next up previous contents
Next: Contents

Copyright April 1999 Makoto C. Fujiwara

Time-of-Flight Studies of Muon Catalyzed Fusion

with A Muonic Tritium Beam

Makoto C. Fujiwara

A.Eng. - Kobe City College of Technology - 1990 Department of Physics and Astronomy

B.Eng. - Yamanashi University - 1992

M.A.Sc. - The University of British Columbia - 1994

Doctor of Philosophy (herewith) - Department of Physics and Astronomy,
The University of British Columbia - April 1999


In this thesis, we establish a new approach in muon catalyzed fusion studies, the time-of-flight method with an atomic beam of muonic tritium, and report results for muonic tritium scattering and epithermal dµt resonant formation, providing the first quantitatve measurements on these reactions.

Emission of muonic tritium from a solid hydrogen thin film into vacuum was observed via imaging of muon decay electrons, and the measurement of the position and the time of muon decay provided spectroscopic evidence for the Ramsauer-Townsend effect in the µt + p interaction. The RT minimum energy was determined to be $13.6\pm 1.0$ eV, in fair agreement with quantum three body calculations.

Using this µt beam, we have confirmed theoretical µt + d scattering cross sections to an accuracy of 10% by measuring the attenuation of µt through a deuterium layer. The importance of p-wave scattering in the µt + d interaction, as suggested by the theory, was also confirmed by our data via comparisons with Monte Carlo calculations assuming different scattering angular distributions.

The existence of a predicted resonance for dµt formation in µt + D2 collisions was directly confirmed for the first time. Our results correspond to a peak resonance rate of $(8.7 \pm 2.1) \times
10^{9}$ s-1 in Faifman's model, more than an order of magnitude larger than the room temperature rates, and indicate a resonance energy of $0.42\pm 0.04$ eV for the F=1 resonance peak in ortho deuterium.

Assuming the theoretical [(dµt)dee] energy spectrum, these results imply sensitivity to the binding energy of the loosely bound state of the dµt molecule, with an accuracy approaching the magnitude of the relativistic and QED effects.

next up previous contents
Next: Contents