Date of Award

12-2011

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Major

Physics

Major Professor

Robert Grzywacz

Committee Members

Witek Nazarewicz, Carrol Bingham, Jason Hayward

Abstract

This dissertation reports on new information in the [beta minus] decay of the neutron-rich nucleus 81Zn, which populates states in its daughter nucleus 81Ga. This includes new [gamma]-ray transitions in the daughter nucleus, 81Ga, as well as a [beta]-delayed neutron branching ratio. This isotope was produced at the Holifield Radioactive Ion Beam Facility of Oak Ridge National Laboratory through the Isotope Separation Online technique. They are fission fragments from proton-induced fission on a uranium carbide target. These fission fragments are ionized and both mass and isotopically separated before arriving at the Low Energy Radioactive Ion Beam Spectroscopy Station (LeRIBSS). The [gamma]-ray and [beta] electron emissions from the decays are measured and analyzed in this work.

A new [beta]-delayed neutron branching ratio is reported for this decay, which is in agreement with recent theoretical values. The core excited states in the daughter nucleus, 81Ga, populated through allowed Gamow-Teller decays are analyzed. A trend in core excited states with other N=50 isotones indicates an increasing gap between a deeply bound neutron hole and the valence neutron above the N=50 gap upon moving towards doubly magic 78Ni.

This dissertation also reports on additions to the decay schemes of 79Zn and 80Zn decays. Their decay level schemes have been expanded upon and an improved picture of the total allowed Gamow-Teller decay strength is known from 79Zn to 81Zn. This work presents an improved, albeit still incomplete, picture of the energy of states populated through Gamow-Teller decays from below to above the N=50 shell gap in zinc isotopes.

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