Exotic Beam Summer School 2015 (EBSS2015)

August 2-7 @ Florida State University

The 2015 Exotic Beam Summer School (EBSS) was held on th campus of Florida State University from August 2-7, 2015. The EBSS is intended to introduce students and young researchers to the various facets of the science of exotic nuclei including nuclear structure, nuclear astrophysics, fundamental interactions, and the application of nuclear science and technology in the modern world. The school is intended for graduate students, but senior undergraduates and junior postdocs will also be considered. EBSS2015 was the fourteenth in the series of annual summer schools aimed to improve the skills of future work force in fields related to nuclear science.

The 2015 EBSS was comprised of lectures each morning, delivered by distinguished researchers in the various sub-fields. In the afternoons, there were hands-on activities, a unique feature of the EBSS series, geared towards introducing fundamental techniques and methods in the production, detection, and investigation of exotic nuclei.

The 2015 EBSS was organized by the EBSS Board of Directors:

  • Ingo Wiedenhoever (FSU/ARUNA) -- Local organizer of EBSS2015
  • Michael Carpenter (ANL)
  • Roderick M. Clark (LBNL)
  • Hironori Iwasaki (MSU/NSCL)
  • Krzysztof Rykaczewski (ORNL)
  • Mark Stoyer (LLNL)


U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Nuclear Physics; National Science Foundation; FSU; LBNL; ANL; LLNL; MSU; and ORNL


August 2/2015 to August 7, 2015 on the Campus of Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida 32306

Main Locations of the School:

Also: Download the "MyFSU Mobile" - App for Android or Iphone

Wireless Internet Access:
Connect to the "FSUWIN" network, which is available Campus-wide.<\br> EBSS participants have been assigned a "FSUID" (starting with phy-201...) and a password, which is printed on the back-side of your EBSS nametag. You can also connect to FSUWIN and obtain a temporary registration on the welcome screen.


All Lecture slides are available online

  • Saturday, 8/1/2015 or Sunday, 8/2/2015:
    • Van shuttle from the Airport, please register your flight with us.
    • Arrival, check-in to the rooms at Ragans Hall
  • Sunday 8/2/2015:
    • 4 pm-6 pm: Registration, 707 Keen Building
    • 6 pm: Welcome reception, 707 Keen Building
  • Monday, 8/3/2015 (Students, please bring and hang your posters!)
    • 7:30-8:30 Registration, 707 Keen Building
    • 8:00-8:30 Coffee and Refreshments
    • 8:30-9:00 S. Tabor (FSU), Ross Ellington (Associate VP for Research, FSU), Welcome
    • 9:00-9:50 (40 + 10) B. Sherrill (MSU), Frontiers in Nuclear Physics
    • 9:50-10:40 (40 + 10) A. Volya (FSU), Nuclear Theory I
    • 10:40-11:00 Coffee break
    • 11:00-11:50 M. Couder (Notre Dame), Beam Optics I
    • 11:50-12:40 I. Wiedenhöver (FSU), Overview of "Hands-on" activities
    • 12:40-2:00 Catered lunch
    • 2:00-2:30 J. Johnson (FSU), Radiological Safety
    • 2:30-6:00 "Hands on" activities in Collins Building and Richards Building, see schedule below
    • 6:00-7:30 Student Poster Session I, in Keen Building 707, catered Dinner
  • Tuesday, 8/4/2015
    • 8:00-8:30 Coffee and Refreshments
    • 8:30-9:20 (40+10) A. Volya (FSU), Nuclear Theory II
    • 9:20-10:10 (40+10) M. Couder (Notre Dame), Beam Optics II
    • 10:10-10:40 Coffee break
    • 10:40-11:30 (40+10) M. Allmond (ORNL), Gamma-spectroscopy
    • 11:30-12:20 (40+10) J. Blackmon (LSU), Nuclear Astrophysics I
    • 12:30-2:00 catered lunch
    • 2:00-5:30 "Hands on" activities, see schedule below
    • 6:00-7:30 Student Poster Session II, in Keen Building 707, catered Dinner
  • Wednesday, 8/5/2015
    • 8:00-8:30 Coffee and Refreshments
    • 8:30-9:20 (40+10) J. Piekarewicz (FSU), Neutron Stars
    • 9:20-10:10 (40+10) S. Yennello (Texas A&M), Nuclear Reactions I
    • 10:10-10:40 Coffee break
    • 10:40-11:30 (40+10) J. Blackmon (LSU), Nuclear Astrophysics II
    • 11:30-12:20 (40+10) E. McCutchan (BNL), Nuclear Data
    • 12:30-2:00 catered lunch
    • 2:00-5:30 "Hands on" activities, see schedule below
    • 6:00-7:30 Panel Discussion with lecturers / directors in 707 Keen, catered Dinner
  • Thursday 8/6/2015
    • 8:00-8:30 Coffee and Refreshments
    • 8:30-9:20 (40+10) M. Thoenessen (MSU), Exotic Nuclei I
    • 9:20-10:10 (40+10) M. Stoyer (LLNL), Super-heavy element research
    • 10:10-10:40 Coffee break
    • 10:40-11:30 (40+10) J. Blackmon (LSU), Nuclear Astrophysics III
    • 11:30-12:20 (40+10) S. Yennello (Texas A&M), Nuclear Reactions II
    • 12:30-2:00 catered lunch
    • 2:00-5:30 "Hands on" activities, see schedule below
    • 6:00-7:30 Student seminars in 707 Keen, catered Dinner
  • Friday, 08/07/2015
    • 8:00-8:30 Coffee and Refreshments
    • 8:30-9:20 (40+10) M. Thoenessen (MSU), Exotic Nuclei II
    • 9:20-10:10 (40+10) B. Kay (ANL), Transfer reactions
    • 10:10-10:40 Coffee break
    • 10:40-11:30 (40+10) M. Redshaw (CMU), Precision Nuclear Mass Measurements
    • 11:30-12:20 (40+10) P. Mueller (ANL), Fundamental Symmetries Studies
    • 12:30-2:00 catered lunch
    • 2:00-5:30 "Hands on" activities, see schedule below
    • 6:00-6:15 Van Shuttle from Collins Laboratory to Restaurant
    • 6:30-8:30 EBSS Farewell Dinner, Habana Boardwalk Cuban Restaurant
    • 8:30-9:00 Van Shuttle from Habana Boardwalk Restaurant to Collins / Ragans Hall
  • Saturday, 08/08/2015
    Van-Shuttle service to the Airport, please register your flight time
  • Afternoon "Hands-on" activities:
    The activities were performed in groups of eight students, who perform five activities, rotating through the week. Student's Name-tags contain the group assignment "Group 1" - "Group 5" on the back. The Group schedule is as follows (spot the pattern ?):

    Group 1Activity 1Activity 2Activity 3Activity 4 Activity 5
    Group 2Activity 5Activity 1Activity 2Activity 3 Activity 4
    Group 3Activity 4Activity 5Activity 1Activity 2 Activity 3
    Group 4Activity 3Activity 4Activity 5Activity 1Activity 2
    Group 5Activity 2Activity 3Activity 4Activity 5Activity 1

    Activity 1: Target preparation and characterization
    Powell Barber, Sergio Almaraz-Calderon
    Location: Collins Laboratory, Room 51
    The students had the opportunity to participate in almost all aspects of the production of thin carbon foils by carbon arc evaporation, to include substrate cleaning and preparation, evaporation, as well as film removal and mounting. Target production techniques for other materials were discussed based on student interest and available time. A review article on different techniques is available at http://iopscience.iop.org/0022-3735/12/9/001/ The students also determined target thicknesses by measuring the energy loss of alpha particles as they pass through a target foil. Students could downloaded the LISE-program to perform the relevant energy-loss calculation.

    Activity 2: Measurement of the 12C(d,p)13C reaction at the FSU accelerator
    Kirby Kemper and Lagy T. Baby
    Location: Collins Laboratory, Rooms 7 and 10
    The students performed an experiment at the Tandem-accelerator. The Tandem produced a beam of Deuterons at 12 MeV, which was transported and focused onto a 12C target located in the center of a scattering chamber. The students created a beam focus on the target location by adjusting a Quadrupole-double lens and several steerer magnets. Once the beam was focussed and optimized, the target was inserted and the experiment began. The experimental setup contained a thin-thick Silicon "telescope", which was movable around the target and was used to measure the energy spectra and angular distributions of the deuterons and protons emerging from the target, produced in the elastic scattering and (d,p) transfer reaction, respectively. The particle energy-spectra was recorded in short runs for every angle. Another Silicon-detector remained at a constant angle, monitoring the integrated beam intensity by detecting elastic scattering for every angle-run. The different final states populated in the (d,p) transfer reaction were identified and their angular distribution was analyzed.

    Activity 3: Analysis of transfer reactions, DWBA and shell-model calculations
    Jessica Baker and Sean Kuvin
    Location: Collins Laboratory, Room 13
    The students developed a DWBA calculation of the 12C + d elastic scattering and the 12C(d,p)13C reaction using the program DWUCK. The elastic scattering data from the experiment was used to adjust the optical potential parameters user in the DWBA calculation and to obtain an absolute cross section normalization of the experimental data set. The DWBA description of the transfer reaction was used to extract spectroscopic factors for the observed states in 13C. In a second part, the students performed a shell-model calculation to compare the experimental spectroscopic factors to theory and better understand their implication. More detailed instruction and the computer-codes needed for the calculation (Linux and Mac) are available at http://www.volya.net/index.php?id=ebss2015. Students used their own, or laboratory, computers to perform these calculations.

    Activity 4: Analysis of high-resolution Gamma-spectra from Beta-decay
    Vandana Tripathi, S.L. Tabor, Rutger Dungan, and John Parker
    Location: Collins Laboratory, Room 214,215
    In this activity the students learned about two of the three nuclear decay modes identified by the "father" of nuclear physics, Ernest Rutherford, namely beta and gamma decay. Beta decay has a distinguished history revealing the first elusive particle, the neutrino, the 14C dating technique, and has been extensively used for studying nuclear structure. It is also very much a part of the future in the study of rare isotopes at radioactive beam facilities like NSCL, TRIUMF, GSI, GANIL, CERN, and RIKEN. Gamma spectroscopy with high resolution (~2 keV) detectors is the most important tool to study properties of excited nuclei and to determine decay schemes and exploring nuclei with respect to nuclear models.

    In this project students measured the electromagnetic radiation (gamma rays) following beta decay. The beta-decaying samples were prepared by nuclear reactions on stable isotopes using our accelerator facility. Their lifetimes are long enough so that most of the radioactive material has survived for your experiment. Beta decay often leaves the daughter nucleus in excited states which then decay by gamma emission allowing us to study the excited states of the daughter nucleus.

    Two high-purity Ge diode gamma detectors, connected to a digital data acquisition system, were used in this exercise. Students first calibrated the energy response of these detectors using a beta-gamma source (152Eu) with known gamma energies. The main project was to measure and analyze the gamma-gamma coincidences from the pair of Ge detectors to determine the gamma transitions and hence energy levels in the daughter nucleus following the decay of the sample.

    Activity 5: Methods of neutron detection
    C.J. "Kim" Lister (University of Massachusetts Lowell) and Nabin Rijal
    Location: UPL 110
    Neutrons are a key to the nuclear science of stars, reactors and weapons. They are also critically important in the nuclear structure of neutron-rich isotopes. They were not discovered until 1932 and still remain difficult to detect and measure. They are radioactive, and so free neutrons are absent from our environment, unless some nuclear process is present. As neutrons are electrically neutral they can only be detected indirectly, either following scattering or absorption. The big experimental problem is that the signal generated by neutron interactions is often difficult to separate from that caused by gamma rays. In this laboratory students studied how the detection of neutrons in scintillating materials works. We had three "hands on" projects and some short talks about new "state of the art" techniques, like using traps to infer neutron decay, and the new scintillator CLYC.