Jeff Vanhoy

SP434 Nuclear Physics

 This page describes the goings-on associated with the Nuclear Physics course and the Particle Accelerator.  You can select from:
    Very Quick Tour of the Accelerator in Pictures    
    Course Outline for SP434
    Nuclear Physics Notes on various topics
    Powerpoint presentation "Educational Activities at the USNA 5SDH" which shows what we use the accelerator for.

Very Quick Tour of the Naval Academy Tandem Accelerator Lab

Duel Ion Source
This off-color photo shows the dual ion sources where we make proton projectiles out of Hydrogen atoms. (We do occasionally make other beams).  The actual Van de Graaff is laying on its side inside the pressure vessel.  The terminal potential can be up to 1.7 MV.  Negative ions are attracted into the Van de Graaff from the ion source.  Once in the center, their electrons are stripped off and they get accelerated out too.  That's why its referred to as a tandem.

Here we see the control console for the accelerator and the Van de Graaff (ok, Pelletron) in the background.

The analyzing magnet directs the beam down one of two beamlines and also measures the beam's momentum (and energy).

Here's one of our scattering chambers where we do trace element analysis.  The sample is placed inside the scattering chamber (just right of center).  The protons enter generate X-rays when they strike the sample.  A portion of the X-ray detector is visible just to the left of the large beampipe.  One advantage of the PIXE technique is that it is non-destructive, so that valuable or rare samples may be studied.
scattering chamber


For better and more extensive photos, go see the Powerpoint presentation.


SP434 Course Outline

Lecture topics: 
        Basic descriptions of nuclei; back-of-the-envelope calculations, nuclide chart ( 1.5 weeks) 
        Radiation Health Concerns 
        Particle Detectors and Data Acquisition System layout and function ( 1 week ) 
        Particle Accelerator Types and Purposes ( 1.5 weeks ) 
        Quantum mechanics review with emphasis on practical techniques for solving the Schrodinger Equation and the impact of angular momentum. ( 2 weeks ) 
        Nuclear Models:  Shell Models, Collective Models, Algebraic Models ( 2.5 weeks ) 
        Reaction Mechanisms ( 2.5 weeks ) 
        Nuclear Astrophysics ( 1 week ) 
        Elementary Particle Physics ( 2 weeks ) 
Laboratory Topics: 
       CAMAC Data Acquisition System Layout and Function 
        NaI Detectors:    response function 
                                resolution, efficiency 
        Germanium Detectors: why radioactive sources decay, 
                                familiarization with "Table of Isotopes" 
                                the 238U decay series, 
                                potential barrier penetration by alpha particles 
        Differential Cross Section Measurements: Compton Scattering 
        g-g Coincidence Measurements 
                                  constructing level schemes 
                                  determining spins of excited states 
        Accelerator Operations: how to operate the Pelletron 
                                    beam optics and transport 
        Trace Element Analysis with PIXE 
        Coulomb Excitation: 
                                    quadrupole moment measurements 
        Resonance Reactions 
                                    excited states of 14N using p + 12C 
                                    spins & parities 
        Resonances with thick targets 
                                    oxide layers on Aluminum metal 


Beam Optics Calculations for Van de Graaff Accelerators    
Educational Activities at the USNA 5SDH    

The Powerpoint presentation "Educational Activities at the USNA 5SDH", is full size.  The file is 5+ MB.

Let me see it

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