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Physics Colloquium

Monday, 15 April, 2013

Alexandra Gade, Michigan State University
Tracking Changes in the Structure of Nuclei with Fast Beams of Rare Isotopes

The goal of nuclear structure physics is a comprehensive understanding of the properties of nuclei and nuclear matter from the interactions of the constituent protons and neutrons. Enormous progress has been made with measurements of properties of rare isotopes and developments in nuclear theory. Typically, the most exotic nuclei provide the most stringent guidance for nuclear models and allow identifying "missing physics." At NSCL, rare isotopes are efficiently produced by the in-flight fragmentation of stable beams and are available for measurements as beams of fast ions. Well-established experimental techniques used for decades to study stable nuclei are not applicable at the low beam rates encountered for the most exotic isotopes. Powerful new precision techniques have been developed to enable in-beam spectroscopy studies of fast rare-isotope beams with intensities of a few ions per second. This presentation will show how in-beam experiments measure complementary observables that advance our understanding of the structure of nuclei. The interplay of experimental results and theory will be emphasized at the intersection of nuclear structure and reactions in the joined quest for a reliable model of the atomic nucleus.




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