Theses and Dissertations


Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Crider, Benjamin P.

Committee Member

Liddick, Sean N.

Committee Member

Winger, Jeff A.

Committee Member

Dutta, Dipangkar

Committee Member

Rupak, Gautam

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access



Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D)


College of Arts and Sciences


Department of Physics and Astronomy


The investigation of isomeric states in neutron-rich nuclei provides useful insights into the underlying nuclear configurations, and understanding their occurrence along an isotopic chain can inform about shell evolution. Recent studies on neutron-rich Si isotopes near the magic number N = 20 and approaching N = 28 have revealed the presence of low-lying states with intruder configurations, resulting from multiple-particle, multiple-hole excitations across closed shell gaps. The characterization of these states involves measuring their half-lives and transition probabilities.

In this study, a new low-energy (7/21) isomer at 68 keV in 37Si was accessed via beta decay and characterized. To achieve this, radioactive 37Al and 38Al ions were produced through the projectile fragmentation reaction of a 48Ca beam and implanted into a CeBr3 detector, leading to the population of states in 37Si. The 68-keV isomer was directly populated in the beta-delayed one neutron emission decay of implanted 38Al ions. Ancillary detector arrays comprising HPGe and LaBr3(Ce) detectors were employed for the detection of beta-delayed gamma rays. The choice of detectors was driven by their excellent energy and timing resolutions, respectively.

The beta-gamma timing method was utilized to measure the half-life of the new isomeric state in 37Si. This dissertation also discusses other timing techniques employed to search for and characterize isomeric states following beta decay of implanted ions. Notably, the half-life of the newly observed (7/21) isomeric state in 37Si was measured to be 9.1(7) ns. The half-life of the previously observed closely-lying (3/21) state at 156 keV was determined to be 3.20(4) ns, consistent with previously reported values. Reduced ground-state transition probabilities associated with the gamma-ray decay from these excited states were in agreement with results obtained from shell model calculations.

In addition to the investigation of isomeric states in 37Si, isomeric 0+ states in 34Si and 32Mg nuclei belonging to the N = 20 “island of inversion” were characterized and searched for, respectively. The isomeric 0+ state in 34Si was populated following the beta decay of implanted 34Mg ions and its 34Al daughter nucleus. Similarly, the 0+ state in 32Mg was searched for via the beta-delayed one neutron emission decay of implanted 33Na ions.

Included in

Nuclear Commons