Skip to main content

Fundamental Science and Interactions at ISOL@MYRRHA

Experiments of relevance for fundamental science are being identified and updated in a continuous dialog with potential users. Our efforts concentrate in creating a user’s community with the motivation and organization capacity to apply for the necessary funding and construct the experimental devices necessary to carry on state-of-the-art research studies. A list of topics which are possible to implement at ISOL@MYRRHA is given below.

Physics beyond the Standard Model

In fundamental physics research, the search for ‘physics beyond the standard model’ is ongoing at existing large scale particle physics laboratories, but over the past decade it has become clear that major breakthroughs might come from high precision experiments at small scale facilities, among which radioactive ion beam facilities play a major role. ISOL@MYRRHA could host high precision setups operated by teams, which need regular access to radioactive ion beams to test and fine tune the sensitivity of their setup. Examples of these are high precision laser spectroscopy  and correlation experiments in beta-decay experiments. ​

The ‘correlation experiments’ in nuclear beta decay are looking into the angular distribution of the electron (positron), the (anti-)neutrino and the recoiling nucleus. Very small deviations from expected ‘standard model’ behavior could hint towards additional ‘non-standard’ terms in the weak interaction. ​

The high precision laser spectroscopy experiments look into very high resolution to atomic energy levels. In particular, radioactive nuclei exhibiting octupole deformation are intensively used as probes to detect violations of standard model physics because the violation is much stronger in these radioactive isotopes. ISOL@MYRRHA could host some of these high precision setups operated by teams, which need regular access to radioactive ion beams to test and fine tune the sensitivity of their setup. The availability of extremely stable laser systems is crucial for these teams and laboratories which can host such systems can be foreseen in the ISOL@MYRRHA building.​

Nuclear physics

The development of a polarization beamline is not only an important step towards beta-NMR measurements in biological samples and new materials, but also in fundamental research, looking to the structure of short lived radioactive isotopes. ​

  • Nuclear spectroscopy. Since decades, the observation of gamma-, beta- and neutron-energy spectra in nuclear decay has provided deep insight in the evolution of nuclear structure when going away from the stability line. Phenomena like vanishing shell closures, shape coexistence and octupole deformation have been discovered thanks to advances in RIB developments. Many of the identified phenomena can unravel even more details of the internal dynamics of the nucleus by observing either small branching ratio’s in the nuclear decay or by putting additional constraints on the initial decaying isotope (such as: polarizing the nucleus in a preferred direction, or stopping the nucleus in vacuum). ISOL@MYRRHA can provide RIBs, experimental space and beam time to researchers aiming at high levels of precision.​

  • Size and shape of nuclei inferred by laser spectroscopy. The laser frequencies to either ionize or polarize the radioactive nucleus contains information about the deformation and size of the nucleus. The laser frequencies can be either varied in the laser ion source of the primary target or in the polarization beamline. The former is a readily available method, since the laser ion source is foreseen in the ISOL@MYRRHA facility. The latter can be applied if a polarization beamline is available and has the huge benefit that high resolution studies can be performed.​


Share this page