Theory for the Szilard-Chalmers Reaction

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As is shown in the discussion of recoil energies in thermal n-capture reactions, chemical bounds can be broken due the recoil energy caused by the prompt γ-emission. This will lead to the creation of free radicals, which is very reactive. Therefore, a long list of new componds can be formed during n capture.

In 1934 L. Szilard and T. A. Chalmers showed that when Ethyliodide is irradiated with thermal neutrons, a large fraction of the radioactive nuclei created in the process will be present as free iodine atoms or iodine ions.

The bond breakage can typically lead to the following reacions:

[math]1) \quad C_2H_5 \, ^{127}\!I + ^{128}\!I \rightarrow C_2H_5 \cdot + ^{127}\!I \cdot + ^{128}\!I \cdot[/math]

[math]2) \quad ^{127}\!I \cdot + ^{128}\!I \cdot \rightarrow ^{127}\!I ^{128}\!I[/math]

[math]3) \quad C_2H_5 \cdot + ^{128}\!I \cdot \rightarrow C_2H_5 ^{128}\!I[/math]

[math]4) \quad C_2H_5 ^{127}\!I + ^{128}\!I \cdot \rightarrow C_2H_5 ^{128}\!I + ^{127}\!I \cdot[/math]

[math]5) \quad C_2H_5 ^{127}\!I + ^{128}\!I \cdot \rightarrow CH_2 ^{127}\!I CH_2 ^{128}\!I + H \cdot[/math]

[math]6) \quad C_2H_5 ^{127}\!I + ^{128}\!I \cdot \rightarrow CH_2 ^{127}\!I CH_3CH ^{127}\!I ^{128}\!I + H \cdot[/math]

[math]7) \quad ^{128}\!I \cdot + H \cdot \rightarrow H^{128}I[/math]