Background: Inelastic neutrino-nucleus scattering is important for understanding core-collapse supernovae and the detection of emitted neutrinos from such events in earth-based detectors. Direct measurement of the cross sections is difficult and has only been performed on a few nuclei. It is, therefore, important to develop indirect techniques from which the inelastic neutrino-nucleus scattering cross sections can be determined.
Purpose: This paper presents a development of the (Li-6,Li-6*[T = 1, T-z = 0, 0(+), 3.56 MeV]) reaction at 100 MeV/u as a probe for isolating the isovector spin-transfer response in the inelastic channel (Delta S = 1, Delta T = 1, Delta T-z = 0) from which the Gamow-Teller transition strengths from nuclei of relevance for inelastic neutrino-nucleus scattering cross sections can be extracted.
Method: By measuring the Li-6 ejectile in a magnetic spectrometer and selecting events in which the 3.56 MeV gamma ray from the decay of the Li-6*[3.56 MeV] state is detected, the isovector spin-transfer selectivity is obtained. High-purity germanium clover detectors served to detect the gamma rays. Doppler reconstruction was used to determine the gamma energy in the rest frame of Li-6. From the Li-6 and 3.56 MeV gamma-momentum vectors the excitation energy of the residual nucleus was determined.
Results: In the study of the C-12(Li-6,Li-6*[3.56 MeV]) reaction, the isovector spin-transfer excitation-energy spectrum in the inelastic channel was successfully measured. The strong Gamow-Teller state in C-12 at 15.1 MeV was observed. Comparisons with the analog C-12(Li-6,He-6) reaction validate the method of extracting the Gamow-Teller strength. In measurements of the Mg-24, Nb-93(Li-6,Li-6*[3.56 MeV]) reactions, the 3.56 MeV gamma peak could not be isolated from the strong background in the gamma spectrum from the decay of the isoscalar excitations. It is argued that by using a gamma-ray tracking array instead of a clover array, it is feasible to extend the mass range over which the (Li-6,Li-6*) reaction can be used for extracting the isovector spin-transfer response up to mass numbers of similar to 25 and perhaps higher.
Conclusions: It is demonstrated that the (Li-6,Li-6*[3.56 MeV]) reaction probe can be used to isolate the inelastic isovector spin-transfer response in nuclei. Application to nuclei with mass numbers of about 25 or more, however, will require a more efficient gamma-ray array with a better tracking capability.