Researchers reveal an unexpected feature of atomic nuclei when a ‘magic’ number of neutrons is reached
A curious thing happened when MIT researchers Adam Vernon and Ronald Garcia Ruiz, along an international team of scientists, recently performed an experiment in which a sensitive laser spectroscopy technique was used to measure how the nuclear electromagnetic properties of indium isotopes evolve when an extreme number of neutrons are added to the nucleus …
Read more: Researchers reveal an unexpected feature of atomic nuclei when a ‘magic’ number of neutrons is reached (techxplore.com)
These nuclei do not exist in nature, and once created, their lifetimes can be as short as a fraction of a second, so the team artificially created the nuclei using a particle accelerator at the CERN research facility in Switzerland. By using a combination of multiple lasers and an ion trap, the team isolated the isotopes of interest and performed precision measurements of atoms containing these exotic nuclei. In turn, it allowed the extraction of their nuclear properties.