Michael Smith
(Oak Ridge National Lab)

Recoil Separators for Explosive Hydrogen Burning Studies

Novae and X-ray bursts, violent explosions that occur accreting binary star systems, are powered by thermonuclear reactions on proton-rich unstable nuclei. The rates of such explosive hydrogen burning reactions, needed to understand these outbursts, are mostly unmeasured and have large theoretical uncertainties. Recoil separators offer the best approach to directly measure one class of these reactions -- proton captures on radioactive nuclei. A description of our recent utilization of a recoil separator at ORNL to measure a thermonuclear reaction crucial for novae will be given, along with our plans for the future for a new device SECAR for the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams [FRIB].