The NWO Science (ENW) Domain Board has granted a funding of 425000€ to Julia Even to develop novel chemical separation techniques. These techniques will open the door to measure the mass of doubly magic tin-100 (100Sn).
Chemical elements heavier than beryllium were created in nuclear reactions in stars and supernovae explosions. Knowledge on the nuclear properties of exotic nuclei is required to understand and model the element formation processes. One of the most reliable experimental tools to gain this knowledge is high precision mass measurement. Exact masses provide information on nuclear stability, the evolution of nuclear shells and determine exact Q-values of radioactive decay.
Atomic nuclei with same number of protons Z and neutrons N are of special interest. The astrophysical rapid proton capture (rp) process follows the N = Z line. The heaviest N = Z nucleus is the doubly magic 100Sn. Experimental data on 100Sn are limited and only a few fundamental properties have been measured. In particular, atomic mass measurements near the proton dripline in the 100Sn region lack precision. 100Sn decays through a superallowed Gamow Teller decay which features the largest Gamow Teller strength ever observed. The Gamow Teller strength is important to understand the formation of the elements in a core collapse of a supernova.
The aim of this project is to measure the mass of 100Sn and nuclei in its vicinity with unprecedented precision using Penning trap mass spectrometry.
So far, experimental data on 100Sn are limited due to the challenges in the production, separation and sample preparation of 100Sn. Production yields are relatively low, while the amount of unwanted by-products is several orders of magnitudes higher. In this project, these challenges will be overcome by a new advanced combination of chemical and physical separation techniques. The gas-phase chemistry of tin, indium, silver and cadmium including reaction kinetics will be studied and the chemical separation technique will be developed at KVI-CART. Later, this technique will be implemented in the SHIPTRAP facility at GSI to measure the mass of 100Sn.
NWO official press release
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