To decay, or not to decay (Some ways to influence the radioactive decay)


TRIUMF Auditorium


Iris Dillmann (TRIUMF & University of Victoria)


To decay, or not to decay- that is the question. Can the radioactive decay of isotopes be influenced? This question is not only of importance for radioactive waste management but also for the creation of elements in exploding stars.

What sounds like black magic is nowadays feasible thanks to the well-defined conditions in ion traps and heavy ion storage rings. Several ground-breaking measurements in the last 25 years have proven that highly-charged ions decay differently than their neutral counterparts. I will give an overview how a stable isotope can become radioactive, how ions can be forced to decay faster or slower, or how we can even selectively block decay modes.