Optical Readout Time Projection Chamber (O-TPC) for a Study of Oxygen Formation In Stellar Helium Burning

Moshe Gai, Amos Breskin, Rachel Chechik, Volker Dangendorf, Henry R. Weller

Submitted on 1 April 2005


We are developing an Optical Readout Time Projection Chamber (O-TPC) detector for the study of the 12C(a,g)16O reaction that determines the ratio of carbon to oxygen in helium burning. This ratio is crucial for understanding the final fate of a progenitor star and the nucleosynthesis of elements prior to a Type II supernova; an oxygen rich star is predicted to collapse to a black hole, and a carbon rich star to a neutron star. Type Ia supernovae (SNeIa) are used as standard candles for measuring cosmological distances with the use of an empirical light curve-luminosity stretching factor. It is essential to understand helium burning that yields the carbon/oxygen white dwarf and thus the initial stage of SNeIa. The O-TPC is intended for use with high intensity photon beams extracted from the HIgS/TUNL facility at Duke University to study the 16O(g,a)12C reaction, and thus the direct reaction at energies as low as 0.7 MeV. We are conducting a systematical study of the best oxygen containing gas with light emitting admixture(s) for use in such an O-TPC. Preliminary results with CO_2 + TEA mixture were obtained


Comment: Proceedings 21st Winter Workshop on Nuclear Dynamics, Breckenridge, CO, February 5-12, 2005. Work Supported by USDOE Grant No. DE-FG02-94ER40870 and the Yale-Weizmann Collaboration, American Committe on Weizmann Institute of Science

Subjects: Nuclear Experiment; Astrophysics; Nuclear Theory