Physicists see nuclear wobbling in one isotope of gold

Physicists see nuclear wobbling in one isotope of gold

by  Deanna Csomo McCool, University of Notre Dame,

Nuclei can be round, like a soccer ball, or oblong, like a football. Others are slightly oblong but misshapen, like a potato. One of the only two ways to observe the third shape, rarely encountered, is when the nucleus wobbles like a lopsided top.

Researchers had previously seen these rare triaxial nuclei wobble on their shorter, transverse axes. But University of Notre Dame researchers and collaborators recently discovered that the nuclei also wobble on their intermediate axes. Their research, “Longitudinal Wobbling Motion in 187Au,” was published recently in the premier physics journal, Physical Review Letters.

The work took four to five days to complete once the team assembled at Argonne National Laboratory, in Illinois. Notre Dame physics graduate student, Nirupama Sensharma, who was the first author on the paper, spent about a year analyzing the data. Her work was highlighted recently in Nature.

Read the full article here…

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