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Project List » Electromagnetic response of low-mass nuclei for the mass evolution of extra-galactic ultra-high energy cosmic rays

Electromagnetic response of low-mass nuclei for the mass evolution of extra-galactic ultra-high energy cosmic rays

Acronym: PANDORA
Contracting Authority: UEFISCDI
Number / Date of the contract: PCE91 / 02.06.2022
Project Manager: Pär-Anders Söderström
Starting date / finishing date: 2022-06-02 / 2024-12-31
Project value: 1199875 RON
Abstract: This project aims to systematically evaluate the nuclear electric dipole response of light and medium mass nuclei. The measurements will take place at three complementary facilities, iThemba LABS in Cape town, RCNP in Osaka, and ELI-NP in Bucharest. We will be utilizing virtual photons from proton interactions in the first two locations for high-resolution and high precision measurements of scattered particles and decay products. In the third location, ELI-NP, we will use real photons from the gamma beam together with state-of-the-art detector systems comprising very high-efficiency, high-resolution gamma-ray detectors, charged particle detectors, and neutron detectors. This data will be applied to the mass and energy spectra of the highest energy particles interacting in the earth atmosphere, the ultra-high-energy cosmic rays (UHECRs). The origin of these particles is expected to be extra-galactical. The nuclear disintegration of the elements constituting UHECRs is mainly due to the interaction with the cosmic microwave background; Doppler shifted into the Giant Dipole Resonance (GDR) regime. Using the experimental and theoretical results from this project, we aim to obtain good enough direct and extrapolated nuclear data to calculate the mean-free paths of any reaction channel for any isotope below iron, at any energy, furthering our understanding of the source of these particles.

Objectives: Together with theoretical developments in the team directly supported by this project, mainly focusing on statistical models like TALYS and energy-density functional (EDF) plus quasi-particle phonon (QPM) models, as well as theoretical support from external collaborators to this project, our concrete objectives are the measurements and theoretical reproduction of the results, locally and globally, and the extension of these theoretical results to critical, but not measurable, nuclides. In total, the experimental campaign aims to measure the properties of 18 specific nuclei at the three different facilities. At ELI-NP, the high-brilliance gamma beam will provide the opportunity to measure decay cross-sections of a large variety of channels with high statistics even with short beam times. Both iThemba LABS and RCNP have the capabilities to accelerate protons to high energies and perform measurements of the total excitation cross-section via magnetic spectrometers, as well as selected decay cross-sections. Complimentary data from these three facilities are expected to give the complete picture of critical nuclei needed by the UHECR community.

1. The first experiments and preparatory activities of the experiments (2022-12-31) Results
2. Main experimental campaigns (2023-12-31) Results


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