Ron Goans is a graduate research assistant working on the thesis component of his master’s degree in physics while performing experiments at the Holifield Radioactive Ion Beam Facility (HRIBF) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). His thesis research specifically relates to the field of radioactive ion beam development. The purpose of radioactive ion beam development is to study and produce high-intensity, high-purity beams of radioactive nuclides. These beams are used by nuclear physicists to study the structure of short-lived nuclei.
Below is a question and answer dialog about Goans’ experience in Oak Ridge. The video featured on the right side of this page also spotlights his experience with the University Radioactive Ion Beam (UNIRIB) consortium.
What is your research focus at UNIRIB?
In particular, my research focuses on studying the release properties of tin (Sn) isotopes in the sulfide molecular sideband. Our objective is to maximize the amount of tin coming out of, and minimize the time it takes to be released from, the target/ion source. This is important because it improves the quality of data for nuclear structure studies on tin isotopes.
What are your favorite aspects of the research?
I like that the research is challenging and it is an interdisciplinary field. In beam development, we combine elements from physics, chemistry, engineering and materials science in order to study and provide the quality radioactive ion beams.
How is being a graduate research assistant at UNIRIB helping you?
First, I would like to thank Ken Carter for allowing me this opportunity to continue my graduate education. It’s through programs like UNIRIB that students are given the chance to go from studying what others have done to conducting actual research.
In my time with UNIRIB, I have gained a lot of practical experience about the research cycle. I have learned how to be a good experimentalist. I have learned a lot about the basic science involved. And, I have also learned how to design and carry out research projects. This knowledge is invaluable and can be applied to a variety of different fields.
Sidebar: WATCH: Ron Goans interview (00:00)