A time reversed measurement of the 18F(a,p)21Ne reaction

Lead Research Organisation: University of York
Department Name: Physics


Nuclear astrophysics is one of the many applications of nuclear physics and arguably one of the most exciting. It tries to explain where all the elements around us, the oxygen in the air, the iron in our blood, the silicon in computer chips, come from. Where and how were they formed? On top of this, nuclear astrophysics tries to understand how nuclear reactions affect the life and death of all stars. How do such tiny things influence such massive objects as stars?
Most stars get their energy by burning stable elements, such as the carbon and oxygen we are familiar with, over long periods of time. The energy is produced by nuclear reactions, turning one element into another. However, not all types of carbon, for example, are the same. Different types have different numbers of neutrons (but the same number of protons) and are called isotopes.

Astronomers can study stars by looking at the light that shines from them. From this light they can tell what elements are produced and this gives nuclear physicists information on which nuclear reactions could be important. The proposed research programme will use the beams available at the TRIUMF laboratory in Vancouver to study one reaction which influences how particular isotopes of fluorine and neon are produced in stars.

Planned Impact

We are informed that an impact summary is not required for a nuclear physics travel grant.


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