Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



Major Professor

Katherine L. Grzywacz-Jones

Committee Members

Michael W. Guidry, Lawrence H. Heilbronn, Soren P. Sorensen, Kelly Chipps


Several key states in 18Ne[Neon-18] affect the reaction rate of the astrophysically-important 14O[Oxygen-14](α[Alpha],p)17F[Fluorine-17] reaction, important for breakout of the Hot-CNO cycle and key to the ignition of Type-I X-ray bursts. Currently, a direct measurement of the 14O(α,p)17F reaction cross section is extremely difficult. Instead, calculation of the stellar reaction rate depends on the parameters of the states in the fusion product nucleus 18Ne, which can be studied indirectly through transfer reactions. With the development of the Jet Experiments in Nuclear Structure and Astrophysics (JENSA) gas jet system, targets of pure gas are achievable, opening new avenues for studies with transfer reactions. In order to investigate states in 18Ne, the 20Ne[Neon-20](p,t)18Ne reaction was utilized with a pure neon target from the JENSA system and an array of highly-segmented silicon strip detectors. Distorted wave Born-approximation (DWBA) calculations were then compared to experimental angular distributions, and a number of spin-parity assignments are made for states in 18Ne.

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