Neutron fluctuations in a multiplying medium randomly varying in time
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift, 2006

The master equation approach, which has traditionally been used for the calculation of neutron fluctuations in multiplying systems with constant parameters, is extended to a case when the parameters of the system change randomly in time. We consider a forward type master equation for the case of a multiplying system whose properties jump randomly between two discrete states, both with and without a stationary external source. The first two factorial moments are calculated, including the covariance. This model can be considered the unification of stochastic methods that were used either in a constant multiplying medium via the master equation technique, or in a fluctuating medium via the Langevin technique. The results obtained show a much richer characteristics of the zero power noise than that in constant systems. The results are relevant in medium power subcritical nuclear systems where the zero power noise is still significant, but they also have a bearing on all types of branching processes, such as evolution of biological systems, spreading of epidemics etc., which are set in a time-varying environment.

Particle fluctuations

branching processes

time-varying systems


master equations


L. Pal

Hungarian Academy of Sciences KFKI Atomic Energy Research Institute

Imre Pazsit

Chalmers, Teknisk fysik, Nukleär teknik

Physica Scripta

0031-8949 (ISSN)

Vol. 74 62-70


Annan fysik