The Spin-Isospin Response of Nuclei and Applications in Astro- and Neutrino-Physics
- Remco Zegers, MSU - NSCL
Thursday, November 1, 4:10 PM - Physics and Astronomy Colloquium
Biomedical & Physical Sciences Bldg., Rm. 1415
Nuclear charge-exchange reactions, in which isospin is transferred between projectile and target nuclei, are a unique tool for extracting information about the spin-isospin response of nuclear matter. A surprising and particular interesting feature of nuclear charge-exchange reactions, which are mediated by the strong nuclear force, is that one can learn about properties of transitions mediated by the weak nuclear force that are not experimentally accessible in a direct way, for example via -decay experiments. These properties have important applications, in particular for the estimation of electron-capture rates during the evolution of stars just prior to their demise as thermonuclear or core-collapse supernovae, or in constraining theories necessary for extracting the effective Majorana neutrino-mass if discovery experiments for neutrinoless double beta decay are successful.
Although charge-exchange reactions have been used intensively for a wide variety of purposes for more than 2 decades, in recent years new opportunities have become available because methods to perform these experiments with unstable nuclei were developed. This is important for the astrophysical applications since a large fraction of nuclei that play a role in late stellar evolution are unstable. In addition, such experiments open unique avenues to learn about the microscopic and macroscopic properties of nuclei and nuclear matter.