for homeland security and Generation IV nuclear energy systems, as well as nuclear forensics applications.