Energy Department researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, led by nuclear physicist Timothy Gray, discovered a potentially revolutionary feature atomic nucleus It could reshape our understanding of nuclear physics. Their findings were published in the journal Physical Review Letters.
Atoms are known to transform in shape and energy, from rounded structures to more amorphous structures. HE the riddle of how shapes align with energy levels continuesespecially in areas that have not yet been studied.
Historically, prevailing models have suggested that radioactive nuclei appear spherical in their ground state and should decay when ‘stretched’. However, this theory was not robust for some specific types of nuclei. Interestingly, some round radioactive nuclei showed a curved arrangement at their base.
There are cases where an unbalanced ratio of neutrons to protons pushes the energy of an agitated deformed state below its rounded ground counterpart. This interesting exchange of forms looks dominant rare and selected kernels. A fascinating aspect is that since the core adopts a deformed foundation, its derivatives reflect the same deformation.
Groundbreaking data collected in 2022 from the first experiment at Michigan State University’s Rare Isotope Beams Facility (FRIB), elicited a unique and enduring state of excitement. radioactive sodium-32. This newly discovered state with an extraordinary lifetime of 24 microseconds is called an isomer and indicates unusual nuclear behavior.
A range of advanced equipment has facilitated this discovery, including the FRIB Decay Station Initiator (FDSi) and the distribution detector created by UT Knoxville.
Using these observations to determine the isomer’s lifetime, the research team detected gamma rays emitted as they decayed by sodium-32 nuclei. The two potential models could explain the experimentally observed energies and lifespan and require further investigation.
Future experiments, enhanced by updates to the FRIB, will further deepen this mystery. Gray suggests a possible method: Observe correlations between gamma rays to distinguish the true nature of the excited state in sodium-32. This experiment can determine whether the state is spherical or warped, and each offers different implications for nuclear physics.
This work is a collaborative effort involving 66 experts from 20 renowned institutions, emphasizing the importance of the discoveries and their potential impact on the world of atomic research.
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Source: Tec Mundo
I’m Blaine Morgan, an experienced journalist and writer with over 8 years of experience in the tech industry. My expertise lies in writing about technology news and trends, covering everything from cutting-edge gadgets to emerging software developments. I’ve written for several leading publications including Gadget Onus where I am an author.