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- Journal of Physics G: Nuclear and Particle Physics
- Medium: X
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- National Science Foundation
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X-ray radiography and computed tomography (CT) reveal hidden subsurface features within fossil specimens embedded in matrix. With X-rays, distinguishing features from the background (i.e., contrast) results from sample density and atomic X-ray attenuation—fundamental properties of the sample. However, even high energy X-rays may poorly resolve hard and soft tissue structures when the matrix has similar density or X-ray attenuation to the fossil. Here, neutron radiography and neutron tomography complement X-ray imaging, as the source of contrast comes instead from how a neutron beam interacts with the sample's atomic nuclei. The contrast is highly nonlinear across the periodic table, and so researchers can see enhanced contrast between adjacent features when X-ray imaging could not. As the signal source is completely different than X-ray imaging, some intuition from X-rays must be discarded. For instance, neutrons quite easily pass through lead, but are blocked by hydrogen. Since neutron imaging is uncommon within paleontology, we introduce this exciting technology at a high level with an emphasis on applications to paleontology. We cover some basic physics underlying neutron imaging, where one can perform such experiments, and sample considerations. The neutron source, concepts of beam flux, and image resolution will also be covered. As neutron imaging typically complements X-ray imaging, we discuss how to digitally combine modalities for segmentation and inference. We present examples of how neutron imaging informed fossil descriptions. This includes the skull of a Paleocene mammal Tetraclaenodon from New Mexico and a variety of Permian vertebrate specimens from Richards Spur, Oklahoma and imaged at the DINGO nuclear imaging facility in Australia. Though neutron sources will always be difficult to access, we aim to assist interested researchers considering this exciting imaging technology for their paleontology research.more » « less
In the field of beam physics, two frontier topics have taken center stage due to their potential to enable new approaches to discovery in a wide swath of science. These areas are: advanced, high gradient acceleration techniques, and x-ray free electron lasers (XFELs). Further, there is intense interest in the marriage of these two fields, with the goal of producing a very compact XFEL. In this context, recent advances in high gradient radio-frequency cryogenic copper structure research have opened the door to the use of surface electric fields between 250 and 500 MV m−1. Such an approach is foreseen to enable a new generation of photoinjectors with six-dimensional beam brightness beyond the current state-of-the-art by well over an order of magnitude. This advance is an essential ingredient enabling an ultra-compact XFEL (UC-XFEL). In addition, one may accelerate these bright beams to GeV scale in less than 10 m. Such an injector, when combined with inverse free electron laser-based bunching techniques can produce multi-kA beams with unprecedented beam quality, quantified by 50 nm-rad normalized emittances. The emittance, we note, is the effective area in transverse phase space (
x, p x/ me c) or ( y, p y/ me c) occupied by the beam distribution, and it is relevant to achievable beam sizes as well as setting a limit on FEL wavelength. These beams, when injected into innovative, short-period (1–10 mm) undulators uniquely enable UC-XFELs having footprints consistent with university-scale laboratories. We describe the architecture and predicted performance of this novel light source, which promises photon production per pulse of a few percent of existing XFEL sources. We review implementation issues including collective beam effects, compact x-ray optics systems, and other relevant technical challenges. To illustrate the potential of such a light source to fundamentally change the current paradigm of XFELs with their limited access, we examine possible applications in biology, chemistry, materials, atomic physics, industry, and medicine—including the imaging of virus particles—which may profit from this new model of performing XFEL science.
We review recent progress and motivate the need for further developments in nuclear optical potentials that are widely used in the theoretical analysis of nucleon elastic scattering and reaction cross sections. In regions of the nuclear chart away from stability, which represent a frontier in nuclear science over the coming decade and which will be probed at new rare-isotope beam facilities worldwide, there is a targeted need to quantify and reduce theoretical reaction model uncertainties, especially with respect to nuclear optical potentials. We first describe the primary physics motivations for an improved description of nuclear reactions involving short-lived isotopes, focusing on its benefits for fundamental science discoveries and applications to medicine, energy, and security. We then outline the various methods in use today to build optical potentials starting from phenomenological, microscopic, and
ab initiomethods, highlighting in particular, the strengths and weaknesses of each approach. We then discuss publicly-available tools and resources facilitating the propagation of recent progresses in the field to practitioners. Finally, we provide a set of open challenges and recommendations for the field to advance the fundamental science goals of nuclear reaction studies in the rare-isotope beam era. This paper is the outcome of the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams Theory Alliance (FRIB-TA) topical program ‘Optical Potentials in Nuclear Physics’ held in March 2022 at FRIB. Its content is non-exhaustive, was chosen by the participants and reflects their efforts related to optical potentials.
Ultra-high-energy (UHE) photons are an important tool for studying the high-energy Universe. A plausible source of photons with exa-eV (EeV) energy is provided by UHE cosmic rays (UHECRs) undergoing the Greisen–Zatsepin–Kuzmin process (Greisen 1966; Zatsepin & Kuzmin 1966) or pair production process (Blumenthal 1970) on a cosmic background radiation. In this context, the EeV photons can be a probe of both UHECR mass composition and the distribution of their sources (Gelmini, Kalashev & Semikoz 2008; Hooper, Taylor & Sarkar 2011). At the same time, the possible flux of photons produced by UHE protons in the vicinity of their sources by pion photoproduction or inelastic nuclear collisions would be noticeable only for relatively near sources, as the attenuation length of UHE photons is smaller than that of UHE protons; see, for example, Bhattacharjee & Sigl (2000) for a review. There also exists a class of so-called top-down models of UHECR generation that efficiently produce the UHE photons, for instance by the decay of heavy dark-matter particles (Berezinsky, Kachelriess & Vilenkin 1997; Kuzmin & Rubakov 1998) or by the radiation from cosmic strings (Berezinsky, Blasi & Vilenkin 1998). The search for the UHE photons was shown to be the most sensitive method of indirect detection of heavy dark matter (Kalashev & Kuznetsov 2016, 2017; Kuznetsov 2017; Kachelriess, Kalashev & Kuznetsov 2018; Alcantara, Anchordoqui & Soriano 2019). Another fundamental physics scenario that could be tested with UHE photons (Fairbairn, Rashba & Troitsky 2011) is the photon mixing with axion-like particles (Raffelt & Stodolsky 1988), which could be responsible for the correlation of UHECR events with BL Lac type objects observed by the High Resolution Fly’s Eye (HiRes) experiment (Gorbunov et al. 2004; Abbasi et al. 2006). In most of these scenarios, a clustering of photon arrival directions, rather than diffuse distribution, is expected, so point-source searches can be a suitable test for photon - axion-like particle mixing models. Finally, UHE photons could also be used as a probe for the models of Lorentz-invariance violation (Coleman & Glashow 1999; Galaverni & Sigl 2008; Maccione, Liberati & Sigl 2010; Rubtsov, Satunin & Sibiryakov 2012, 2014). The Telescope Array (TA; Tokuno et al. 2012; Abu-Zayyad et al. 2013c) is the largest cosmic ray experiment in the Northern Hemisphere. It is located at 39.3° N, 112.9° W in Utah, USA. The observatory includes a surface detector array (SD) and 38 fluorescence telescopes grouped into three stations. The SD consists of 507 stations that contain plastic scintillators, each with an area of 3 m2 (SD stations). The stations are placed in the square grid with 1.2 km spacing and cover an area of ∼700 km2. The TA SD is capable of detecting extensive air showers (EASs) in the atmosphere caused by cosmic particles of EeV and higher energies. The TA SD has been operating since 2008 May. A hadron-induced EAS significantly differs from an EAS induced by a photon because the depth of the shower maximum Xmax for a photon shower is larger, and a photon shower contains fewer muons and has a more curved front (see Risse & Homola 2007 for a review). The TA SD stations are sensitive to both muon and electromagnetic components of the shower and therefore can be triggered by both hadron-induced and photon-induced EAS events. In the present study, we use 9 yr of TA SD data for a blind search for point sources of UHE photons. We utilize the statistics of the SD data, which benefit from a high duty cycle. The full Monte Carlo (MC) simulation of proton-induced and photon-induced EAS events allows us to perform the photon search up to the highest accessible energies, E ≳ 1020 eV. As the main tool for the present photon search, we use a multivariate analysis based on a number of SD parameters that make it possible to distinguish between photon and hadron primaries. While searches for diffuse UHE photons were performed by several EAS experiments, including Haverah Park (Ave et al. 2000), AGASA (Shinozaki et al. 2002; Risse et al. 2005), Yakutsk (Rubtsov et al. 2006; Glushkov et al. 2007, 2010), Pierre Auger (Abraham et al. 2007, 2008a; Bleve 2016; Aab et al. 2017c) and TA (Abu-Zayyad et al. 2013b; Abbasi et al. 2019a), the search for point sources of UHE photons has been done only by the Pierre Auger Observatory (Aab et al. 2014, 2017a). The latter searches were based on hybrid data and were limited to the 1017.3 < E < 1018.5 eV energy range. In the present paper, we use the TA SD data alone. We perform the searches in five energy ranges: E > 1018, E > 1018.5, E > 1019, E > 1019.5 and E > 1020 eV. We find no significant evidence of photon point sources in all energy ranges and we set the point-source flux upper limits from each direction in the TA field of view (FOV). The search for unspecified neutral particles was also previously performed by the TA (Abbasi et al. 2015). The limit on the point-source flux of neutral particles obtained in that work is close to the present photon point-source flux limits.more » « less
The induced transparency of opaque medium for resonant electromagnetic radiation is a powerful tool for manipulating the field-matter interaction. Various techniques to make different physical systems transparent for radiation from microwaves to x-rays were implemented. Most of them are based on the modification of the quantum-optical properties of the medium under the action of an external coherent electromagnetic field. Recently, an observation of acoustically induced transparency (AIT) of the57Fe absorber for resonant 14.4-keV photons from the radioactive57Co source was reported. About 150-fold suppression of the resonant absorption of photons due to collective acoustic oscillations of the nuclei was demonstrated. In this paper, we extend the AIT phenomenon to a novel phase-locked regime, when the transmitted photons are synchronized with the absorber vibration. We show that the advantages of synchrotron Mössbauer sources such as the deterministic periodic emission of radiation and controlled spectral-temporal characteristics of the emitted photons along with high-intensity photon flux in a tightly focused beam, make it possible to efficiently implement this regime, paving the way for the development of the acoustically controlled interface between hard x-ray photons and nuclear ensembles.