Friday, January 29 at 3:00pmVirtual Event
“β-decay studies at the National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory” by Andrea Richard, NSCL
The fundamental challenges in nuclear science have been summarized in the 2015 Long Range Plan for Nuclear Science, which outlines four important questions, (1) How did visible matter come into being and how does it evolve? (2) How does subatomic matter organize itself and what phenomena emerge? (3) Are the fundamental interactions that are basic to the structure of matter fully understood? (4) How can the knowledge and technical progress provided by nuclear physics best be used to benefit society? The study of rare isotopes provides a means to investigate all of the questions posed in the Long Range Plan. The National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory (NSCL) at Michigan State University is a rare isotope facility that provides access to exotic, short-lived isotopes for experimental studies. Nuclear decays are simple probes that can be applied to rare isotopes at the limits of the production capabilities of the experimental facility and provide a variety of information including nuclear half-lives, decay branching ratios, and the energies of populated excited states. β-decay, in particular, plays an important role in nuclear science both for basic research and applications to nuclear security and astrophysics due to its dominance across the nuclear landscape. However, many decay properties are not well known, especially for the more exotic isotopes. At the NSCL, we have developed a program to ascertain β-decay information, and in some cases neutron-capture cross sections, for nuclei involved in astrophysical processes and fission environments. In this presentation, I will discuss β-decay measurements performed at the NSCL and their importance for basic nuclear science, nuclear astrophysics, and applications. I will also discuss the future Facility for Rare Isotope Beams (FRIB) and how it will provide a wealth of additional nuclei for study and enable experimental programs that are not feasible today.