Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Extra large carbon: Heaviest halo nucleus discovered

Date:
February 11, 2010
Source:
American Physical Society
Summary:
The nucleus of one form of carbon is much larger and more stable than expected.

Carbon-22 is now the heaviest observed Borromean nucleus. Borromean nuclei are named after the rings from the 15th century crest of the Borromeo family from Northern Italy. The rings are connected in such a way that the cutting of one ring results in the separation of all three. (Left) Marble representation of the Borromean rings, used as an emblem of Lorenzo de Medici in San Pancrazio, Florence. (Right) Schematic structure of 22C showing the two halo neutrons around a core. Removing any one element makes the entire structure unstable.
Credit: APS Physics

An exotic form of carbon has been found to have an extra large nucleus, dwarfing even the nuclei of much heavier elements like copper and zinc, in experiments performed in a particle accelerator in Japan. The discovery is reported in the current issue of Physical Review Letters and highlighted with a Viewpoint by Kirby Kemper and Paul Cottle of Florida State University in the February 8 issue of Physics.

Carbon-22, which has a nucleus comprised of 16 neutrons and 6 protons, is the heaviest atom yet discovered to exhibit a "halo nucleus." In such atoms, some of the particles that normally reside inside the nucleus move into orbits outside the nucleus, forming a halo of subatomic particles. Because atoms like carbon-22 are packed with an excessive number of neutrons, they're unstable and rapidly break apart to form lighter atoms, but they are more stable than scientists had previously expected. The extra stability is a surprise because the three particles-- two neutrons and a nucleus-- that form a halo nucleus interact in a way that is difficult for physicists to model due to the complicated mathematics necessary to describe so-called "three body" problems.

The unexpected stability has led to such halo nucleus atoms being labeled Borromean atoms in reference to an ancient pattern depicting three rings interlocked such that the removal of any one ring would cause all three to be disconnected. Borromean rings were often used to symbolize a stable union of three parts in traditional carvings and family crests.

The detection and analysis of carbon-22 sets a new milestone in challenging nuclear physics, and hails a promising era in the investigation of heavier and even more exotic nuclei as new beam facilities and more sensitive detectors come on line over the next decade. The surprising discovery of carbon-22's halo suggests that nuclear physicists will have plenty of new ground to cover in coming years.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Physical Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Physical Society. "Extra large carbon: Heaviest halo nucleus discovered." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 February 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100209182405.htm>.
American Physical Society. (2010, February 11). Extra large carbon: Heaviest halo nucleus discovered. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100209182405.htm
American Physical Society. "Extra large carbon: Heaviest halo nucleus discovered." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100209182405.htm (accessed July 30, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways

Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways

AP (July 30, 2014) — British officials said on Wednesday that driverless cars will be tested on roads in as many as three cities in a trial program set to begin in January. Officials said the tests will last up to three years. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
China's Drone King Says the Revolution Depends on Regulators

China's Drone King Says the Revolution Depends on Regulators

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) — Comparing his current crop of drones to early personal computers, DJI founder Frank Wang says the industry is poised for a growth surge - assuming regulators in more markets clear it for takeoff. Jon Gordon reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand

3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand

AP (July 30, 2014) — 3-D printing is a cool technology, but it's not exactly a hands-on way to make things. Enter the 3Doodler: the pen that turns you into the 3-D printer. AP technology writer Peter Svensson takes a closer look. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Climate Change Could Cost Billions, According To White House

Climate Change Could Cost Billions, According To White House

Newsy (July 29, 2014) — A report from the White House warns not curbing greenhouse gas emissions could cost the U.S. billions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins