Nuclear Physics – Nuclear Reactions


Various nuclear reaction studies involving light to medium mass ions are investigated at iThemba LABS.

The high-precision scattering chamber positioned in the A-line, together with different detectors like silicon surface barrier detectors, NaI detectors, plastic scintillators, Bragg Curve Detector as well as Solar Cells is extremely useful in measuring angular distributions of charged particles emitted in different nuclear reactions over large excitations.

Topics with a keen interest which can be addressed by this experimental facility include the following:

1. The production of Intermediate Mass Fragments (IMF’s) produced in the energy region where there seems to be a transition from mean field processes to nucleonic degrees of freedom.
2. The measurement of fusion barriers which are required for the production of super-heavy elements.
3. Investigations into the reaction mechanisms involved in light complex particle emissions, both through inclusive and coincidence measurements. The availability of polarized proton beams enable the measurement of the spin observable analyzing power, which has been shown to be more sensitive to the details of the reaction process than cross sections.
4. Validity studies of the distorted wave impulse approximation (DWIA) in predicting a quasifree scattering mechanism for the knockout process with (p,2p) and (a,2a) reactions on a variety of targets ranging from 4He to 208Pb.

Other major facilities used in the investigation of nuclear reactions include the K600 magnetic spectrometer, used e.g. in the investigation of the properties of the effective NN interaction through (p,2p) coincidence measurements.