Some nuclei, like stable 6,7Li and 9Be or radioactive 8Li and 6He, are weakly-bound, which gives them a cluster structure which can be broken apart with very little input of energy. These nuclei show a huge variety of behaviors which challenge our understanding of nuclear reactions.
These nuclei are very common at the limits of nuclear existence – at the ‘driplines’. These extremely weakly-bound nuclei are increasingly the subject of studies at new large international radioactive isotope facilities, and it is thus becoming very critical to understand the reactions of these unusual nuclei.
In particular, reactions of light weakly-bound nuclei show a reduced probability of fusing to form a single composite system. This reduced fusion involves significant open questions, as the physics behind this suppression is not established.
Measurements of charged fragments following breakup are made with the Breakup Array for Light Nuclei (BALiN)
This project involves experimental investigations aimed at understanding the interactions of weakly-bound nuclei using the Breakup Array for Light Nuclei (BALiN) at the ANU. BALiN is a large-position sensitive silicon detector array designed to make complete measurements of the fragments produced after the breakup of weakly-bound nuclei. This array is used to gain unprecedented insight into the mechanisms and the zeptosecond (10-21 s) time-scales of these reactions.
Students interested in this project will do analysis of breakup and fusion reactions, and may be involved in theoretical modeling and simulations.
No specific background knowledge is required, however this project will suit students interested in data analysis and computational modelling. Students will also have the opportunity to be involved in the accelerator-based experimental activities of the nuclear reaction dynamics group.