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Isospin non-conserving interactions in nuclei


Department of Physics

About the Project

The strong nuclear force acts between nucleons i.e. protons and neutrons to bind the nuclear system and also plays a strong role in determining nuclear structure. The strong interactio between protons and protons, neutrons and neutrons, and neutrons and protons is expected to be nearly identical in form. However, small differences in this three classes of interaction - so-called isospin non-conserving interactions - can lead to subtle differences in the pattern of excited states in mirror nuclei i.e. two nuclei with the same atomic mass but the number of protons and neutrons interchanged. The underlying origin of these isospin non-conserving terms is yet to be fully explained and more data is needed to disentangle the effects of nuclear structure.
This project aims to improve our understanding of isospin non-conserving interactions in nuclei by studying the heaviest mirror nuclei accessible in experiment. The mirror nuclei, 78Zr and 78Sr will be produced and studied using a series of different nuclear reactions at the FRIB facility in Michigan allowing small differences in the energy of excited states and transitions strengths between excited states to be extracted. These will be tested against the predictions of large-scale shell models and beyond mean-field models.
The project will entail design and simulation of the experimental setup, participating in set-up and data-taking, followed by a complex data analysis

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