My research project
Experimental studies of rp-process reactions in explosive stellar phenomena
The first of my two research projects is focused on the 15O(ɑ,ɣ)19Ne reaction rate. This reaction is a potential breakout reaction from the HCNO cycle into the rp-process in X-ray bursts. Therefore, to understand the properties of X-ray bursts, we need to be able to measure the rate of this reaction. I have been collaborating with the groups at Texas A&M and Saint Mary’s University to develop and test a new detector setup to study this reaction via the p(21Ne,t)19Ne transfer reaction in inverse kinematics and carried out the experiment at the Cyclotron Institute, Texas A&M. I have also been working on a gamma-spectroscopy study of 35Ar at Argonne National Laboratory using Gammasphere and the FMA. Determining the properties of states in 35Ar will allow us to determine the 34Cl(p,ɣ)35Ar reaction rate, which represents the key to being able to distinguish presolar grain of classical nova origin.