Nav: Home

Wavy energy potential patterns from scattering nuclei reveal hidden information

May 10, 2017

Anomalies always catch the eye. They stand out from an otherwise well-understood order. Anomalies also occur at sub-atomic scale, as nuclei collide and scatter off into each other--an approach used to explore the properties of atomic nuclei. The most basic kind of scattering is called 'elastic scattering,' in which interacting particles emerge in the same state after they collide. Although we have the most precise experimental data about this type of scattering, Raymond Mackintosh from the Open University, UK, contends in a paper published in EPJ A that a new approach to analysing such data harbours potential new interpretations of fundamental information about atomic nuclei.

Usually, physicists assume that the potential energy that represents the interaction between two nuclei varies smoothly with the distance between the nuclei. Further, there are various theoretical calculations of this interaction potential. However, most - but not all - of them are based on assumptions that lead to potentials that are smooth in form when plotted as graphs. The trouble is that, until now, such potentials have very often fitted data quite approximately. When wavy potentials have occasionally occurred, they have been considered as anomalous, which precluded the use of certain methods.

Now, the author believes that such previously discounted modelling methods could actually be used to achieve a more precise fit between the model and the anomalous data related to wavy energy potential. Mackintosh interprets this waviness in two ways. First, the waviness also emerges when the effect of various reactions on scattering are calculated. Second, the wavy energy potential reflects the fact that elastic scattering depends upon a physical characteristic of the colliding system of two nuclei, which is referred to as the 'angular momentum' of the scattered particles.
-end-
Reference: R.S. Mackintosh (2017), Elastic scattering phenomenology, European Physical Journal A 53: 66, DOI 10.1140/epja/i2017-12257-x

Springer

Related Atomic Nuclei Articles:

Determining the shapes of atomic clusters
In a new study published in EPJ B, researchers propose a new method of identifying the morphologies of atomic clusters.
Deuteron-like heavy dibaryons -- a step towards finding exotic nuclei
Using supercomputer, TIFR's physicists have predicted the existence of deuteron-like exotic nuclei for the first time as well as provided their masses precisely.
'Fire streaks' ever more real in the collisions of atomic nuclei and protons
Collisions of lead nuclei take place under extreme physical conditions.
Physicists get thousands of semiconductor nuclei to do 'quantum dances' in unison
The Cambridge team found a way to exploit the interaction between the electron and the thousands of nuclei using lasers to 'cool' the nuclei to less than 1 milliKelvin.
For the first time, scientists 'see' dual-layered scaffolding of cellular nuclei
Our cells sometimes have to squeeze through pretty tight spaces.
Solving a mystery: A new model for understanding how certain nuclei split
Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology have extended an existing mathematical model so that it can be used to more accurately predict the products of fission reactions.
Why does nuclear fission produce pear-shaped nuclei?
Researchers at University of Tsukuba and Australian National University resolved a longstanding puzzle of nuclear fission why nuclear fission of heavy (actinide) nuclei results predominantly in asymmetric mass-splits.
Proton scattering reveals the secrets of strongly-correlated proton-neutron pairs in atomic nuclei
An international research collaboration including Osaka University has reported the first experimental evidence that the strongly correlated proton-neutron pairs found in an atomic depend on nuclear structure.
Protons get zippier in neutron-rich nuclei
A new study carried out at the Department of Energy's Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility has confirmed that increasing the number of neutrons as compared to protons in the atom's nucleus also increases the average momentum of its protons.
A domestic electron ion collider would unlock scientific mysteries of atomic nuclei
The science questions that could be answered by an electron ion collider (EIC) -- a very large-scale particle accelerator - are significant to advancing our understanding of the atomic nuclei that make up all visible matter in the universe, says a new report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.
More Atomic Nuclei News and Atomic Nuclei Current Events

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2019.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Risk
Why do we revere risk-takers, even when their actions terrify us? Why are some better at taking risks than others? This hour, TED speakers explore the alluring, dangerous, and calculated sides of risk. Guests include professional rock climber Alex Honnold, economist Mariana Mazzucato, psychology researcher Kashfia Rahman, structural engineer and bridge designer Ian Firth, and risk intelligence expert Dylan Evans.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#540 Specialize? Or Generalize?
Ever been called a "jack of all trades, master of none"? The world loves to elevate specialists, people who drill deep into a single topic. Those people are great. But there's a place for generalists too, argues David Epstein. Jacks of all trades are often more successful than specialists. And he's got science to back it up. We talk with Epstein about his latest book, "Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World".
Now Playing: Radiolab

Dolly Parton's America: Neon Moss
Today on Radiolab, we're bringing you the fourth episode of Jad's special series, Dolly Parton's America. In this episode, Jad goes back up the mountain to visit Dolly's actual Tennessee mountain home, where she tells stories about her first trips out of the holler. Back on the mountaintop, standing under the rain by the Little Pigeon River, the trip triggers memories of Jad's first visit to his father's childhood home, and opens the gateway to dizzying stories of music and migration. Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate.