My research interests focus on the structure of exotic atomic nuclei. Many aspects of stable nuclei are well described by current theory. This is not the case for exotic nuclei far from stability. Unexpected and surprising behaviors appear as we investigate very short-lived neutron-rich nuclei. I am part of the MoNA Collaboration that focuses on the detection and analysis of these unstable nuclei.
The Coupled Cyclotron Facility (CCF) at the National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory (NSCL) can create fast moving (almost 50% the speed of light) radioactive ion beams that can be used to create these neutron-rich nuclei. The nuclei decay almost instantly (in about 10-21 seconds). By detecting and analyzing the decay products it is possible to reconstruct the nuclei and determine their properties and structure. The Collaboration has designed and constructed two devices: the Modular Neutron Array (MoNA) to detect the neutrons and the Sweeper which uses a powerful magnet to capture the charged particles and "sweep" them into a set of detectors. The Collaboration has recently completed the construction of another detector called the Large multi-Institution Scintillator Array or LISA. Students at Concordia constructed and tested some of the detector modules that make up LISA.
Students at Concordia have worked with me on all aspects of these experiments: planning, detector construction, detector and electronic setup, data taking, offline analysis, and publication of the results. Many have had the oppurtunity to travel with me to the NSCL and work on experiments there. For the latest news check out the MoNA Collaboration website.