Measurement of cross sections for 65Cu([alpha],p) 68Zn nuclear reaction at low energy with comparison to Hauser-Feshbach statistical model

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Deboer, Richard J.
Islam, Mohammed S.
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Thesis (M.S.)
Department of Physics and Astronomy
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Where did the elements come from? Why are they found in the abundance that they are? These are two of the fundamental questions that the field of astrophysics has sought to answer. The first major studies of elemental synthesis were done in the 1950's and 1960's. Most notable among them was the Burbidge, Burbidge, Fowler, and Hoyle paper [Clayton 73]. This paper set forth the general theory of elemental synthesis in stars and supernovae by means of nuclear reactions. It remains the leading theory for elemental abundance today.As with most theories, the picture of elemental synthesis remains incomplete. While it is thought that the overall theory is correct, there are still many mysteries in the details. There are several kinds of nuclear reactions that occur in stars and supernova that create the elements heavier than iron. They include the r-process, s-process, and p-process, along with several others. However, there are some elements whose creation is not fully understood. There are a variety of reasons for this, which will be discussed.In our experiment we studied the nuclear reaction properties of an isotope of Copper (65Cu). It is theorized that it is produced by the p-process during a supernova explosion. The p-process can be described simply as the collision of an alpha particle with a large atomic nucleus with a proton byproduct. Little actual experimental data has been taken involving the p-process, which is why we chose this reaction. The experiment was done using the Tandem Van de Graaff Accelerator at Ohio University.