The 14-Carbon puzzle

The nucleus 14-Carbon presents a long standing mystery for nuclear physics. Some of its properties cannot be explained even with the most sophisticated models which may be due to new underlying physics. Complicating things further is the difficulty in measuring 14-Carbon in the laboratory and only recently technology has advanced enough to attempt the measurement. The first three months of this year PhD student Christiaan Brits spent at the Florida State University where 14-Carbon beams can be accelerated. During this time he prepared the software and experimental setup consisting of 4 different types of detectors. These efforts culminated in a three week experimental run and, although it is too early to speculate on the results, the collected data are expected to solve the 14-Carbon puzzle.