Measurements and simulations of the cosmic-ray-induced neutron background

M. F. Becchetti, M. Flaska, S. D. Clarke, S. A. Pozzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The cosmic-ray-induced neutron background at ground level has been measured and simulated in conjunction with EJ-309 organic liquid scintillators with an approximate deposited energy range of 0.5-6 MeV. Specifically, the pulse height distributions, net neutron count rates, and angular dependences were obtained. The simulations were carried out using the Monte Carlo transport code MCNPX-PoliMi combined with the (Cosmic-Ray Shower Generator) CRY source subroutine that returns secondary particles produced by cosmic rays. A scaling formula from literature was also implemented in the simulation. The angular dependence of the neutron count rate was measured by collimating the liquid scintillator with polyethylene to attain 18° angular resolution from 0° downwards to 72° horizontally. The neutron count rate was measured to be 23.10±1.69 h-1 sr-1 at 0°, and 7.20±0.78 h-1 sr-1 at 72°. The simulations and measurements compare well and show similar cosine anisotropy for the angular distribution. The study thus shows that the neutron background response in detector systems can be efficiently and accurately simulated using the procedures described.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Instrumentation


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