Pushing the Limits: Nuclear Structure of Heavy Elements
Greenlees, P. (2012). Pushing the Limits: Nuclear Structure of Heavy Elements. In Rutherford Centennial Conference on Nuclear Physics 8–12 August 2011, Manchester, UK (pp. 012022). Journal of Physics: Conference Series (381). Bristol: Institute of Physics. doi:10.1088/1742-6596/381/1/012022
Published inJournal of Physics: Conference Series;381
© Published under licence by IOP Publishing Ltd. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) licence.
Throughout the history of nuclear structure studies, searches for new phenomena have been carried out at the extremes. These extremes can be described in terms of nuclear excitation energy, spin, or in terms of proton or neutron number through the production of exotic nuclei far from stability. One extreme which has always been a centre for activity is that of mass and proton number - the desire to create new chemical elements and understand their nuclear structure. New elements up to proton number Z=118 have been created in the laboratory, but by nature these experiments cannot provide extensive information concerning nuclear structure. The extremely small production cross sections only allow a handful of atoms to be produced in a particular experiment. Over the past decade or so, experimental techniques have been developed which now allow detailed nuclear structure studies of nuclei with proton number Z of over 100. The current status of the field and some recent highlights from these studies are reviewed. ...