$U(r)=-\frac{W_0r_0}{r}\exp\left(-\frac{r}{r_0}\right)$
$\frac{E_{bind}}{c^2}=a_1A-a_2A^{2/3}-a_3\frac{Z(Z-1)}{A^{1/3}}-a_4\frac{(N-Z)^2}{A}+\epsilon a_5A^{-3/4}$
$R=R_0\left[1+\sum_{lm}a_{lm}Y_l^m(\theta,\varphi)\right]$

Matthew Mumpower

Staff Scientist @ Los Alamos National Lab

About Me

I'm a theoretical physicist working at Los Alamos National Lab. I received my PhD at North Carolina State University under the direction of Gail McLaughlin. At the University of Notre Dame I worked under the direction of Ani Aprahamian and Rebecca Surman. My research interests are in nuclear structure and reaction mechanisms. The study of these models has a wide range of applicability from nuclear medicine, to stockpile stewardship and even the cosmos.

At Los Alamos we seek to solve national security challenges through scientific excellence. This means we not only apply our models to the task at hand, but we seek to push them to the limits by probing the edges of our knowledge with basic science research. One way I contribute to basic science research at the lab is to study the applicability of LANL nuclear models to nucleosynthesis. Nucleosynthesis is the study of the processes by which chemical elements are synthesized in cosmic environments. In other words, this part of my research focuses on how the elements on the periodic table were created. This field is extremely challenging and also very rewarding with many real world applications. Check out the research section of this website for more information.

I firmly believe that practicing in scientific inquiry is both empowering and a necessary requirement for success in today's world. You can learn more about my teaching efforts in the teach section of this website.

Outside of Physics I enjoy keeping up with latest technology trends and coming up with unique solutions to challenging problems. For more about my entrepreneurial endeavours check out Solace Development Group. In my free time I try to stay in shape by playing racquetball. If you are interested in a game, shoot me an e-mail.

Latest Paper (August 17th 2017)

Estimation of M1 scissors mode strength for deformed nuclei in the medium to heavy mass region by statistical Hauser-Feshbach model calculations

Radiative neutron capture is an important nuclear reaction whose accurate description is needed for many applications ranging from nuclear technology to nuclear astrophysics. The description of such a process relies on the Hauser-Feshbach theory which requires the nuclear optical potential, level density and $\gamma$-strength function as model inputs. It has recently been suggested that the M1 scissors mode...

Select Papers

The link between rare earth peak formation and the astrophysical site of the $r$ process

M. Mumpower, G. C. McLaughlin, R. Surman, A. W. Steiner
ApJ 833, 282 - Published December 21st 2016
The primary astrophysical source of the rare earth elements is the rapid neutron capture process ($r$ process). The rare earth peak that is seen in the solar $r$-process residuals has been proposed to originate as a pile-up of nuclei during the end of the $r$ process. We introduce a new method utilizing Monte Carlo studies of nuclear masses in the rare earth region, that includes self-consistently adjusting $\beta$-decay rates and neutron capture rates, to find the mass surfaces necessary for the formation of the rare earth peak. We demonstrate our method with two types of astrophysical scenarios, one corresponding conditions typical of core-collapse supernova winds and one corresponding to conditions typical of the ejection of the material from the tidal tails of neutron star mergers. In each type of astrophysical conditions, this method successfully locates a region of enhanced stability in the mass surface that is responsible for the rare earth peak. For each scenario, we find that the change in the mass surface has qualitatively different features, thus future measurements can shed light on the type of environment in which the $r$ process...

Strong neutron-$\gamma$ competition above the neutron threshold in the decay of $^{70}$Co

A. Spyrou, et al.
PRL 117, 142701 - Published September 29th 2016
The $\beta$-decay intensity of $^{70}$Co was measured for the first time using the technique of total absorption spectroscopy. The large $\beta$-decay Q value [12.3(3) MeV] offers a rare opportunity to study $\beta$-decay properties in a broad energy range. Two surprising features were observed in the experimental results, namely, the large fragmentation of the $\beta$ intensity at high energies, as well as the strong competition between $\gamma$-rays and neutrons, up to more than 2 MeV above the neutron-separation energy. The data are compared to two theoretical calculations: the shell model and the quasiparticle random phase approximation (QRPA). Both models seem to be missing a significant strength at high excitation energies. Possible interpretations of this discrepancy are discussed. The shell model is used for a detailed nuclear structure interpretation and helps to explain the observed neutron-$\gamma$ competition. The comparison to the QRPA calculations is done as a means to test a model that provides global $\beta$-decay properties for astrophysical calculations. Our work demonstrates the importance of performing detailed comparisons to experimental results, beyond the simple half-life comparisons. A realistic and robust description of the $\beta$-decay intensity is crucial for our...

Racquetball

In my free time I play competitive racquetball. I was one of the top ranked players of the North Carolina State University Racquetball Club from 2008 to 2012. I designed their website which you can find an image of right here.