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Jourdain E.,Roche Holding AG | Roques J.P.,Roche Holding AG | Chauvin M.,Roche Holding AG | Clark D.J.,Roche Holding AG | Clark D.J.,Createc Ltd.
Astrophysical Journal | Year: 2012

Operational since 2002 on board the INTEGRAL observatory, the SPI spectrometer can be used to perform polarization measurements in the hard X-ray/softγ-ray domain (130 keV-8 MeV). However, this phenomenon is complex to measure at high energy and requires high fluxes. Cyg X-1 appears to be the best candidate amongst the X-ray binaries since it is one of the brightest persistent sources in this energy domain. Furthermore, a polarized component has recently been reported above 400 keV from IBIS data. We have therefore dedicated our efforts to developing the required tools to study the polarization in the INTEGRAL SPI data and have first applied them to 2.6 Ms of Cyg X-1 observations, covering 6.5 years of the INTEGRAL mission. We have found that the high energy emission of Cyg X-1 is indeed polarized, with a mean polarization fraction of 76% ± 15% at a position angle estimated to be 42°± 3°, for energies above 230 keV. The polarization fraction clearly increases with energy. In the 130-230 keV band, the polarization fraction is lower than 20%, but exceeds 75% between 370 and 850 keV, with the (total) emission vanishing above this energy. This result strongly suggests that the emission originates from the jet structure known to emit in the radio domain. The same synchrotron process could be responsible for the emission from radio to MeV, implying the presence of high energy electrons. This illustrates why the polarization of the high energy emission in compact objects is an increasingly important observational objective. © 2012. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.

Beaumont J.,Lancaster University | Mellor M.P.,Createc Ltd. | Joyce M.J.,Lancaster University
Radiation protection dosimetry | Year: 2014

A new mixed-field imaging system has been constructed at Lancaster University using the principles of collimation and back projection to passively locate and assess sources of neutron and gamma-ray radiation. The system was set up at the University of Manchester where three radiation sources: (252)Cf, a lead-shielded (241)Am/Be and a (22)Na source were imaged. Real-time discrimination was used to find the respective components of the neutron and gamma-ray fields detected by a single EJ-301 liquid scintillator, allowing separate images of neutron and gamma-ray emitters to be formed. (252)Cf and (22)Na were successfully observed and located in the gamma-ray image; however, the (241)Am/Be was not seen owing to surrounding lead shielding. The (252)Cf and (241)Am/Be neutron sources were seen clearly in the neutron image, demonstrating the advantage of this mixed-field technique over a gamma-ray-only image where the (241)Am/Be source would have gone undetected. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

Adams J.C.,Lancaster University | Mellor M.,Createc Ltd. | Joyce M.J.,Lancaster University
Environmental Science and Technology | Year: 2011

A method to determine the depth of buried localized radioactive contamination nonintrusively and nondestructively using principal component analysis is described. The γ-ray spectra from two radionuclides, cesium-137 and cobalt-60, have been analyzed to derive the two principal components that change most significantly as a result of varying the depth of the sources in a bespoke sand-filled phantom. The relationship between depth (d) and the angle (θ) between the first two principal component coefficients has been derived for both cases, viz.d(φ)=x+ylogeφwhere x and y are constants dependent on the shielding material and the γ-ray energy spectrum of the radioactivity in question, and φ is a function of θ. The technique enables the depth of a localized radioactive source to be determined nonintrusively in the range 5 to 50 mm with an accuracy of ±1 mm. © 2011 American Chemical Society.

Joyce M.J.,Lancaster University | Adams J.C.,Lancaster University | Heathcote J.A.,Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd DSRL | Mellor M.,Createc Ltd.
Proceedings of Institution of Civil Engineers: Energy | Year: 2013

A key challenge in disposing of nuclear legacy facilities and planning a new nuclear plant is how to assess the extent or likelihood of radioactive contamination in construction materials and the ground. This paper summarises the status of two techniques based on the analysis of emitted radiation from materials that comprise such structures, and describes how this analysis can be used to infer the depth of contamination without the need to penetrate the structure or to destroy it in the process. Two experimental facilities have been developed to test the efficacy of these techniques, and data are provided for the most widespread contaminant experienced in the sector: caesium-137. Finally, the influence on the technique of the likely variety of silica-based media to be encountered in the nuclear industry is described, together with a summary of challenges to be addressed in future research.

Chauvin M.,Toulouse 1 University Capitole | Chauvin M.,Roche Holding AG | Roques J.P.,Toulouse 1 University Capitole | Roques J.P.,Roche Holding AG | And 3 more authors.
Astrophysical Journal | Year: 2013

We present recent improvements in polarization analysis with the INTEGRAL SPI data. The SPI detector plane consists of 19 independent Ge crystals and can operate as a polarimeter. The anisotropy characteristics of Compton diffusions can provide information on the polarization parameters of the incident flux. By including the physics of the polarized Compton process in the instrument simulation, we are able to determine the instrument response for a linearly polarized emission at any position angle. We compare the observed data with the simulation sets by a minimum χ2 technique to determine the polarization parameters of the source (angle and fraction). We have tested our analysis procedure with Crab Nebula observations and find a position angle similar to those previously reported in the literature, with a comfortable significance. Since the instrument response depends on the incident angle, each exposure in the SPI data requires its own set of simulations, calculated for 18 polarization angles (from 0° to 170° in steps of 10°) and unpolarized emission. The analysis of a large number of observations for a given source, required to obtain statistically significant results, represents a large amount of computing time, but it is the only way to access this complementary information in the hard X-ray regime. Indeed, major scientific advances are expected from such studies since the observational results will help to discriminate between the different models proposed for the high energy emission of compact objects like X-ray binaries and active galactic nuclei or gamma-ray bursts. © 2013. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.

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