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Miguel Madurga Flores headshot
February 10, 20154:00 pm – 5:00 pm (CDT)

Tipping the Nuclear Scale: Beta-Decay Phenomena in Light and Medium-Mass Neutron Rich Nuclei


Miguel Madurga Flores (CERN)


Dan Melconian



Mitchell Institute for Fundamental Physics & Astronomy

College Station, Texas 77843

Event Details

The advent of radioactive beams of species far away from stability has revolutionized our understanding of nuclear structure. The properties of nuclei with increasingly large proton-neutron imbalances have been proven to be one of the most stringent tests for nuclear theories. Basic properties like decay lifetimes and excitation energies will be affected by the changing nuclear structure. Moreover, completely new nuclear phenomena such as neutron halos and exotic modes of radioactivity can only be observed far away from stability which necessitates the use of radioactive beams.

One such phenomenon is the appearance of “molecular” states in Be isotopes. These configurations consist of 2 alpha nuclei held together by valence neutrons. Accordingly, the breakup of molecular states is expected to occur as A^He resonances. In the first part of this colloquium I will present the observation of 6,7He radioactivity in 11Be following the beta-decay of 11Li.

In the second part of this colloquium I will discuss the challenges inherent to the measurement and calculation of beta-decay half-lives of neutron-rich fission fragments. The recent commissioning of next generation ISOL and fragmentation facilities has allowed for the first time experimentalists to measure the properties of nuclei directly in the rapid neutron capture process. Many of these nuclei have been shown to have decay half-lives consistently shorter than calculations predict. I will present a possible solution to the puzzle of shorter-than-expected half-lives by measuring decay strength distributions using delayed neutron spectroscopy.

Video Recording

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