Laser Spectroscopy Laboratory
Laser Spectroscopy of Nuclei Laboratory has been setup with mainly funding received as part of the BRNS Young Scientist Research Award (2012). The focus is on laser spectroscopic studies of nuclei away from the line of stability. The studies undertaken here will have a considerable impact in the understanding of ground state properties of nuclei away from stability. Under this project, instrumentation will be developed to perform in-beam laser spectroscopic measurements for the first time in India. This work is interdisciplinary and involves nuclear physics, atomic spectroscopy, lasers, accelerators and reactors. Techniques that have high sensitivity and resolution would be required in the near future as new nuclei are being produced in increasing numbers at accelerated radioactive ion beam facilities. A high-sensitive fluorescence cell is being developed that enables online measurement of short-lived nuclei produced in small amounts at accelerators using laser spectroscopy and is an important step.
Information on nuclear structure through hyperfine structure (hfs) and isotope shift (IS) studies has been immensely successful in evaluating the ground state properties of nuclei away from stability primarily due to the availability of tunable lasers. The high sensitivity and high resolution of laser spectroscopy give it a unique role in the investigation of ground and isomeric states of these nuclei. The analysis of the optical IS and hfs of radioactive atoms provide a very detailed picture of the nuclear ground state properties such as changes in the mean-square nuclear charge radii and multipole moments. The mean-square nuclear charge radii have no model dependency inherent in its laser spectroscopic experimental evaluation and thus provides a stringent test of any theoretical nucleon-nucleon interaction. The nuclear physics interest in such studies lies in understanding the size and shape evolution as a function of proton and neutron number and in describing or predicting properties of unstable nuclei on the basis of an effective nucleon-nucleon interaction.