Radioactive sources

  • A laboratory source of neutrons consists of a mixture of an a emitter and light nuclei, such as beryllium, boron or flourine.  The most common of these is the a Be source.

    a + 9Be 12C + n + 5.7 MeV
  • A beam of thermal neutrons may be obtained by surrounding the source with water, paraffin or other hydrogenous material.