National Superconducting
Cyclotron Laboratory

Daniel Bazin
Daniel Bazin
Senior Physicist & Adjunct Professor
Experimental Nuclear Physics
PhD, Nuclear Physics, Caen University 1987
Joined NSCL in December 1993
Phone (517) 908-7422
Fax (517) 353-5967
Office 1166 B
bazin at

Daniel Bazin

The focus of my research is centered on the study of exotic nuclei and the most efficient ways to unravel their properties. It is now well established that these radioactive nuclei—which depart from the usual balance of the number of protons and neutrons—have very different properties than the stable ones. Their structures, shapes and modes of excitation can reveal new phenomena, such as haloes  or molecular states for instance, that are essential to our understanding of the forces that bind nuclei together via comparison with theoretical models. Finding the most sensitive and relevant experimental methods to reveal these phenomena has been the focus of my career since its beginning.

 pad plane


Pad plane projection of an event recorded in the AT-TPC during an experiment where a 22Mg radioactive beam was reacted with an 4He target. The small dot at the center of the figure is the projection of the beam track, normal to the figure, while the three other tracks show the emission of three protons during the reaction. These tracks have the shape of spirals because of the magnetic field applied in the active volume of the AT-TPC. Some scattered noise is also visible in this event display.

There are several “tools” available to the physicist to study the properties of nuclei, but those I am concentrating my research on all involve reacting nuclei together. When it comes to exotic nuclei however, they can only be produced in the laboratory as particle beams, and are usually the heavier particle of the pair. This inverse kinematics situation has important implications on the techniques used to detect and characterize the particles emitted after the reaction. The two techniques I am actively pursuing are nucleon removal reactions at high energy, and low energy reactions using a novel type of detector called active target.

More specifically, I am conducting an experimental program aimed at using and studying in detail one of the most successful type of reactions used to study the structure of very rare exotic nuclei, because it uses inverse kinematics to boost the luminosity of the experiments. These nucleon removal reactions are peripheral collisions where one or two nucleons at most are removed from a fast moving projectile. The aim of my program is to understand the reaction mechanisms that take place during such collisions, and validate the theory that is used to model them in order to deduce useful information on the structure of both the projectile and residual nuclei.

On the other hand, I am developing a new type of detector particularly well designed for lower energy collisions, such as transfer reactions or resonant scattering for instance. Low energy reactions require the use of very thin targets to preserve the characteristics of the emitted particles. This severely limits the sensitivity of such measurements, as the low number of nuclei in the target must be compensated by large intensities in the beams. The Active Target Time Projection Chamber, or AT-TPC, is a novel type of detector where the gas volume is at the same time a target and a detector medium. By literally detecting the reaction within the target itself, this new technique alleviates the shortcomings of the traditional solid target method. This detector is especially well suited for all reactions where the recoil particles have very low energy.

Selected Publications

Mechanisms in knockout reactions, D. Bazin, R.J. Charity, R.T. de Souza, et al. Physical Review Letters 102, (2009) 232501

Study of spectroscopic factors at N = 29 using isobaric analogue resonances in inverse kinematics, J. Bradt et al., Physics Letters B, Volume 778, (2018) 155

Low energy nuclear physics with active targets and time projection chambers, D. Bazin, T. Ahn, Y. Ayyad, S. Beceiro-Novo, A. O. Macchiavelli, W. Mittig, J. S. Randhawa, Progress in Particle and Nuclear Physics, Volume 114, (2020) 103790