Carpenter, Michael P. Physics Division, Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, Illinois.
- Superdeformed bands
- Gamma-ray spectrometers
- Structure and evolution
- Identical bands
- Deviations from axial symmetry
- Decay to first well
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
The nucleus is a unique many-body quantal system consisting of a finite number of strongly interacting fermions (neutron and protons). While the interactions between nucleons are sufficiently weak to allow both neutrons and protons to behave as independent particles, the number of nucleons is large enough to allow for collective behaviors such as rotations and vibrations. Consequently, nuclei exhibit a large variety of shapes, and the equilibrium shape is determined by the interplay between macroscopic (liquid-drop) and microscopic (quantal shell-correction) contributions to the total energy of the nucleus. The microscopic shell corrections arise from the occupation of nonuniformly distributed energy levels. Rotation also plays a role in the shape of a nucleus by modifying both the liquid-drop moment of inertia and the relative energies of the single-particle levels. Currently, a major thrust of nuclear structure research is to study how the nuclear shape evolves as a function of both excitation energy and angular momentum in different areas of the nucleonic chart.
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