Erin Good

  • Program Year: 4
  • Academic Institution: Louisiana State University
  • Field of Study: Experimental Nuclear Astrophysics
  • Academic Advisor: Catherine Deibel
  • Practicum(s):
    Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (2018)
  • Degree(s):
    B.S. Physics, University of Richmond, 2013

Summary of Research

I work in nuclear astrophysics, which involves the study of reactions occurring in various stellar environments and how those reactions create the elemental abundances we see in the universe. My particular focus is on reactions of importance in the most common stellar explosions: classical novae and X-ray bursts. In order to study some of these reactions, we are developing a new experimental setup at Florida State University (FSU) for measuring properties of excited states in nuclei that influence reaction rates. As an Enge Split-Pole Spectrometer (SPS) is being installed at FSU, I am designing, constructing, and testing auxiliary detector systems in house at Louisiana State University.

My current work includes the design of the Silicon Array for Branching Ratio Experiments (SABRE) for the detection of charged-particle decays from excited states populated via transfer reactions occurring in the target, testing of digitizer electronics for signal pulse-shape analysis allowing for increased count rates and lower energy thresholds, and the design and construction of a new position-sensitive ionization chamber at the focal plane of the array to measure light reaction products that have been momentum analyzed in the SPS.

This improved experimental setup will allow for more accurate determination of reaction rates important to classical novae and X-ray burst nucleosynthesis. By using this setup to study transfer reactions from light, stable beams of nuclei incident on heavy stable targets, we will contribute to the knowledge of branching ratios, excited states in nuclei, and spins of energy levels that correspond to resonances in astrophysical reactions of interest. Using this new information, accurate reaction rates can be calculated for some of the most influential reactions in these stellar explosions, improving our knowledge of astrophysical processes.


E. Good, E.K.M. Heckmaier, N.D. Scielzo, S.M. Marley, S. Padgett, M.T. Burkey, M.P. Carpenter, J.A. Clark, P. Copp, B. DiGiovine, K. Kolos, J. Munson, G. Savard, S. Zhu. "Investigating the first-forbidden beta-decay transitions of 92Rb and 96Y," in preparation.

A. Lauer et al. "Studying the reaction 34Ar(alpha,p)37K and its impact on XRB nucleosynthesis and observables," in preparation.

A.A.D. Hood et al. "Measurements of fusion reactions with 16C for understanding x-ray superbursts," in preparation.

J. C. Blackmon, I. Wiedenhöver, J. Belarge, S. A. Kuvin, M. Anastasiou, L. T. Baby, J. Baker, K. Colbert, C. M. Deibel, O. de Lucio, H. E. Gardiner, D. L. Gay, E. Good, P. Höflich, A. A. D. Hood, N. Keely, J. Lai, A. Laminack, L. E. Linhardt, J. Lighthall, K. T. Macon, E. Need, N. Quails, B. C. Rasco, N. Rijal and A. Volya. "Studies of X-ray burst reactions with radioactive ion beams from RESOLUT" EPJ Web Conf., 165 (2017) 01005.

R. O. Hughes, C. W. Beausang, T. J. Ross, J. T. Burke, R. J. Casperson, N. Cooper, J. E. Escher, K. Gell, E. Good, P. Humby, M. McCleskey, A. Saastimoinen, T. D. Tarlow, and I. J. Thompson. "236Pu(n,f), 237Pu(n,f), and 238Pu(n,f) cross sections deduced from (p,t), (p,d), and (p,p′) surrogate reactions," Phys. Rev. C 90, 014304. (July 14, 2014).


Graduated Magna Cum Laude

Dean's List: Spring 2013, All 2012, All 2010, Fall 2009

Grainger Undergraduate Student Research Grant, Summer 2012

Sigma Pi Sigma National Physics Honor Society, inducted Spring 2012

Omicron Delta Kappa National Leadership Honor Society, inducted Spring 2012

Phi Kappa Mu Music Honorary Society, University of Richmond, inducted Spring 2012

Golden Key International Honor Society, inducted Spring 2011

Phi Eta Sigma National First-Year Honor Society, inducted Spring 2010