Dr D. H. Luong
Department Nuclear Physics
The current and near future of nuclear physics is being directed by the availability of radioactive ion beams and exotic nuclei near the neutron drip line. Reactions with the weakly-bound but stable 6Li and 7Li nuclei were thus studied as a testbed for relating nuclear structure of weakly-bound and unstable nuclei to nuclear reaction outcomes within a coherent framework, an important goal in nuclear reaction theory.
Coincidence measurements of charged fragments produced from the reactions of 6,7Li with high-Z targets were carried out, at sub-barrier energies, using a large-area position sensitive detector array at back-angles. These measurements demonstrate that the reaction dynamics and outcomes are determined not only by the properties of the two colliding nuclei, but also by the ground-state and excited state properties of their neighbours. This is a key insight for understanding and predicting reactions of weakly-bound nuclei near the limits of nuclear existence. Furthermore, the results suggest that in sub-barrier collisions of 6Li and 7Li with all but the lightest nuclei, the most likely nuclear reactions will lead to breakup of the projectile-like nucleus, forming elements lighter than Li.