Neutron Radioactivity in 26O

Student Author(s)

Cole Persch

Faculty Mentor(s)

Dr. Paul DeYoung, Physics

Document Type


Event Date



Currently there is only one likely case of neutron radioactivity. This unique occurrence is found when observing the neutron-rich 26O. This isotope of oxygen is particularly interesting because it is theorized to live much longer than nearby isotopes. In order to gain a better understanding of neutron radioactivity, the MoNA Collaboration is working to find the lifetime of 26O. Understanding why this isotope lives longer than similar ones will provide insight into how the nuclear force works in neutron-rich nuclei. In order to experimentally determine the lifetime, our team is finding the change in energy during the emission of neutrons. My role is to find the energy of the neutrons after they have been emitted from the nucleus using an array of 288 neutron detectors.

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