Probing Nuclear Structure and Its Connection to Astrophysics Using Noble Gases and Light-ion Reactions
Prof. Tan Ahn
Department of Physics & Astronomy
University of Notre Dame
Nuclear reactions give us a window into nuclear structure and the workings of astrophysical objects and events. Measurements for many of these reactions require the use of light ions, noble-gas elements, and/or radioactive beams. Active-target detectors offer one way of accessing reactions that may be difficult because of this requirement of gas targets. Active-target detectors can image charged-particle tracks and offer a method for measuring nuclear reaction parameters that are also well suited for low-intensity beams and measuring low-energy reactants. I will present a few ongoing projects that include the use of hydrogen, helium, and neon targets to measure nuclear reaction cross-sections for the study of the shell structure of 132Sn, the equation-of-state of infinite nuclear matter through the measurement of the Giant Monopole Resonance in 70Ni, and the study of Mg and Ne fusion relevant to pycnonuclear reactions in neutron stars. Both the benefits and challenges of using active targets will be discussed as well as some practical and ideal future directions.