Accelerator Mass Spectrometry: From Tracing Oceans to Nuclear Astrophysics

Dr. Philippe Collon
Department of Physics
University of Notre Dame

Evolving from detection methods and techniques developed in nuclear physics, Accelerator Mass Spectrometry makes it possible to unambiguously identify the A and Z of a specific ion. This identification enables the separation of rare ions of interest from an isobaric background many orders of magnitude higher. This technique has lead to many applications ranging from environmental science (detection of 14C and 39Ar at and below their natural level for applications such as archeology and oceanography) to nuclear astrophysics (measurement of the 40Ca(a, g)44Ti and 62Ni(n, g)63Ni cross sections).

The talk will concentrate on the use of the gas-filled magnet technique used in conjunction with Accelerator Mass Spectrometry. Such a system (MANTIS; Magnet for Astrophysical Nucleosynthesis studies Through Isobar Separation) was recently set-up at the Nuclear Structure Laboratory at the University of Notre Dame. This system was used to develop an AMS method for the measurement of 40K levels in high purity materials being considered for the SNO+ collaboration. The talk will report early results.