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Project

Exotic Nucleï at Spiral2.

The fundamental interactions in atoms are the electromagnetic force, keeping the electrons around the nucleus, the weak force, responsible for nuclear beta decay, and the strong force, holding the protons and neutrons, called the nucleons, together in the nucleus. While the electromagnetic force is well known, the strong- and weak forces are still poorly understood. This project aims to learn more specifically about the strong and the weak force. This is not only of fundamental importance, but also for solving questions such as how and where the chemical elements have been made in the universe or what makes the stars shine? Hidden secrets of the atomic nucleus are discovered by studying nuclei with an unusual number of protons and neutrons. Unfortunately, these nuclei are not available on earth as they are radioactive and disappear fast. We have developed a technique to produce these radioactive atoms and to shape them into a beam. The emitted radiation gives direct information on the nuclear properties. But it is also possible to accelerate these atoms to induce reactions. Another possibility is to merge the beam with laser light and observe the excitation of the electrons around the nucleus. Or the radioactive ions can be trapped in electromagnetic fields and their decays can be studied very precisely. All these complementary techniques contribute to fine tune our models and uncover new aspects of the strong and weak force. The ultra-sensitive methods we develop are also of interest for the production of medical radio-isotopes and for trace detection. The experiments will be performed at the radioactive ion beam facility SPIRAL2 at GANIL, Caen, France which aims at delivering stable and radioactive isotope beams with intensities not yet available with present machines.
Date:1 Jan 2013  →  31 Dec 2019
Keywords:Radioactive Ion Beams, Strong and Weak Interaction, Exotic Nuclei, Spiral2
Disciplines:Classical physics, Elementary particle and high energy physics, Other physical sciences