Many-body Quantum Reaction Dynamics near the Fusion Barrier
Department of Nuclear Physics, RSPE, Australian National University, ACT 0200, Australia
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Published online: 20 March 2014
The understanding of quantum effects in determining nuclear reaction outcomes is evolving as improved experimental techniques reveal new facets of interaction dynamics. Whilst the phenomenon of coupling-enhanced quantum tunnelling is understood to arise due to quantum superposition, the observed inhibition of fusion at energies well below the barrier is not yet quantitatively understood. Collisions involving weakly-bound nuclei, which have low energy thresholds against breakup, present further challenges. Recent coincidence measurements for reactions of weakly bound stable nuclei have not only provided a complete picture of the physical mechanisms triggering breakup, but have also shown how information on reaction dynamics occurring on time-scales of ~zepto-seconds can be obtained experimentally. These new experimental findings demand major developments in quantum models of near-barrier nuclear reactions.
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