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Exotic nuclei for nuclear physics and nuclear astrophysics

Research project P5/07 (Research action P5)

Persons :

Description :

This project aims at two major physics objectives:

- Study of the atomic nucleus with extreme proton to neutron ratio and of the manifestation of the electromagnetic-, the weak- and the strong interaction in the nuclear medium.
- Study of explosive nucleosynthesis processes of heavy elements and their stellar environment.

These objectives can be reached through intertwinned experimental and theoretical efforts. Key experiments concern the properties of exotic nuclei through their decay and reactions with stable targets. The nuclear physics theory concentrates on few-body models, mean field descriptions or shell models and their symmetries. This experimental and theoretical nuclear research will be sustained and broadened by the development of stellar and nucleosynthesis models making heavily use of the new nuclear input gained through the collaboration.

Based on the achievements and the expertise acquired from the existing - Interuniversity Attraction Poles (IAP P4/18)" network and in line with the international situation we plan to continue and broaden our collaboration. Next to reaction studies of relevance for nuclear astrophysics and their stellar environment, the study of exotic nuclei (decay- and ground state properties and reactivity) will become a major research theme of the network.

The acquired know-how in the post-acceleration of radioactive ion beams, the production of ion beams of exotic nuclei using resonant laser ionisation and in specific detection systems for radioactive decay and reaction work will be further developed and exploited in Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium. In parallel complementary experiments will be performed at the three other European radioactive ion beam facilities (GSI-Darmstadt, GANIL-Caen, ISOLDE-Geneva) that are partners in the present network. The theoretical investigations in nuclear physics and nuclear astrophysics, will be closely related to the experimental work performed at the different experimental facilities.

The following topics will be covered by the new IAP:

1. the investigation of neutron and proton halo and light nuclei; their structure and reactivity.

2. the investigation of the properties of neutron-rich and neutron deficient intermediate-mass and heavy nuclei in a limited number of very specific regions of the nuclear chart: along closed shells and along the N=Z line.

3. the study of the reactivity of neutron rich-and neutron-deficient intermediate-mass and heavy nuclei, especially for astrophysics purposes (see 5).

4. the continuation of the investigation of nuclear reactions on light unstable nuclei, especially for astrophysics purposes.

5. the modelling of the production of the neutron-rich and neutron-deficient nuclides heavier than iron through the so-called r-and p-processes of nucleosynthesis.

6. a limited continuation (2 year period) of the efforts to simulate in a multidimensional hydrodynamics approach the violent stellar events in which the reactions mentioned in 4) can play a leading role.

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