Honors College Thesis

Using Angular Correlation to Determine Decay Behavior in Nuclei through the Analysis of Coincidence Sum Peaks

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  • When a nucleus is in an excited state, it will decay to lower energy by emitting photons. Often there are several intermediate stages in a decay cascade. Occasionally the photons in a cascade will be emitted in coincidence. This will be resolved by the detector not as two distinct photons, but as a peak at the sum of the photon energies. The probability of two photons being correlated is determined by the angular correlation, W(θ) which, in turn, carries information about the spin states in the decay. We have developed a method in which we can empirically measure W(S), and use this to derive the spin states of the decay. By analyzing ⁶⁰Co (4+ - 2+ - 0+) and ¹⁰⁶Ru (0+ - 2+ - 0+) we calculate W(θ) and compare this to theory. Because the 0+ - 2+ - 0+ decay has a large value for W(θ), this method can be useful in determining if this spin 0+ decay is present in nuclei with unknown decay schemes.
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