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Spreading of Collimated Particle Beams Within a Generalized Fokker-Planck Diffusion Description

R. Nyqvist, D. Anderson, M. Lisak

Nuclear Science and Engineering

Volume 163 / Number 1 / September 2009 / Pages 85-90


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Recently, an expansion of the Boltzmann scattering operator describing the angular spreading of particle beams was given that included the effects of large angle scattering processes, thus generalizing the classical Fokker-Planck equation, valid in the limit of small angle scattering. The present work aims at making an analytical comparison between predictions based on the classical Fokker-Planck equation and those based on a generalized one, which includes a first-order correction term in the expansion of the Boltzmann scattering operator. The analysis is carried out for thin slabs where backscattering effects can be neglected and makes use of a moment approach, which leads to an infinite system of recursively coupled ordinary differential equations. The system is truncated in a consistent manner, and the effects of large angle scattering on the evolution of the moments are determined in explicit analytical form. An approximate similarity solution of the generalized Fokker-Planck equation is also found, and the results of both approaches provide a clear picture of the increased diffusive beam spreading due to large angle scattering. A comparison with previously published Monte Carlo simulation results shows good agreement.

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