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55Fe radioactive sources are used for x-ray calibration due to the long half-lives of 2.73 years and the optimal energies of the peaks. The source used in the experiment was generated using Western Michigan University’s Tandem Van de Graff accelerator to produce a 6 MeV proton beam which induced a 55Mn(p, n)55Fe reaction on a 10 μm 55Mn target. The emissions from this target were then measured using a silicon lithium drift x-ray detector to determine the number of instances of deexcitation through kα and kβ modes. The preliminary data discussed showed a lower relative deexcitation rate of 6.67 between the kα and kβ x-ray emissions when compared to previous data indicating a ratio closer to 8.6, which is not accounted for in statistical error . Future analysis will aim to explain this discrepancy, which is likely experimental as discussed in this paper. Should it be shown that the methods discussed in this paper are an effective means of decreasing error in measurements of these deexcitation intensities, it would have applications in x-ray telescope calibration. This would in turn reduce error in measurements taken by x-ray telescopes that utilize a 55Fe source for calibration.
Helgemo, Eric, "Study of Deexcitation Intensities to the K-Shell in Iron 55" (2022). Honors Theses. 3550.
Honors Thesis-Open Access