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First Measurement of the Total Neutron Cross Section on Argon between 100 and 800 MeV


We report the first measurement of the neutron cross section on argon in the energy range of 100-800 MeV. The measurement was obtained with a 4.3-h exposure of the Mini-CAPTAIN detector to the WNR/LANSCE beam at LANL. The total cross section is measured from the attenuation coefficient of the neutron flux as it traverses the liquid argon volume. A set of 2631 candidate interactions is divided in bins of the neutron kinetic energy calculated from time-of-flight measurements. These interactions are reconstructed with custom-made algorithms specifically designed for the data in a time projection chamber the size of the Mini-CAPTAIN detector. The energy averaged cross section is 0.91±0.10(stat)±0.09(syst)  b. A comparison of the measured cross section is made to the GEANT4 and FLUKA event generator packages, where the energy averaged cross sections in this range are 0.60 and 0.68 b, respectively.

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