Prospects for measuring the 229Th isomer energy using a metallic magnetic microcalorimeter

Author(s): G.A. Kazakov, V. Schauer, J. Schwestka, S.P. Stellmer, J.H. Sterba, A. Fleischmann, L. Gastaldo, A. Pabinger, C. Enss, Thorsten Schumm

Journal: Nuclear Instruments & Methods in Physics Research

Volume: 735

Page(s): 229-239

Year: 2013

DOI Number: doi:10.1016/j.nima.2013.09.012

Link: Link to publication

Abstract:

The Thorium-229 isotope features a nuclear isomer state with an extremely low energy. The currently most accepted energy value, 7.8±0.5 eV, was obtained from an indirect measurement using a NASA x-ray microcalorimeter with an instrumental resolution 26 eV. We study, how state-of-the-art magnetic metallic microcalorimeters with an energy resolution down to a few eV can be used to measure the isomer energy. In particular, resolving the 29.18 keV doublet in the γ-spectrum following the α-decay of Uranium-233, corresponding to the decay into the ground and isomer state, allows to measure the isomer transition energy without additional theoretical input parameters, and increase the energy accuracy. We study the possibility of resolving the 29.18 keV line as a doublet and the dependence of the attainable precision of the energy measurement on the signal and background count rates and the instrumental resolution.

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