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Understanding the Origins of Heavy Elements in the Universe

Project Full Title:

HOPE STUDENTS ONLY: Understanding the Origins of Heavy Elements in the Universe

Project Mentor(s):

DeYoung,Paul

Project Mentor(s) EMail:

deyoung@hope.edu

Project Start Date:

5/18/2020

Project End Date:

7/24/2019

Project Description:

Nuclear fusion of light elements in stars cannot explain the origin and observed abundances of elements in the universe with masses greater than iron. It is believed that a significant fraction of the current heavy nuclei are formed in supernova and neutron-star mergers via rapid neutron capture (r process). The r process involves complicated chains successive neutron capture and beta decay. Starting with lighter nuclei the steps lead to heavy nuclei along paths that are far from the stable nuclei that are well known. These chains involve hundreds of nuclei that are not naturally occurring and where only a fraction can be measured in the laboratory. Those that can be measured serve as benchmarks for theoretical calculation of the rest. The Nuclear Group is currently collaborating with the Summing NaI group at the National Superconducting Cyclotron Lab to measure the half-life and beta decay intensity functions of nuclei such as 62Cr, 63Cr, 64Mn, and 65Fe; all very neutron rich. The group will also be participating a number of additional measurements with the SuN group at Argonne National Labs based on detectors fabricated by Hope student researchers. Dates subject to change.

External Link:

http://https://groups.nscl.msu.edu/SuN/

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