Michael Thoennessen, Michigan State University
Exploring the Neutron Dripline with MoNA
Physics Division Colloquium - 3 Feb 2006

The development of a unified theory to describe all nuclear systems is one of the major goals of nuclear physics. Ab-initio theories and the understanding of inter-nucleon interactions have made significant progress in light nuclei. In order to understand the isospin dependence of the effective interactions accurate data of neutron-rich nuclei are essential. These neutron-rich nuclei at or even beyond the limits of existence, also called the dripline, do not have any or only a few bound excited states. Thus, standard gamma-ray spectroscopy is only of limited use and neutron decay spectroscopy is an essential tool to explore these nuclei. The Modular Neutron Array (MoNA) in conjunction with a superconducting 4-Tesla sweeper magnet has been designed to measure neutron-rich nuclei at and beyond the dripline. MoNA is a unique device because it was constructed by a consortium of predominantly undergraduate institutions. The first results of the decay of neutron-rich oxygen isotopes will be presented and the involvement of undergraduate students in forefront research will be described.

ANL Physics Division Colloquium Schedule