Coulomb dissociation of 31Cl and 32Ar - constraining the rp process
- The subject of this thesis aimed at a better understanding of the spectacular X-ray burst. The most likely astrophysical site is a very dense neutron star, which accretes H/He-rich matter from a close companion. While falling towards the neutron star, the matter is heated up and a thermonuclear runaway is ignited. The exact description of this process is dominated by the properties of a few proton-rich radioactive isotopes, which have a low interaction probability, hence a high abundance.
The topic of this thesis was therefore an investigation of the short-lived, proton-rich isotopes 31Cl and 32Ar. The Coulomb dissociation method is the modern technique of choice. Excitations with energies up to 20 MeV can be induced by the Lorentz contracted Coulomb ﬁeld of a lead target. At the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung GmbH in Darmstadt, Germany, a Ar beam was accelerated to an energy of 825 AMeV and fragmented in a beryllium target. The fragment separator was used to select the desired isotopes with a remaining energy of 650 AMeV. They were subsequently directed onto a 208 Pb target in the ALAND/LAND setup. The measurement was performed in inverse kinematics. All reaction products were detected and inclusive and exclusive measurements of the respective Coulomb dissociation cross sections were possible.
During the analysis of the experiment, it was possible to extract the energy-diﬀerential excitation spectrum of 31Cl, and to constrain astrophysically important parameters for the time-reversed 30S(p,γ)31Cl reaction. A single resonance at 0.443(37) MeV dominates the stellar reaction rate, which was also deduced and compared to previous calculations.
The integrated Coulomb dissociation cross section of this resonance was determined to 15(6) mb. The astrophysically important one- and two-proton emission channels were analyzed for 32Ar and energy-diﬀerential excitation spectra could be derived. The integrated Coulomb dissociation cross section for two proton emission were determined with two diﬀerent techniques. The inclusive measurement yields a cross section of 214(29stat)(20sys) mb, whereas the exclusive reconstruction results in a cross section of 226(14stat)(23sys) mb. Both results are in very good agreement. The Coulomb dissociation cross section for the one-proton emission channel is extracted solely from the exclusive measurement and is 54(8stat)(6sys) mb.
Furthermore, the development of the Low Energy Neutron detector Array (LENA) for the upcoming R3B setup is described. The detector will be utilized in charge-exchange reactions to detect the low-energy recoil neutrons from (p,n)-type reactions. These reaction studies are of particular importance in the astrophysical context and can be used to constrain half lifes under stellar conditions. In the frame of this work, prototypes of the detector were built and successfully commissioned in several international laboratories.
The analysis was supported by detailed simulations of the detection characteristics.