Alternative approach to populate and study the 229Th nuclear clock isomer
Verlinde, M.; Kraemer, S.; Moens, J.; Chrysalidis, K.; Correia, J. G.; Cottenier, S.; De Witte, H.; Fedorov, D. V.; Fedosseev, V. N.; Ferrer, R.; Fraile, L. M.; Geldhof, S.; Granados, C. A. et al. (2019). Alternative approach to populate and study the 229Th nuclear clock isomer. Physical Review C, 100 (2), 024315. DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevC.100.024315
Published inPhysical Review C
Wahl, U. |
© The Authors, 2019
A new approach to observe the radiative decay of the 229Th nuclear isomer, and to determine its energy and radiative lifetime, is presented. Situated at a uniquely low excitation energy, this nuclear state might be a key ingredient for the development of a nuclear clock or a nuclear laser and, the search for time variations of fundamental constants like the fine structure constant. The isomer’s γ decay towards the ground state will be studied with a high-resolution vacuum ultraviolet (VUV) spectrometer after its production by the β decay of 229Ac. The novel production method presents a number of advantages asserting its competitive nature with respect to the commonly used 233U α-decay recoil source. In this paper, a feasibility analysis of this new concept, and an experimental investigation of its key ingredients, using a pure 229Ac ion beam produced at the ISOLDE radioactive beam facility, is reported.