The study of nucleon pairing phenomena and of nucleon pair correlations, particularly in very neutron-rich or neutron-deficient exotic nuclei, is of considerable interest. This paper begins to address the capabilities of fast two-nucleon knockout reactions to make a positive contribution to such studies. Specifically, we address the sensitivity of two-nucleon knockout partial reaction cross-sections (and the associated momentum distributions of the reaction residues), measured by the combination of particle and coincident gamma-ray detection, to the details of (a) nuclear structure models (here the large-basis shell model), (b) the removed nucleons' wave function configurations, and their ability to investigate nucleon pair-correlations in exotic nuclei. We do this by combining recent theoretical and experimental developments.
PACS numbers: 21.10.Jx, 24.10.--i, 25.60.Gc, 27.30.+t
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