Feb 12 – 14, 2007
Europe/Zurich timezone

Exotic Nuclear Shapes: Probing the Limits of Nuclear Stability

Feb 12, 2007, 3:10 PM
Council Chamber, 503/1-001 (CERN)

Council Chamber, 503/1-001



Dr Nicolas Schunck (Universidad Autonoma de Madrid)


With the recent advent of Radioactive Ion Beams facilities, entire regions of the nuclear chart have become accessible in experiments. Moreover, the on-going developments of e.g. new generations of segmented gamma arrays will also allow to explore low-statistic reaction channels. This large and constant supply of new data puts severe constraints on nuclear models. In particular, the shape and geometrical symmetries of atomic nuclei are very sensitive to variations of the particle number (going to the drip-lines), angular momentum (high-spin physics) or temperature (hot nuclei). The nuclear shape is therefore a convenient tool to investigate the underlying mechanisms that govern nuclear stability. I will describe two phenomena to illustrate this point. On the one hand, nuclear states corresponding to a shape with tetrahedral symmetry have been investigated in the framework of various mean-field approaches, where it is interpreted as a manifestation of the spontaneous symmetry breaking. The challenge, both for theorists and experimentalists, now resides in the observation of the signatures of such states. On the other hand, nuclear hyper-deformed states have been predicted for some time, but it is only recently that the importance of the Jacobi transition in the population of such states was recognized. Hyperdefomation represents a rare case of a nucleus at the limit of deformation and spin, and thus is invaluable for theorists. The experimental challenge consists in being able to populate such a weakly-populated channel. I will conclude by mentionning some of the directions explored by theorists to address such issues.

Primary author

Dr Nicolas Schunck (Universidad Autonoma de Madrid)

Presentation materials