Physics Division Research Highlights
ATLAS Californium Rare Isotope Breeder Upgrade
CARIBU will enable ATLAS to provide beams of neutron-rich isotopes far from the region of stable nuclei. The facility will use fission fragments from a one-Curie californium-252 source. This unusual isotope has a half-life of 2.6 years and decays some of the time by fissioning into two short-lived, neutron-rich nuclei.
The fission fragments are stopped and collected into a low-energy particle beam by a helium gas catcher. An isotope of interest is selected by mass using an isobar separator, and then its charge state is increased by stripping in a dense plasma for acceleration in the ATLAS accelerator. In addition to these accelerated beams, unaccelerated beams will be available for atom and ion traps and for laser probing.
We expect intensities of accelerated beams of far-from-stability ions through ATLAS to reach as high as 5x105 per second (~ 107 per second for the unaccelerated beam). First beams from this new facility are planned for the end of 2010.