Composition of the 24O Ground-State Wavefunction

Student Author(s)

Eric Traynor

Faculty Mentor(s)

Dr. Paul DeYoung

Document Type


Event Date



Unexpectedly, 24O is a doubly magic nucleus. We would expect a nucleus to be stable with 8 or 20 neutrons but experimentally we find that 16 neutrons is more stable than 20 because at high neutron numbers the nuclear force becomes more complicated. To gain insight into the wavefunction of the ground state of 24O, the cross sections for forming 23O in the ground state and excited state during knockout reactions need to be determined. 23O is stable and is therefore relatively easy to count directly. However, 23O* is unstable and decays too rapidly to detect directly (10-20 s). 23O* will decay to 22O and a neutron. The neutron continues forward and is recorded by MoNA while the 22O is deflected by a 4 T superconducting dipole magnet and is recorded by charged particle detectors. Using four-vectors of the 22O, 23O, and the neutron we can work backwards to the 23O* and 23O. We will then be able to calculate the cross section of these two isotopes being created from a one-neutron knockout reaction from 24O.

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