Grant: $111,908 - National Science Foundation - Oct. 1, 2009
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Award Description: This grant supports the development by Indiana University South Bend (IUSB) of a particle detection system for use with the recoil mass separator St. George, which is being constructed at the University of Notre Dame. The RMS St. George will be used to separate products of (_,_) reactions in inverse kinematics from unreacted beam particles. For example, studies of the reaction 16O(_,_)20Ne will be carried out by directing an accelerated beam of 16O ions onto a helium jet gas target, so that both the 20Ne reaction products and the unreacted 16O ions will travel forward with essentially the same momentum. A combination of dipole magnets, for selecting on momentum to charge ratio, and a Wien filter for selecting on velocity, will allow a suppression by 1012-1015 of residual beam particles. Even so, comparable numbers of reaction products and unreacted beam particles will be delivered to the end of the RMS St. George. The proposed detection system will be used to distinguish between reaction products and beam particles at the end of the RMS St. George. The detection system will use measurements of both energy and time-of-flight of detected ions to discriminate based on mass. Intellectual Merit – A complete and detailed understanding of how the elements have been produced, and continue to be produced, from the primordial hydrogen and helium of the Big Bang is the ultimate goal of nuclear astrophysics. The 2007 Long Range Plan of the Nuclear Science Advisory Committee (NSAC) includes among its list of fourteen overarching questions at the frontiers of nuclear science these two: 'What is the origin of the elements in the cosmos? and 'What are the nuclear reactions that drive stars and stellar explosions? Much progress has been made in this field, but many challenges remain. Among the most important of these challenges is the need to extend measurements of cross sections of certain key nuclear reactions down to the low energies at which stellar nuclear reactions take place. The RMS St. George will be a premiere facility for experimental nuclear astrophysics, as its large angular acceptance will offer the capability to measure (_,_) reaction rates to unprecedented low energies. The full potential of St. George can only be realized, though, in combination with a powerful and flexible particle detection system, as proposed here. Broader Impacts – The project will contribute to research training at many levels, not only during the project duration, but even more so through the many years of fruitful experimental work by post-docs, graduate students, and undergraduates that will be enabled by the proposed detection system. The opportunity for undergraduate students at IUSB to participate in detector development on their own campus and frontline nuclear physics research at a laboratory just three miles away is especially attractive for this regional, primarily non-residential campus. The host laboratory at Notre Dame is already recognized as a leader in low-energy nuclear physics, and especially in nuclear astrophysics, and the availability of St. George and a powerful detection system will make the laboratory even more attractive to potential graduate students, post-docs, and visiting scientists.
Project Description: Studies of exotic nuclei are a top priority to address a number of outstanding nuclear physics questions. These include measurements to explore changes of the nuclear structure in nuclei far from stability and reaction rates to infer (gamma,n) rates for astrophysical applications. The MoNA Collaboration has been successful at measuring a number of neutron- unbound ground states and excited states of exotic nuclei, but such experiments have been restricted to cases where the decay energy associated with a resonant state was relatively low. With this project the remaining unbound nuclei as well as many unknown higher-lying unbound states in light neutron-rich nuclei (Z<9) will be accessible. The MoNA Collaboration will expand on its past success and measure one- and two-neutron coincidence experiments following knock-out reactions with the new device. The group will also be able to pursue structure questions in those same nuclei via Coulomb dissociation measurements. The Large-area multi-Institutional Scintillator Array (LISA) will consist of 128 plastic scintillator bars (2 m by 10 cm by 10 cm). LISA will determine neutron energy through time-of-flight and the interaction point along the bar will be based on the time difference between the photomultiplier tubes at each end. When combined with the existing Modular Neutron Array (MoNA) and Sweeper instruments, the proposed array will facilitate exciting and important physics measurements with rare isotope beams at the National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory. Undergraduate researchers and under-represented groups will benefit from the actual construction, testing and commissioning of the array, as well as participation in future cutting-edge research.
Jobs Summary: Not Started (Total jobs reported: 0)
Project Status: Not Started
This award's data was last updated on Oct. 1, 2009. Help expand these official descriptions using the wiki below.