Measuring the neutron-induced fission cross-sections of short-lived nuclei represents an experimental challenge due to target activity and the low intensity of neutron beams. One way to alleviate the problems inherent in the direct measurement is to use the surrogate method, where one measures the decay probability of the same compound nucleus formed using a charged beam and a stable target. The decay probability of the compound nucleus is then used to estimate the neutron-induced cross-section. As an extension to the surrogate method, we introduce a new method of reporting the fission probabilities of two compound nuclei as a ratio, which has the advantage of removing most of the systematic uncertainties. The ratio method was checked in a known case, the 236U (n, f) /238U (n, f) cross-section ratio, which turned out to be the same as the probability ratio of P (236U (d, pf))/P (238U (d, pf)). As an application, the 237U(n, f )/235U(n, f ) cross-section ratio was inferred, on the basis of the measured P(238U(d, d f ))/P (236U(d, d f )) probability ratio.

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Copyright © 2005 IOP Publishing, Ltd. This article first appeared in Journal of Physics G: Nuclear and Particle Physics 31, no. 10 (September 12, 2005): S1573-1576. doi:10.1088/0954-3899/31/10/035.

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