University Isotope Separator at Oak Ridge: The UNISOR Consortium

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  06 Sep 1974:
Vol. 185, Issue 4154, pp. 819-824
DOI: 10.1126/science.185.4154.819


The UNISOR cooperative project, envisioned more than 3 years ago, is now successfully working. Research problems that involve a full range of experiments on nuclei far from beta stability are being investigated jointly by groups of scientists from several institutions. Some of the first work reported (16) included the identification, half-lives, and decay schemes of three new isotopes, 186T1, 188T1, and 116I; the first or new decay schemes of 189T1, 190T1, 117Xe, and 117I; and the results of the perturbed gamma-gamma directional correlation work in 126Xe.

UNISOR is already stimulating international interest. A report (1) on the new research being planned with an isotope separator on-line to ORIC was presented at a Soviet Academy of Sciences meeting on nuclear structure in 1971. At an international nuclear physics conference in Munich in August 1973, Academician G. N. Flerov, director of the heavy-ion laboratory in Dubna, said the UNISOR project had inspired his laboratory to secure funds for a new, much improved isotope separator which is now installed on-line to their heavy-ion cyclotron to be used for detailed studies of nuclei far from stability.

The UNISOR model for research has inspired a second such project, the Atomic Physics Consortium at Oak Ridge (APCOR). After an exploratory conference at Oak Ridge, scientists from ten institutions met in November 1973 to form an organizing committee for APCOR. As with UNISOR, the universities and the AEC will each provide a significant portion of the capital and operating costs. Heavy ions have opened up much new research in atomic physics, but such accelerator-based research represents a real "shift from traditional approaches concerning how, where, and on what time scale atomic physics experiments should be done" (17).