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

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 (September 3rd 2018)

FRIB and the GW170817 kilonova

In July 2018 an FRIB Theory Alliance program was held on the implications of GW170817 and its associated kilonova for r-process nucleosynthesis. Topics of discussion included the astrophysical and nuclear physics uncertainties in the interpretation of the GW170817 kilonova, what we can learn about the astrophysical site or sites of the r process from this event, and the advances...

Select Papers

Reverse engineering nuclear properties from rare earth abundances in the $r$ process

M. Mumpower, G. C. McLaughlin, R. Surman, A. W. Steiner
J. Phys. G 44 3 034003 - Published February 1st 2017
The bulk of the rare earth elements are believed to be synthesized in the rapid neutron capture process or $r$ process of nucleosynthesis. The solar $r$-process residuals show a small peak in the rare earths around $A\sim 160$, which is proposed to be formed dynamically during the end phase of the $r$ process by a pileup of material. This abundance feature is of particular importance as it is sensitive to both the nuclear physics inputs and the astrophysical conditions of the main $r$ process. We explore the formation of the rare earth peak from the perspective of an inverse problem, using Monte Carlo studies of nuclear masses to investigate the unknown nuclear properties required to best match rare earth abundance sector of the solar isotopic residuals. When nuclear masses are changed, we recalculate the relevant $\beta$-decay properties and neutron capture rates in the rare earth region. The feedback provided by this observational constraint allows for the reverse engineering of nuclear properties far from stability where no experimental information exists. We investigate a range of astrophysical conditions with this method and show how these lead to different predictions in the nuclear properties influential to the formation of the...

Beta decay of deformed $r$-process nuclei near $A\sim 80$ and $A\sim 160$, including odd-$A$ and odd-odd nuclei, with the Skyrme finite-amplitude method

T. Shafer, J. Engel, C. Fröhlich, G. C. McLaughlin, M. Mumpower, R. Surman
PRC 94 055802 - Published November 7th 2016
After identifying the nuclei in the regions near $A=80$ and $A=160$ for which $\beta$-decay rates have the greatest effect on weak and main $r$-process abundance patterns, we apply the finite-amplitude method (FAM) with Skyrme energy-density functionals (EDFs) to calculate $\beta$-decay half-lives of those nuclei in the quasiparticle random-phase approximation (QRPA). We use the equal filling approximation to extend our implementation of the charge-changing FAM, which incorporates pairing correlations and allows axially symmetric deformation, to odd-A and odd-odd nuclei. Within this framework we find differences of up to a factor of seven between our calculated $\beta$-decay half-lives and those of previous efforts. Repeated calculations with nuclei near $A=160$ and multiple EDFs show a spread of two to four in $\beta$-decay half-lives, with differences in calculated Q values playing an important role. We investigate the implications of these results for $r$-process...

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.