Advances in theoretical modeling of atomic nuclei

ISOLDE function seen from above. Credit: CERN

Atomic nuclei are nuts that are difficult to break. The strong interaction between the protons and neutrons that make up it depends on a large amount, and these particles are collectively called nucleons and are exposed not only to the forces of two but also to the forces of three. These and other features make theoretical modeling of nuclei a difficult endeavor.

But in the last few decades, ab initio theoretical calculations, which try to describe the nucleus from first principles, have begun to change the understanding of the nucleus. These calculations require less assumptions and have stronger predictive power than traditional nuclear models. However, so far, it is basic and powerful because it can only be used to predict the properties of nuclei up to a specific atomic weight, and it is not always comparable to the so-called DFT calculations that have been used for a long time. not. Such comparisons are essential for building a fully applicable nuclear model.

In a paper just published in Physical review letterThe international team at CERN’s ISOLDE facility has achieved excellent agreement between various calculations, and between data and calculations, with a unique combination of high-quality experimental data and some ab initio and DFT nuclear physics calculations. It shows that.

“Our research shows that precision nuclear theory from first principles is no longer a dream,” said Stephan Malbrnot of CERN, the first author of the paper. “In our study, the calculations are consistent with each other and with the ISOLDE data for nickel nuclei, with little theoretical uncertainty.”

Malbrunot et al. Used a series of experimental methods at ISOLDE to detect the light emitted when a short-lived atom is exposed to laser light, using a range of short-lived nickel nuclei (charged). ) The radius has been decided. The number of protons is the same 28, but the number of neutrons is different. These 28 protons fill the complete shell within the nucleus and bind more strongly than adjacent nuclei to provide a stable nucleus. Such “magical” nuclei are excellent test cases of nuclear theory, and in terms of radius, nickel nuclei are the last to have mass in the mass region where both abinitio and DFT calculations can be made. It is an unexplored magical nucleus.

Comparing the ISOLDE radius data with three abinitio calculations and one DFT calculation, researchers find that the calculations match the data and also match each other within one-hundredth of the theoretical uncertainty. Did.

“Agreements on this level of accuracy show that it will eventually be possible to build a model that can be applied to the entire nuclear chart,” Malbrunot said.

Grab the magic tin with your tail

For more information:
S. Malbrunot-Ettenauer et al, Nickel isotope nuclear charge radius Ni58-68,70, Physical review letter (2022). DOI: 10.1103 / PhysRevLett.128.022502

Quote: Advances in theoretical modeling of nuclei (January 14, 2022), obtained from https: // on January 14, 2022. it was done.

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Advances in theoretical modeling of atomic nuclei

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