Research Opportunities at Argonne National Lab and Lowering the Uncertainty of the "Triple Alpha Process"
Department of Physics, University of Connecticut
Argonne National Lab (ANL) has many research opportunities from biology and chemistry to nuclear physics and material science. My talk will focus on the different research facilities at the Argonne Tandem Linac Accelerator System (ATLAS) such as Gammasphere, MUSIC and the Canadian Penning Trap as well as my specific research which uses ANL's Helical Orbital Spectrometer (HELIOS) to lower the uncertainty of the "Triple Alpha Process". The triple alpha process is a very important process that is the very first stages of nucleosynthesis that occurs in stars. It is so important that life as we know it would not exist if not for this process and knowing the rate of this process accurately is important in determining many stellar measurements such as the size of supernova's produced from Asymptotic Giant Branch (AGB) stars. The task of lowering the uncertainty of this rate was first started about 10 years ago at HELIOS and I will be talking about the results of this first experiment along the methods used. Our aim is to make adjustments to this first attempt using a different experimental setup and "inverse kinematics" along with many added "upgrades" to HELIOS itself in order to get a more accurate measurement of this very important number.