Double magical search

Double magical search

The decomposed nucleus of zirconium-80 is lighter than the sum of the masses of 40 protons and 40 neutrons. The missing mass is converted into binding energy via E = mc2. Bonding energy is responsible for holding the nuclei together. Credit: Equipment for rare isotope rays

A team of researchers, including scientists from the National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory (NSCL) and the Rare Isotope Radiation Facility (FRIP) at Michigan State University (MSU), have solved the mass case of the missing zirconium-80.


Apparently, he broke the case. Zirconium -80 – A zirconium atom with 40 protons and 40 neutrons in its nucleus, the researchers showed. ImportantEasier than expected utilizes NSCL’s unique ability to create and analyze rare isotopes. Theorists then advanced to the FRIB. This missing part can be explained Atomic model And new statistical methods.

“Dialogue between nuclear theorists and experimenters is like an integrated dance,” said Alec Hemaker, FRIB’s postgraduate research assistant and the first author of the study, which was published in the November 25 panel by the panel in Science. The physics of nature. “Everyone leads and follows others.”

“Sometimes theories make predictions, other times experiments find unexpected things,” said Ryan Ringle, chief scientist at FRIB. Mass Measurement. Ring is an Assistant Professor of Physics at FRIB and holds an MSU in Physics and Astronomy at the College of Natural Sciences.

“They push each other out and the result is a better understanding of the center, which is basically everything we communicate with,” he said.

So this story is bigger than the center. In a sense, it is a testament to the power of the FRIB, a facility for nuclear users, supported by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Atomic Physics.

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When user activity begins next year, nuclear scientists around the world will be able to work with FRIB technology to create rare isotopes that have not been studied elsewhere. They will also have the opportunity to work with FRIB experts to understand the results of these studies and their implications. This knowledge has a variety of uses, from helping scientists better understand the universe to improving cancer treatment.

“As we move into the FRIB era, we can measure many more like this,” Ringley said. “It simply came to our notice then. We have enough energy to learn for decades.

This means that zirconium-80 is a very interesting nucleus.

At first, it is difficult to create an embryo, but the formation of rare embryos is characteristic of NSCLC. The device developed enough zircon-80 to allow the Ringle, the hacker and their counterparts to determine its weight with unprecedented accuracy. For this purpose, they used the Penning Trap Mass Spectrometer on an NSCL Low-Energy-Beam and Iron Trap (LEBIT).

“People have measured this weight before, but they have never measured it accurately,” Hemaker said. “It revealed interesting physics.”

“When we measure weight at this exact level, we are measuring the mass that is actually missing,” Ringley said. “The mass of an embryo is not the sum of the masses of its protons and neutrons. It contains the missing mass, which appears to be the energy that holds the embryo together.”

This is where one of the most popular equations in science helps to explain things. E = mc Albert Einstein. In2, E is energy and M is mass (c is the symbol for the speed of light). This means that mass and energy are the same, even though they are only exposed to the extreme conditions found in the nucleus of the atom.

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When the atom has a high binding energy – that is, a strong retention of protons and neutrons – it is high. Item missingThis helps to explain the zirconium-80 condition. Its core is tightly bound, and this new measurement reveals that the bond is stronger than expected.

This means FRIB theorists need to find an explanation and turn to predictions a decade ago to help provide answers. For example, theorists assume that the zircon-80 core is magical.

Each time, a nucleus reduces its mass requirements by having a certain number of protons or neutrons. Physicists refer to them as magic numbers. Zirconium-80 contains a special number of protons and neutrons, which doubles as magic.

Previous tests have shown that zirconium-80 is the size of a rugby ball or American football. Theorists predict that size will lead to this double magic. Thanks to the most accurate zirconium-80 weight measurements ever made, scientists can support these ideas with solid data.

“Theorists predicted 30 years ago that zirconium-80 would have a distorted double magic center,” Hamecker said. “It took a while for the experimenters to learn the dance and provide evidence to the theorists. Now that the evidence is there, the theorists can work on a few more steps in the dance.

So the dance continues and to expand the metaphor, NSCL, FRIB and MSU offer one of the best ballrooms to play. It has unique facilities, professional staff and the most respected graduate nuclear physics program in the country.

“I was able to work on-site at a national user facility on one of the leading topics in nuclear science,” Hemaker said. “This experience has enabled me to develop and learn relationships with many laboratory staff and researchers. Thanks to my commitment to scientific and world-class facilities and laboratory equipment, this project has been a success.

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Learning learning


More info:

Alec Hamecker, light self-integrated center precision weight measurement 80Zr, The physics of nature (2021) DOI: 10.1038 / s41567-021-01395-W, www.nature.com/articles/s41567-021-01395-w

Quote: A Double Magic Discovery (November 25, 2021) Retrieved November 25, 2021 from https://phys.org/news/2021-11-dubly-magic-discovery.html

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About the Author: Cary Douglas

Cary Douglas is a reporter who covers everything from oil trading to China's biggest conglomerates and technology companies. Originally from Chicago, he is a graduate of New York University's business and economic reporting program.

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