Tuesday, 10 September 2019


I'm in Canberra visiting some students on their MPhys Research Year placement, and also attending the HIAS-2019 conference (HIAS = Heavy-ion Accelerator Symposium).  The scientific topics cover any of the things that one can do at a heavy-ion accelerator which include the kind of reactions that I am interested in calculating, but also things like accelerator mass spectroscopy.  This is a very sensitive way of measuring the masses of individual isotopes in a sample of material.  One such application was presented by Dominik Koll who showed how to measure the abundance of Iron-60 which is a long-lived radioactive isotope generated in supernova explosions, and shot out into interstellar space, some of which then arrives on the Earth.  It turns out that it is currently raining down on Earth to the extent of a couple of atoms per square centimetre per year. 

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