Researchers observe a new kind of disbandment in the atomic nuclei rich in protons

September 18, 2014, Asociacion RUVID

An experiment led by researchers Sonja Orrigo and Berta Rubio, from the Grupo de Espectroscopia Gamma de l'Institut de Física Corpuscular IFIC (centre that belongs to the University of Valencia and the CSIC) observed an exotic disbandment mode in the beta disbandment of the 56Zn. The results dicovered by an international team in the Ganil Lab (France) have been published in Physical Review Letters.

Beta disbandment is one of the most usual kinds of radioactive disbandment and it allows the to transform a neutron into a proton or a proton into a neutron when there is too much abundance of one of them.

This 56Zn nucleus is very far from the so-called 'valley of stability', where the nuclei which are stable and exist in Nature is placed.

One of the basic questions for Nuclear Physics is the understanding of the 's structure, how protons and neutrons keep themselves united allowing the formation of the nuclei. This, which is well-known in that result in Nature's elements, but it is not so widely known in exotic nuclei, elements created in labs which are far from stability, disbanding almost immediately.

In nuclei's beta disbandment of proton-rich nuclei, the nucleus usually loses energy emitting protons, because the strong interaction dominates over the electromagnetic one (emission of ). The final nucleus can stay in an excited state and emit a gamma ray at the same time. The process is, hence: beta-proton-gamma. However, the researchers from the IFIC have now observed the inverted process, measuring within the beta disbandment of the 56Zn the sequence beta-gamma-proton, where the gamma ray is emitted first and then the proton. This unusual way of disbandment has only been recently observed in a much more light nucleus, that of Argon 32 (32Ar).

According to the IFIC researchers "this strange form of disbandment is very interesting because it helps us understand the nucleus' structure". But, in addition, this measure has a huge impact because it affects the traditional form of measuring disbandment processes in exotic nuclei rich in protons. According to Sonja Orrigo, this measure will be fundamental for future experiments done in heavier exotic nuclei, as the ones that will be carried out the Japanese Lab of Nuclear Physics REIKEN, also lead by the research group of the IFIC.

Explore further: Experiments reveal a neutron halo around neutron-rich magnesium nuclei

More information: S. E. A. Orrigo, et al. "Observation of the β-Delayed γ-Proton Decay of Zn56 and its Impact on the Gamow-Teller Strength Evaluation," Phys. Rev. Lett. 112, 222501 – Published 3 June 2014. … ysRevLett.112.222501

Related Stories

Tests confirm nickel-78 is a 'doubly magic' isotope

September 5, 2014

The stability of atoms can vary considerably from one element to the next, and also between isotopes of the same element (whose nuclei contain the same number of protons but different numbers of neutrons). While many isotopes ...

Recommended for you

Scientists produce 3-D chemical maps of single bacteria

November 16, 2018

Scientists at the National Synchrotron Light Source II (NSLS-II)—a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science User Facility at DOE's Brookhaven National Laboratory—have used ultrabright x-rays to image single bacteria ...

Bursting bubbles launch bacteria from water to air

November 15, 2018

Wherever there's water, there's bound to be bubbles floating at the surface. From standing puddles, lakes, and streams, to swimming pools, hot tubs, public fountains, and toilets, bubbles are ubiquitous, indoors and out.

Terahertz laser pulses amplify optical phonons in solids

November 15, 2018

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg/Germany presents evidence of the amplification of optical phonons ...

Quantum science turns social

November 15, 2018

Researchers in a lab at Aarhus University have developed a versatile remote gaming interface that allowed external experts as well as hundreds of citizen scientists all over the world to optimize a quantum gas experiment ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.