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thermal neutron

noun
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for thermal neutrons

thermal neutrons

plural noun
1.
slow neutrons that are approximately in thermal equilibrium with a moderator. They have a distribution of speeds similar to that of the molecules of a gas at the temperature of the moderator. Data concerning nuclear interactions are often given for standard thermal neutrons of speed 2200 metres per second, which is approximately the most probable speed at normal laboratory temperatures
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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thermal neutrons in Science
thermal neutron  
See slow neutron.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Article for thermal neutrons

thermal neutron

any free neutron (one that is not bound within an atomic nucleus) that has an average energy of motion (kinetic energy) corresponding to the average energy of the particles of the ambient materials. Relatively slow and of low energy, thermal neutrons exhibit properties, such as large cross sections in fission, that make them desirable in certain chain-reaction applications. Furthermore, the long de Broglie wavelengths of thermal neutrons make them valuable for certain applications of neutron optics. Thermal neutrons are produced by slowing down more energetic neutrons in a substance called a moderator after they have been ejected from atomic nuclei during nuclear reactions such as fission.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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