2023 journal article

Spin-parities of subthreshold resonances in the F18(p,α)O15 reaction

Physical Review C.

By: F. Portillo n, R. Longland n, A. Cooper*, S. Hunt*, A. Laird*, C. Marshall n, K. Setoodehnia n

Source: ORCID
Added: April 5, 2023

The $^{18}$F(p, $\alpha$)$^{15}$O reaction is key to determining the $^{18}$F abundance in classical novae. However, the cross section for this reaction has large uncertainties at low energies largely caused by interference effects. Here, we resolve a longstanding issue with unknown spin-parities of sub-threshold states in $^{19}$Ne that reduces these uncertainties. The $^{20}$Ne($^3$He, $^4$He)$^{19}$Ne neutron pick-up reaction was used to populate $^{19}$Ne excited states, focusing on the energy region of astrophysical interest ($\approx$ 6 - 7 MeV). The experiment was performed at the Triangle Universities Nuclear Laboratory using the high resolution Enge split-pole magnetic spectrograph. Spins and parities were found for states in the astrophysical energy range. In particular, the state at 6.133 MeV (E$_{r}^{\text{c.m.}} = -278$ keV) was found to have spin and parity of $3/2^+$ and we confirm the existence of an unresolved doublet close to 6.288 MeV (E$_{r}^{\text{c.m.}} = -120$ keV) with J$^{\pi}$ = $1/2^+$ and a high-spin state. Using these results, we demonstrate a significant factor of two decrease in the reaction rate uncertainties at nova temperatures.