University of Notre Dame

The Nuclear Structure Lab at University of Notre Dame offers a variety of different experimental setups with a focus on nuclear stucture and nuclear astrophysics. The collaboration between Goethe University Frankfurt and University of Notre Dame is oriented on experimental studies relevant for the astrophysical p-process.

To study the underlying physics of reactions involving charged particles and heavy target nuclei reactions like (α, γ), (α, n), (p, γ) and (p,n) can be carried out by using the activation technique. This means that a target sample is bombarded with protons or α particles at astrophysically relevant energies producing unstable radioactive isotopes. Afterwards the sample is mounted in front of a gamma-ray detector (usually Germanium detectors are used) to count the number of beam induced decays. With this value the cross section of the studied reaction can be calculated.

This experimental information can then be used to test and improve theoretical models describing the interaction of charged particles and nuclei. Which are crucial input parameters for theoretical predictions of cross sections relevant in the p process reaction network.

Nuclear Structure Lab at University of Notre Dame