Seminar Details

Testing elementary quantum mechanics with nuclear beta decay

Oscar Naviliat-Cuncic, NSCL
Thursday, March 22, 11:00 AM - Research Discussion
NSCL Lecture Hall

Electron shake-off and shake-up are atomic processes in which a bound electron is excited into the continuum or in a new orbital, resulting from a sudden change of the central potential. Such a modification can for instance arise in nuclear beta decay so that those processes can adversely affect precision measurements at low energies. The probability for the shake-off and shake-up processes can be calculated in the framework of the sudden approximation but comparisons with experiments are usually difficult since secondary processes, like the emission of Auger electrons, can also be into play. In this talk I will describe the first measurement of a pure electron shake-off in the beta decay of a hydrogen-like system. The measurement uses trapped 6He+ ions which provide a unique case in which all conditions are met to compare, with high precision, the experimental result with simple calculations made in the sudden approximation.