Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Engineering Physics

First Advisor

John W. McClory, PhD.


During the initial design of the Field Reversed Compression and Heating Experiment (FRCHX), magnetohydrodynamic simulations performed by Los Alamos National Laboratory using MACH2 predicted a neutron yield on the order of 1012 neutrons. However, Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) measurements indicate a total of 107-108 neutrons are generated from the FRCHX. A PuBe source was used to create a burst of neutrons to calibrate an AFRL silver detector based on distance to determine if the four order of magnitude discrepancy was cause by an improperly calibrated detector. It was determined that the calibration equation in use by AFRL for the silver detectors was correct within error at most points compared to this work. An alternate calibration equation FPuBe = 12.2D2 + 3020D where D is the distance in inches from the source to the front face of the silver detector, was found using least squares techniques to reduce the residuals of the data collected using the PuBe source. The silver detectors were properly calibrated which does not account for the large order of magnitude difference observed between experiment and simulation of the FRCHX.

AFIT Designator