Precision laser spectroscopy of simple atoms in combination with highly accurate atomic theory opens up new ways to study nuclear structure of light nuclei and to test ab-initio calculations of these few nucleon systems. Of particular interest are nuclei with extreme neutron to proton ratio, e.g., the short-lived neutron halo nuclei helium-6 and helium-8. In my talk, I will present the latest results from our experiment to determine the nuclear charge radii of theses two isotopes. The measurement was based on laser spectroscopy of individual atoms cooled and confined in a magneto-optical trap. A few hundred 8He atoms trapped during two Norman summer nights of 2007 finally revealed whether their nuclear charge radius was smaller or bigger than that of 6He.
ANL Physics Division Colloquium Schedule