Hope College Physics Department
Research Experiences for Undergraduates
Summer 2011
Project Summary

 

Project Title: Exploring the effects of target composition on the decay of 13Be
Student Name: Caitlin Taylor
Student's Home Institution: Hope College
Research Advisor: Dr. Paul DeYoung
Source of Support:

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under NSF-RUI Grant No. PHY-0969058 and the Michigan Space Grant Consortium.

The study of unstable neutron rich nuclei involves understanding the ground state energy of a specific nucleus. The ground state energy of 13Be is known, but there has been evidence that the target used for neutron removal might cause the decay of 13Be to change. This experiment examines how the energy levels of 13Be change between using a carbon target and a deuterated polyethylene (CD2) target. A 59.6 MeV/a 14Be beam is produced by the cyclotrons and A1900 fragment separator at the National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory at Michigan State University. In a target, one neutron is removed from the 14Be nucleus, producing an unstable 13Be nucleus. The 13Be nucleus immediately decays to 12Be and a neutron; the neutron is detected using the Modular Neutron Array (MoNA) and the charged particles are detected using a 4T superconducting sweeper magnet and a series of charged particle detectors. The decay of 13Be is reconstructed using the four-momentum of the emitted neutron and the fragment 12Be nucleus for each target. Result will be compared for each target by looking at the differences in decay.
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