Hope College Physics Department
Research Experiences for Undergraduates
Summer 2013
Project Summary


Project Title: Composition of the Ground State Wavefunction of 24O
Student Name: Eric Traynor
Student's Home Institution: Hope College
Research Advisor: Dr. Paul DeYoung
Source of Support:

This material is based upon work supported by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute through the Undergraduate Science Education Program and the Hope College Dean for Natural and Applied Sciences Office

Unexpectedly, 24O is a doubly magic nucleus. We would expect a nucleus to be stable with 8 or 20 neutrons but experimentally we find that 16 neutrons is more stable than 20 because at high neutron numbers the nuclear force becomes more complicated. To gain insight into the wavefunction of the ground state of 24O, the cross sections for forming 23O in the ground state and excited state during knockout reactions needs to be determined. 23O is stable and is therefore relatively easy to count directly. However, 23O* is unstable and decays too rapidly to detect directly (10-20 s). 23O* will decay to 22O and a neutron. The neutron continues forward and is recorded by MoNA while the 22O is deflected by a 4 T superconducting dipole magnet and is recorded by charged particle detectors. Using four-momentum vectors of the 22O and the neutron we can work backwards to the 23O*. We will then be able to calculate the cross section of these two isotopes being created from a one-neutron knockout reaction from 24O. We are modeling the data using a Monte Carlo simulation to account for efficiencies and acceptances. We have now obtained preliminary cross sections.

Publications and Presentations: