Time-of-Flight Experiments for Nuclear Structure and Astrophysics

Grant Details


Sensitive techniques, like time-of-flight mass measurements, are required to push the limits for the reach of nuclear physics experiments to very exotic isotopes. These are atomic nuclei with a large imbalance in their number of constituent protons and neutrons when compared to stable isotopes, and are typically produced at very low rates in radioactive ion beam laboratories. Understanding the properties of unstable isotopes is critical for two outstanding questions in modern nuclear astrophysics: 1) How do nuclear processes in explosive stellar environments synthesize the heavy chemical elements found in the Galaxy? 2) What are the properties and the state of matter in the very dense environment of a neutron stars?

This proposal includes a series of experiments to measure nuclear masses of neutron-rich isotopes relevant to address these questions. These isotopes are also important to understand interesting questions about the structure of atomic nuclei with a large neutron excess. The measurements cover neutron-rich isotopes with particular number of neutrons that correspond to closed nuclear shells, like the so-called magic numbers at N=28 neutrons.

The experiments take place at leading radioactive ion beam facilities, like the National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory (NSCL) in East Lansing, MI. Experiments at large laboratories are complemented by development work on radiation detectors at Central Michigan University, which is essential to improve the performance of techniques used for fast ion beam experiments at particle accelerator laboratories.

Effective start/end date09/15/1909/14/21


  • Nuclear Physics: $297,000.00


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