Department of Astronomy & Physics
Congratulations to undergraduate Damien Robertson who has been awarded a scholarship to do research at TRIUMF in Vancouver. TRUIMF (originally named Tri University Meson Facility) is a subatomic physics laboratory running a cyclotron particle accelerator.
Damien will be working in the TRIUMF Ion Trap for Atomic and Nuclear Science (TITAN) project. This is aPenning trap facility that traps radioactive ions using a strong magnetic field and a weak electrostatic field to perform precision measurement of its mass. Mass is one of the fundamental properties of a nucleus. High accuracy mass measurements provide information on what are the limits of existence of nuclear isotopes and how does the binding of nucleons change as the isotopes become more neutron-rich. This is one of the important ingredients to understand the nuclear reaction path that creates heavy elements in cores of supernovae. Precise mass measurements can also be used to test theoretical corrections that are used to study the CKM matrix element Vud in search for effects beyond the standard model.
Schematic from TITAN project web site.
Damien will also be working in the nuclear reactions projects of Dr. R. Kanungo. Dr. Kanungo is leading a CFI funded project to SMU, “ISAC Charges Particle Spectroscopy Station (IRIS)” to build a facility at TRIUMF to investigate unstable nuclei.