Through the Joint Institute for Nuclear Astrophysics (JINA), Professor Michael Wiescher leads an active research program in Nuclear Astrophysics within Notre Dame’s Nuclear Science Laboratory (NSL). The goal of this research is to better understand the nuclear reactions responsible for energy production and the creation of elements in stars. The study of these nuclear reactions at stellar energies is hindered by very low count rates and high background levels.
To overcome some of these challenges, a ND team designed the Strong Gradient Electromagnetic Online Recoil separator for capture Gamma ray Experiments (St. George). This sixty feet long spectrometer composed of eighteen electromagnets each weighing an average of 1 ton was purchased through JINA, built by Bruker BioSpin, and was delivered to the NSL in Nieuwland Science Hall in January 2011. The infrastructure for this important new system is currently being completed after being started by ND four years ago and preliminary testing will begin soon.
For information about the Nuclear Structure Laboratory at Notre Dame, go to: http://nsl.nd.edu/