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Gadolinium loaded Cherenkov detectors for neutron monitoring in high energy air showers

Stowell, P.; Fargher, S.; Thompson, L.F.; Brown, A.M.; Chadwick, P.M.

Gadolinium loaded Cherenkov detectors for neutron monitoring in high energy air showers Thumbnail


S. Fargher

L.F. Thompson


Monitoring of high energy cosmic ray neutrons is of particular interest for cosmic ray water Cherenkov detectors as intense bundles of delayed neutrons have been found to arrive after the initial passage of a high energy air shower. In this paper we explore the possibility of building large-area high-energy neutron monitors using gadolinium-loaded Water Cherenkov Detectors (WCDs). GEANT4 simulations of photon production in WCDs are used to estimate the maximum detection efficiency for a hypothetical system. Requiring a series of neutron induced gamma ray flashes distributed over an extended period of time (up to 20 μs) was shown to be an effective way to discriminate high energy neutron interactions from other backgrounds. Results suggest that neutron detection efficiencies of 4–15% may be possible using a gadolinium-loaded detection system above 200 MeV. The magnitude of gadolinium loading was also shown to significantly modify the timing response of the simulated detector.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jan 25, 2022
Online Publication Date Feb 21, 2022
Publication Date 2022
Deposit Date May 23, 2022
Publicly Available Date Aug 2, 2022
Journal Journal of Instrumentation
Publisher IOP Publishing
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 17
Issue 02
Public URL


Published Journal Article (Advance online version) (1.4 Mb)

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Copyright Statement
Advance online version Original content from this work may be used under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 licence. Any further distribution of this work must maintain attribution to the author(s) and the title of the work, journal citation and DOI.

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