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ISOLDE Seminar

"Optical spectroscopy of the heaviest elements"

by Dr Mustapha Laatiaoui (Helmholtz Institut Mainz)

Europe/Zurich
CERN

CERN

Description
Following their discovery, great progress has been made in recent years in elucidating the atomic and nuclear properties of the superheavy elements, driven by the need to understand nuclear stability and how these atoms behave chemically.
Optical spectroscopy enables experimental exploration of the atomic structure of the elements and equally provides an alternative access to important nuclear properties, such as spins, moments, and changes in the mean-square charge radii. In this respect, however, the superheavy elements are still unexplored territory.
Even certain isotopes of fermium (Fm, Z=100), which can still be obtained in macroscopic quantities, are challenging for such studies, not to mention transfermium elements that can be produced only at in-flight separator facilities.
In recent decades, laser resonance ionization spectroscopy has emerged as the method of choice for initial atomic level searches and subsequent hyperfine spectroscopy in the region of the heaviest elements. The successful application of this method to the element nobelium (No, Z=102), has fueled efforts to study even heavier, more exotic radionuclides [1-6].
In this talk, I will present results from recent spectroscopy of 252−255No and 248−250,254,255,257Fm, followed by an outlook towards the spectroscopy of lawrencium (Z=103).
 
[1] M. Laatiaoui et al., Nature 538, 495 (2016).
[2] R. Ferrer et al., Nature Commun. 8, 14520 (2017).
[3] P. Chhetri et al., PRL 120, 263003 (2018).
[4] S. Raeder et al., PRL 120, 232503 (2018).
[5] M. Laatiaoui and S. Raeder, NPN 29, 21 (2019).
[6] M. Laatiaoui et al., PRL 125, 023002 (2020).