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Nuclear physics articles from across Nature Portfolio

Nuclear physics is the study of the protons and neutrons at the centre of an atom and the interactions that hold them together in a space just a few femtometres (10-15 metres) across. Example nuclear reactions include radioactive decay, fission, the break-up of a nucleus, and fusion, the merging of nuclei.

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  • Experimental nuclear physics
  • Nuclear astrophysics
  • Superheavy elements
  • Theoretical nuclear physics

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research paper for nuclear physics

Demonstration of nuclear gamma-ray polarimetry based on a multi-layer CdTe Compton camera

  • T. Takahashi

research paper for nuclear physics

Unveiling the dynamics of little-bang nucleosynthesis

High energy nuclear collisions produce light (anti-)nuclei from the quark-gluon plasma via little-bang nucleosynthesis. Here the authors study the microscopic dynamics of little-bang nucleosynthesis producing deuterons and tritons.

  • Kai-Jia Sun

research paper for nuclear physics

Extending deterministic transport capabilities for very-high and ultra-high energy electron beams

  • Ahmed Naceur
  • Charles Bienvenue
  • Jean-François Carrier

research paper for nuclear physics

A systematic approach to the modelling and comparison of the geometries of spherical electrodes in inertial electrostatic confinement fusion devices

  • Jan-Philipp Wulfkühler
  • Hai-Dang Nguyen
  • Martin Tajmar

research paper for nuclear physics

Precision spectroscopy and laser-cooling scheme of a radium-containing molecule

Measurements of the rovibronic structure of radium monofluoride molecules allow the identification of a laser cooling scheme. This will enable precise tests of fundamental physics, such as searches for parity or time-reversal symmetry violation.

  • S. M. Udrescu
  • S. G. Wilkins

research paper for nuclear physics

Determination of the equation of state from nuclear experiments and neutron star observations

Nuclear experiments become the latest ‘messenger’ to help with unravelling the mysteries of neutron stars. Combining information from astronomical observations and laboratory experiments reveals how nucleons interact in both nuclei and stars.

  • Chun Yuen Tsang
  • ManYee Betty Tsang
  • Charles J. Horowitz

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research paper for nuclear physics

Building used by Marie Curie will be dismantled to erect cancer centre

The disused and formerly radioactive Pavillon des Sources in Paris will be rebuilt nearby, after an agreement between scientists and the French culture ministry.

  • Nisha Gaind

research paper for nuclear physics

Pioneering nuclear-fusion reactor shuts down: what scientists will learn

The decommissioning of the Joint European Torus near Oxford, UK — a test bed for ITER — will take until 2040 and be studied in detail.

  • Elizabeth Gibney

research paper for nuclear physics

Pathway to cool hot molecules

A promising pathway towards the laser cooling of a molecule containing a radioactive atom has been identified. The unique structure of such a molecule means that it can act as a magnifying lens to probe fundamental physics.

  • Steven Hoekstra

research paper for nuclear physics

US nuclear-fusion lab enters new era: achieving ‘ignition’ over and over

Researchers at the National Ignition Facility are consistently creating reactions that make more energy than they consume.

  • Jeff Tollefson

research paper for nuclear physics

Nuclear-fusion breakthrough: this physicist helped to achieve the first-ever energy gain

Annie Kritcher and her team at the US National Ignition Facility designed fusion experiments that generated more energy than they consumed.

research paper for nuclear physics

Hubert Reeves (1932–2023)

Hubert Reeves, a most renowned astrophysicist for both his scientific accomplishments and outstanding outreach efforts, passed away on 13 October 2023.

  • Jean Audouze

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Physical Review C

Covering nuclear physics.

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Physical Review C 50 th Anniversary Milestones

research paper for nuclear physics

This year, 2020, is the 50 th anniversary of Physical Review C , which evolved from a section of its parent journal, The Physical Review , to one of the most read and trusted journals for nuclear physics. As part of the anniversary celebration, we are putting together a collection of milestone papers that remain central to developments in the field of nuclear physics. These papers announce major discoveries or open up new avenues of research. They would not have come to our journal, had the community not trusted and upheld the top-shelf quality of what PRC has traditionally published and intends to publish in the future.

research paper for nuclear physics

Partonic coalescence in relativistic heavy ion collisions

High-energy central nuclear collisions create a very high density of quarks and gluons, or partons, which eventually form hadrons. A pair of papers demonstrated that reproducing the data requires different mechanisms which dominate at low versus high transverse momenta. As the system expands and cools, low transverse momentum partons recombine to form hadrons. High transverse momentum partons are much rarer and fragment into hadrons according to perturbative QCD phenomenology. Both processes are a consequence of color confinement.

Partonic coalescence in relativistic heavy ion collisions V. Greco, C. M. Ko, and P. Lévai Phys. Rev. C 68 , 034904 (2003)

research paper for nuclear physics

Hadron production in heavy ion collisions: Fragmentation and recombination from a dense parton phase

Hadron production in heavy ion collisions: Fragmentation and recombination from a dense parton phase R. J. Fries, B. Müller, C. Nonaka, and S. A. Bass Phys. Rev. C 68 , 044902 (2003)

research paper for nuclear physics

In-beam γ-ray spectroscopy above Sn 100 using the new technique of recoil decay tagging

Recoil-mass separators and high-efficiency γ-ray detectors have long been used to correlate fusion-evaporation reaction residues detected in the separator’s focal plane with the γ rays emitted at the target position. However, this is difficult for all but the strongest reaction channels due to backgrounds. The highlighted work pioneered high-resolution recoil-decay tagging, in which an additional tag is provided by the characteristic charged-particle radioactivity of the reaction residue of interest, providing a filter to select the weaker reaction channels. This technique revolutionized nuclear structure studies in exotic and difficult-to-access nuclei near the proton dripline and for the heaviest elements.

In-beam γ-ray spectroscopy above Sn 100 using the new technique of recoil decay tagging E. S. Paul, P. J. Woods, T. Davinson, R. D. Page, P. J. Sellin, C. W. Beausang, R. M. Clark, R. A. Cunningham, S. A. Forbes, D. B. Fossan, A. Gizon, J. Gizon, K. Hauschild, I. M. Hibbert, A. N. James, D. R. LaFosse, I. Lazarus, H. Schnare, J. Simpson, R. Wadsworth, and M. P. Waring Phys. Rev. C 51 , 78 (1995)

research paper for nuclear physics

Determination of antineutrino spectra from nuclear reactors

Knowledge of electron antineutrino spectra and their uncertainties is crucial for neutrino oscillation investigations and also in searches for new physics beyond the standard model. In light of anomalous results from previous reactor neutrino experiments, this paper provided a critical update of various methods used to extract antineutrino spectra.

Determination of antineutrino spectra from nuclear reactors Patrick Huber Phys. Rev. C 84 , 024617 (2011)

research paper for nuclear physics

Extraction of a nn from the reaction π − d → γ nn

Analysis of radiative pion capture by deuterium to obtain the 1 S 0 neutron-neutron scattering length led to definitive experiments at SIN (now PSI) and LAMPF (now LANSCE). The measurement for the 2008 publication produced an uncertainty comparable to that obtained previously for the proton-proton scattering length and confirmed charge-symmetry breaking at the 1% confidence level.

Extraction of a nn from the reaction π − d → γ nn W. R. Gibbs, B. F. Gibson, and G. J. Stephenson, Jr. Phys. Rev. C 11 , 90 (1975)

research paper for nuclear physics

Measurement of the neutron-neutron scattering length a nn with the reaction π − d → nn γ in complete kinematics

Measurement of the neutron-neutron scattering length a nn with the reaction π − d → nn γ in complete kinematics O. Schori, B. Gabioud, C. Joseph, J. P. Perroud, D. Rüegger, M. T. Tran, P. Truöl, E. Winkelmann, and W. Dahme Phys. Rev. C 35 , 2252 (1987)

research paper for nuclear physics

Measurement of the neutron-neutron scattering length using the π − d capture reaction

Measurement of the neutron-neutron scattering length using the π − d capture reaction Q. Chen, C. R. Howell, T. S. Carman, W. R. Gibbs, B. F. Gibson, A. Hussein, M. R. Kiser, G. Mertens, C. F. Moore, C. Morris, A. Obst, E. Pasyuk, C. D. Roper, F. Salinas, H. R. Setze, I. Slaus, S. Sterbenz, W. Tornow, R. L. Walter, C. R. Whiteley, and M. Whitton Phys. Rev. C 77 , 054002 (2008)

research paper for nuclear physics

Large-basis ab initio no-core shell model and its application to 12 C

Coupled-cluster and configuration-interaction shell model methods originated decades ago. Today, by employing high-precision interactions, new conceptual tools, and powerful computers, these ab initio methods have shown the ability to compute energies and other observables, such as electron scattering form factors, for a wide range of atomic nuclei without adjustable parameters. These two papers were early demonstrations of the power of the revitalized methods.

Large-basis ab initio no-core shell model and its application to 12 C P. Navrátil, J. P. Vary, and B. R. Barrett Phys. Rev. C 62 , 054311 (2000)

research paper for nuclear physics

Ab initio coupled-cluster approach to nuclear structure with modern nucleon-nucleon interactions

Ab initio coupled-cluster approach to nuclear structure with modern nucleon-nucleon interactions G. Hagen, T. Papenbrock, D. J. Dean, and M. Hjorth-Jensen Phys. Rev. C 82 , 034330 (2010)

research paper for nuclear physics

(3+1)D hydrodynamic simulation of relativistic heavy-ion collisions

This paper implemented an accurate numerical algorithm for (3+1)-dimensional hydrodynamics to describe high-energy nuclear collisions. The implementation is flexible enough for subsequent incorporation of second-order viscous effects, different equations of state and initial conditions, fluctuations, jet quenching, and more. Even in this initial application, experimental data on rapidity, transverse momentum, and flow coefficients are reproduced well.

(3+1)D hydrodynamic simulation of relativistic heavy-ion collisions Björn Schenke, Sangyong Jeon, and Charles Gale Phys. Rev. C 82 , 014903 (2010)

research paper for nuclear physics

Two-nucleon potential from chiral Lagrangians

Chiral effective field theory (EFT) introduced a systematic, order-by-order prescription for constructing nuclear interactions, including three-body and higher-order forces. Building upon high-quality nucleon-nucleon data, and coupled with advances in many-body methods and computation, chiral EFT sparked a renaissance in low-energy nuclear theory over the past quarter of a century. The influence of effective field theory methods have spread far beyond few-body systems, to descriptions of nuclear collective motion, to weak capture rates, and to dark-matter detection.

Two-nucleon potential from chiral Lagrangians C. Ordóñez, L. Ray, and U. van Kolck Phys. Rev. C 53 , 2086 (1996)

research paper for nuclear physics

Three-nucleon forces from chiral effective field theory

Three-nucleon forces from chiral effective field theory E. Epelbaum, A. Nogga, W. Glöckle, H. Kamada, Ulf-G. Meißner, and H. Witała Phys. Rev. C 66 , 064001 (2002)

research paper for nuclear physics

Accurate charge-dependent nucleon-nucleon potential at fourth order of chiral perturbation theory

Accurate charge-dependent nucleon-nucleon potential at fourth order of chiral perturbation theory D. R. Entem and R. Machleidt Phys. Rev. C 68 , 041001 (2003)

research paper for nuclear physics

Proton capture cross section of Be 7 and the flux of high energy solar neutrinos

Unstable nuclei play a major role in a variety of astrophysical phenomena, from stellar production of neutrinos and γ rays to the creation of the heaviest nuclear species. These papers used radioactive 7 Be, in one case as the target and in the other as the beam, to study two reactions of importance in astrophysics. These two reactions play a key role in the production of neutrinos in low-mass stars, such as the Sun, and in nucleosynthesis during the CNO-cycle in high-temperature environments.

Proton capture cross section of Be 7 and the flux of high energy solar neutrinos B. W. Filippone, A. J. Elwyn, C. N. Davids, and D. D. Koetke Phys. Rev. C 28 , 2222 (1983)

research paper for nuclear physics

α -resonance structure in 11 C studied via resonant scattering of 7 Be + α and with the 7 Be( α , p ) reaction

α -resonance structure in 11 C studied via resonant scattering of 7 Be + α and with the 7 Be( α , p ) reaction H. Yamaguchi (山口英斉), D. Kahl, Y. Wakabayashi (若林 泰生), S. Kubono (久保野 茂), T. Hashimoto (橋本 尚志), S. Hayakawa (早川 勢也), T. Kawabata (川畑 貴裕), N. Iwasa (岩佐 直仁), T. Teranishi (寺西 高), Y. K. Kwon (권영관), D. N. Binh, L. H. Khiem, and N. N. Duy Phys. Rev. C 87 , 034303 (2013)

Microscopic mass formulas

The mass of a nucleus constitutes one of the fundamental nuclear properties. In astrophysics, nuclear masses play a fundamental role in determining the equation of state of neutron stars as well as reaction rates in explosive scenarios such as the r process. These manuscripts constitute two important milestones in the development of fully microscopic models that reproduce known masses with a root-mean-square deviation less than 600 keV.

Microscopic mass formulas J. Duflo and A.P. Zuker Phys. Rev. C 52 , R23 (1995)

research paper for nuclear physics

Further explorations of Skyrme-Hartree-Fock-Bogoliubov mass formulas. XII. Stiffness and stability of neutron-star matter

Further explorations of Skyrme-Hartree-Fock-Bogoliubov mass formulas. XII. Stiffness and stability of neutron-star matter S. Goriely, N. Chamel, and J. M. Pearson Phys. Rev. C 82 , 035804 (2010)

research paper for nuclear physics

Direct measurement of the masses of 11 Li and 26 − 32 Na with an on-line mass spectrometer

Islands of inversion are important regions on the nuclear chart, located in the ocean of short-lived rare isotopes, where nuclear shell structure is markedly different compared to what is observed for stable nuclei. The first indications that neutron number N =20 is not magic in rare isotopes emerged from a mass measurement of neutron-rich sodium isotopes 45 years ago. Shell-model calculations, which bridge large configuration spaces, revealed that this breakdown in magic numbers is due to deformed configurations lowered in energy.

Direct measurement of the masses of Li 11 and Na 2 6 − 3 2 with an on-line mass spectrometer C. Thibault, R. Klapisch, C. Rigaud, A. M. Poskanzer, R. Prieels, L. Lessard, and W. Reisdorf Phys. Rev. C 12 , 644 (1975)

research paper for nuclear physics

Mass systematics for A =29–44 nuclei: The deformed A ∼32 region

Islands of inversion are important regions on the nuclear chart, located in the ocean of short-lived rare isotopes, where nuclear shell structure is markedly different compared to what is observed for stable nuclei. The first indications that neutron number N=20 is not magic in rare isotopes emerged from a mass measurement of neutron-rich sodium isotopes 45 years ago. Shell-model calculations, which bridge large configuration spaces, revealed that this breakdown in magic numbers is due to deformed configurations lowered in energy.

Mass systematics for A =29–44 nuclei: The deformed A ∼32 region E. K. Warburton, J. A. Becker, and B. A. Brown Phys. Rev. C 41 , 1147 (1990)

research paper for nuclear physics

Dynamics of induced fission

Since its unexpected discovery in 1938, fission has become the nuclear reaction best known to the public. These two papers illustrate the development of our understanding over 50 years. The first, in 1978, presents the fundamental theory of fission, while the second, in 2017, uses advanced Monte Carlo techniques to trace the shape of the system on its path to the splitting of the nucleus.

Dynamics of induced fission J. W. Negele, S. E. Koonin, P. Möller, J. R. Nix, and A. J. Sierk Phys. Rev. C 17 , 1098 (1978)

research paper for nuclear physics

Nuclear shape evolution based on microscopic level densities

Nuclear shape evolution based on microscopic level densities D. E. Ward, B. G. Carlsson, T. Døssing, P. Möller, J. Randrup, and S. Åberg Phys. Rev. C 95 , 024618 (2017)

research paper for nuclear physics

Evidence for short-range correlations from high Q 2 ( e , e ’ ) reactions

Short-range repulsion is an essential part of the nucleon-nucleon interaction. Although this aspect of the potential should generate short-range correlations among nucleons in a nucleus, direct evidence for it was lacking. The first paper demonstrated that these correlations should be revealed in inelastic electron scattering measurements for a ratio of cross sections of heavy to light nuclei as a function of the Bjorken- x scaling variable by an abrupt change in the slope. The CLAS Collaboration reported the results of measurements that confirmed this idea, clearly showing the onset of the anticipated plateau in the data.

Evidence for short-range correlations from high Q 2 ( e , e ’ ) reactions L. L. Frankfurt, M. I. Strikman, D. B. Day, and M. Sargsyan Phys. Rev. C 48 , 2451 (1993)

research paper for nuclear physics

Observation of nuclear scaling in the A ( e , e ′ ) reaction at x B > 1

Observation of nuclear scaling in the A ( e , e ′ ) reaction at x B > 1 K. Sh. Egiyan et al. (CLAS Collaboration) Phys. Rev. C 68 , 014313 (2003)

research paper for nuclear physics

Methods for analyzing anisotropic flow in relativistic nuclear collisions

The first of these papers provided a strategy and the techniques for analyzing anisotropic flow in relativistic nuclear collisions. As reported in the second paper, this came to full fruition with measurements by the STAR Collaboration at the BNL Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider five years after it started operation. Nearly all theoretical and experimental researchers in this field are guided by this analysis in investigating the high-temperature matter created in such collisions.

Methods for analyzing anisotropic flow in relativistic nuclear collisions A. M. Poskanzer and S. A. Voloshin Phys. Rev. C 58 , 1671 (1998)

research paper for nuclear physics

Azimuthal anisotropy in Au+Au collisions at s NN = 200 GeV

Azimuthal anisotropy in Au+Au collisions at s NN = 200 GeV J. Adams et al. (STAR Collaboration, STAR-RICH Collaboration) Phys. Rev. C 72 , 014904 (2005)

research paper for nuclear physics

Construction of high-quality NN potential models

These three papers developed three realistic nuclear potential models—made possible by the Nijmegen partial-wave-analysis data base—whose publications have accumulated more than 5000 citations and which have formed the basis of numerous significant few-body calculations.

Construction of high-quality NN potential models V. G. J. Stoks, R. A. M. Klomp, C. P. F. Terheggen, and J. J. de Swart Phys. Rev. C 49 , 2950 (1994)

research paper for nuclear physics

Accurate nucleon-nucleon potential with charge-independence breaking

Accurate nucleon-nucleon potential with charge-independence breaking R. B. Wiringa, V. G. J. Stoks, and R. Schiavilla Phys. Rev. C 51 , 38 (1995)

research paper for nuclear physics

High-precision, charge-dependent Bonn nucleon-nucleon potential

High-precision, charge-dependent Bonn nucleon-nucleon potential R. Machleidt Phys. Rev. C 63 , 024001 (2001)

research paper for nuclear physics

Partial-wave analysis of all nucleon-nucleon scattering data below 350 MeV

The Nijmegen partial-wave analysis of all NN scattering data below 350 MeV (PWA93) provided the basis for all realistic NN potential models that followed. The χ 2 per degree of freedom of 1.08 for 3945 degrees of freedom established for the first time the pp and np database and provided extracted energy-dependent phase-shift parameters with realistic errors.

Partial-wave analysis of all nucleon-nucleon scattering data below 350 MeV V. G. J. Stoks, R. A. M. Klomp, M. C. M. Rentmeester, and J. J. de Swart Phys. Rev. C 48 , 792 (1993)

research paper for nuclear physics

First observation of two-proton radioactivity in 48 Ni

A rare form of radioactivity, in which a proton-laden nucleus decays toward stability via the simultaneous emission of two protons, was observed for 48 Ni. Using an optical time-projection chamber, the two-proton emission of four 48 Ni nuclei produced at the National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory was captured for the first time on CCD camera, marking a new era of optical detection of sub-atomic charged-particle processes in nuclear physics.

First observation of two-proton radioactivity in Ni 48 M. Pomorski, M. Pfützner, W. Dominik, R. Grzywacz, T. Baumann, J. S. Berryman, H. Czyrkowski, R. Dąbrowski, T. Ginter, J. Johnson, G. Kamiński, A. Kuźniak, N. Larson, S. N. Liddick, M. Madurga, C. Mazzocchi, S. Mianowski, K. Miernik, D. Miller, S. Paulauskas, J. Pereira, K. P. Rykaczewski, A. Stolz, and S. Suchyta Phys. Rev. C 83 , 061303 (2011)

research paper for nuclear physics

Superallowed 0 + → 0 + nuclear β decays: 2014 critical survey, with precise results for V ud and CKM unitarity

Precise measurements of the β decay between nuclear states of spin-parity 0 + and isospin 1 provide fundamental tests of the properties of the electroweak interaction. Collectively, these transitions sensitively probe the conservation of the vector weak current, set tight limits on the presence of scalar currents, and provide the most precise value for $V_{ud}$. The latter result has become a linchpin in the most demanding test of the unitarity of the Cabibbo-Kobayashi-Maskawa (CKM) matrix.

Superallowed 0 + → 0 + nuclear β decays: 2014 critical survey, with precise results for V u d and CKM unitarity J. C. Hardy and I. S. Towner Phys. Rev. C 91 , 025501 (2015)

research paper for nuclear physics

Proton elastic form factor ratios to Q 2 = 3.5 GeV 2 by polarization transfer

This Jefferson Lab measurement of the ratio of proton elastic electric and magnetic form factors showed a systematic decrease with increasing four-momentum transfer squared Q 2 . These results provided the first definitive evidence for a difference in the distribution of charge and magnetization in the proton.

Proton elastic form factor ratios to Q 2 = 3.5 GeV 2 by polarization transfer V. Punjabi et al. (Jefferson Lab Hall A Collaboration) Phys. Rev. C 71 , 055202 (2005)

research paper for nuclear physics

Equation of state for dense nucleon matter

Calculating the properties of nuclear and neutron matter with realistic strong interactions is notoriously difficult but profoundly important. By using two-nucleon potentials which reproduce nucleon-nucleon scattering data, along with three-body interactions to compute the nuclear equation of state and the corresponding maximum neutron star mass, this pair of papers constituted a basis for major advances in the field.

Equation of state for dense nucleon matter R. B. Wiringa, V. Fiks, and A. Fabrocini Phys. Rev. C 38 , 1010 (1988)

research paper for nuclear physics

Equation of state of nucleon matter and neutron star structure

Equation of state of nucleon matter and neutron star structure A. Akmal, V. R. Pandharipande, and D. G. Ravenhall Phys. Rev. C 58 , 1804 (1998)

research paper for nuclear physics

Central collisions of relativistic heavy ions

In the mid-1970’s the SuperHILAC and the Bevatron, built to discover the anti-proton at Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, were coupled to produce collisions of nuclei at relativistic energies with the goal of studying nuclear matter at high densities. This was the first significant experimental paper in the field of relativistic heavy-ion collisions.

Central collisions of relativistic heavy ions J. Gosset, H. H. Gutbrod, W. G. Meyer, A. M. Poskanzer, A. Sandoval, R. Stock, and G. D. Westfall Phys. Rev. C 16 , 629 (1977)

research paper for nuclear physics

Electron energy spectra, fluxes, and day-night asymmetries of 8 B solar neutrinos from measurements with NaCl dissolved in the heavy-water detector at the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory

These papers by the SNO Collaboration provided the most precise measurement of the flux of all neutrino flavors (electron, muon, and tau) compared to only electron neutrinos for the high-energy 8 B solar neutrinos. The experiment showed that the total flux, measured via neutral-current scattering, differs from the electron neutrino flux, measured via charged-current breakup of the deuteron, conclusively demonstrating oscillations of solar neutrinos and therefore that neutrinos cannot be massless. This work led to a Nobel Prize in Physics in 2015.

Electron energy spectra, fluxes, and day-night asymmetries of 8 B solar neutrinos from measurements with NaCl dissolved in the heavy-water detector at the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory B. Aharmim et al. (SNO Collaboration) Phys. Rev. C 72 , 055502 (2005)

research paper for nuclear physics

Combined analysis of all three phases of solar neutrino data from the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory

Combined analysis of all three phases of solar neutrino data from the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory B. Aharmim et al. (SNO Collaboration) Phys. Rev. C 88 , 025501 (2013)

research paper for nuclear physics

Hartree-Fock Calculations with Skyrme’s Interaction. I. Spherical Nuclei

Early attempts at a universal model for nuclei failed to simultaneously reproduce both binding energies and radii across the chart of the nuclides. Vautherin and Brink solved this problem by applying the phenomenological, calculation-friendly framework of Skyrme to a range of spherical nuclei, paving the way for decades of similar approaches which are still the go-to method for heavy nuclei today.

Hartree-Fock Calculations with Skyrme’s Interaction. I. Spherical Nuclei D. Vautherin and D. M. Brink Phys. Rev. C 5 , 626 (1972)

research paper for nuclear physics

Unified shell-model description of nuclear deformation

This is a foundation paper on the influence of the proton-neutron interaction. It remains of enduring importance in the quest to understand the evolution of shell structure in exotic nuclei, including the breakdown of traditional magic numbers and the appearance of new ones. It has played a seminal role in the description of phenomena such as the appearance of intruder states and the sudden onset of deformation in regions of the nuclear chart such as A ~ 100, 150, and the so-called “island of inversion”. It has spawned extensive experimental studies and is a direct progenitor of theoretical research programs incorporating tensor forces to unravel the trajectories of nuclear magicity and nuclear binding.

Unified shell-model description of nuclear deformation P. Federman and S. Pittel Phys. Rev. C 20 , 820 (1979)

research paper for nuclear physics

Green’s function Monte Carlo study of light nuclei

This paper presented a pioneering application of Green’s function Monte Carlo (GFMC) methods in nuclear structure physics, which has since fostered three decades of ab-initio calculations with realistic nuclear forces. GFMC research has so far described with precision the observed ground states and low-lying excited states of nuclei with masses up to A=12 , the significance of which has been recognized by prestigious awards, such as the APS Bonner Prize and the APS Feshbach Prize .

Green’s function Monte Carlo study of light nuclei J. Carlson Phys. Rev. C 36 , 2026 (1987)

research paper for nuclear physics

Synthesis of the isotopes of elements 118 and 116 in the 249 Cf and 245 Cm + 48 Ca fusion reactions

Superheavy nuclei set limits on the extent of the periodic table of elements and also provide a means of checking nuclear theory. This paper presents results from an experiment, using the reaction pair 48 Ca and 249 Cf, in which the element with atomic number 118 was observed for the first time. This is the heaviest element discovered to date. In November 2016, it was named “oganesson” with the element symbol Og in honor of the lead author of the paper.

Synthesis of the isotopes of elements 118 and 116 in the 249 Cf and 245 Cm + 48 Ca fusion reactions Yu. Ts. Oganessian et al. Phys. Rev. C 74 , 044602 (2006)

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Nuclear and Particle Physics: Current Issues and Applications (Report on the Nucleus 2020 International Conference)

A. k. vlasnikov.

St. Petersburg State University, 199034 St. Petersburg, Russia

V. I. Zherebchevsky

T. v. lazareva.

The most promising lines of development in nuclear and particle physics are considered. One of these is the synthesis of achievements in nuclear physics and the nano-, bio-, information, cognitive, and social sciences to create technologies similar to nature and improve our understanding of humanity (the NBICS paradigm). The second topic is the growing attention to ultrahigh energies of collision and studying such exotic states of matter as quark–gluon plasma. The reports delivered at the 70th conference on nuclear physics in St. Petersburg provide a wide range of material for discussion.

INTRODUCTION

The LXX International Conference on Nuclear Physics “Nucleus 2020. Nuclear Physics and Elementary Particle Physics. Nuclear Physics Technologies” was held at St.Petersburg State University October 12–17, 2020. This conference is unique not only in the former Soviet Union but worldwide as well. It has been held annually since 1951, hosting leading physicists from many world laboratories. Its predecessors were national conferences on atomic nuclei (held Leningrad in 1933 and Moscow in 1935) and meetings on the physics of atomic nuclei (held in Leningrad in 1938, Kharkov in 1939, and Moscow in 1940). The Second World War interrupted this trend toward holding annual conferences on nuclear physics. Only in February 1951 was the first Conference on Nuclear Physics held in the small hall of the Presidium of the Soviet Academy of Sciences in Moscow [ 1 ], where the tradition of regular such meetings was renewed. For many years, the organizing committees of these meetings were headed by Boris Dzhelepov, a corresponding member of the Soviet Academy of Sciences. Due to his authority, leadership, dedication, and enthusiasm, these conferences acquired annual status and were convened at different venues, helping to develop studies of nuclear physics in Russia. Though these conferences were for many years officially referred to as conferences on nuclear spectroscopy, the range of topics grew notably broader, since there were no other annual meetings where nuclear physicists could discuss relevant problems of science. Over time, the title of the conference changed to the National Conference on Nuclear Spectroscopy and Nuclear Structure. It acquired de facto international status in 1960, but continued to be called the National Conference. In the early 2000s, the title was changed to include the word “Nucleus” and the year of the conference. The development of the conference largely repeated that of science in general and nuclear physics in Russia in particular. The number of theses presented in the periods 1951–1970 ( Fig. 1a ) and 1990–2020 ( Fig. 1b ) illustrate the development of Soviet and Russian nuclear physics. The rapid increase of the first two decades was replaced by a decline starting in the 1990s. However, growth can be seen over the last five years. It may be uneven, but it gives hope of restoring the role of science in modern society.

An external file that holds a picture, illustration, etc.
Object name is 11954_2021_3911_Fig1_HTML.jpg

Change in the number of works included in the programs of annual conferences: (a) 1951–1970 and (b) 1990–2020. Conference venues: Alma-Ata (AA), Voronezh (V), Dubna (D), Erevan (E), Kiev (K), Leningrad (L), Moscow (M), Minsk (Mn), Obninsk (O), Riga (R), Sarov (Sa), St. Petersburg (SP), Tbilisi (T), Kharkov (Kh), and Cheboksary (Ch).

The conference of 2020 was unique, and not only because it was the 70th. The conditions under which it was held were most unusual. The Corona virus made the normal conference format impossible. A team capable of conducting a large conference online was gathered in a relatively short period of time. In a situation where many conferences were being cancelled, the joint efforts of St. Petersburg State University, the Kurchatov Institute, the Joint Institute of Nuclear Research, and the conference’s organizing committee resulted in the correct strategic and organizational decisions. Reliable channels of communication were established that allowed not only the broadcasting of reports but discussion among the conference’s participants as well.

The conference’s scientific program covered a broad range of nuclear physics topics: experimental and theoretical investigations of nuclear structure and nuclear reactions, modern methods and technologies in nuclear physics, particle and high-energy physics, neutrino physics, and nuclear astrophysics. Along with these traditional topics, the conference’s program included reports dealing with synchrotron radiation, neutron physics, and using nuclear physics in studying objects of cultural heritage. Special attention was given to problems encountered in nuclear medicine.

The geography of the conference’s participants was also very broad. More than 400 reports were given by particpants from 38 countries ( Fig. 2 ). The total number of registered participants was more than 575. Even though the conference was held online, meaning that participants had to log in during its hours of operation and regardless of time zones (for example, speakers from the University of Illinois in the United States made their presentation at 5:30 in the morning, local time), interest in the reports was very high.

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Object name is 11954_2021_3911_Fig2_HTML.jpg

Conference geography, showing the number of participants per country.

OPENING DAY

The conference opened on October 12. The participants were greeted warmly by A.E. Blagov (director of the Kurchatov Institute, Moscow), academician V.A. Matveev (director of the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research, Dubna), and Paolo Giubellino (director of GSI Helmholtz Center for Heavy Ion Research, Germany). On behalf of St. Petersburg State University, the conference’s participants were greeted by Vice-Rector for Research S.V. Mikushev and conference co-chairman V.I. Zherebchevsky.

On the opening day, a plenary talk titled “Synchrotron Neutron Studies: The Basis for a A Breakthrough in Science and Technology” was delivered by A.E. Blagov (Kurchatov Institute), who reviewed the development of nuclear science and technology in Russia and outlined the current possibilities of synchrotron and neutron studies. It was emphasized that the the Kurchatov Institute is now developing a new interdisciplinary technological system (the NBICS paradigm) that combines nano-, bio-, and information technologies with cognitive and socio-humanitarian knowledge. Nature-like technologies developed in this way will allow us to create biological systems and materials with targeted properties that economize natural resources and energy. An extensive research program that includes experiments with synchrotron and neutron beams must be conducted to achieve these ambitious plans. Blagov noted that the Kurchatov Institute’s complex for synchrotron and neutron studies is of the world’s few venues where there is a synchrotron (with electron energies of up to 2.5 GeV and 16 experimental stations) and a research reactor on the same territory, allowing a fundamentally new level of basic and applied research to be achieved. The lines of this research include crystallography, materials science, structural chemistry, protein crystallography, molecular biology, medicine, the analysis of organic and hybrid multilayer systems, studies of cognitive processes, and studying objects of cultural heritage. The Kurchatov Institute is a leading center for studies of synchrotron radiation and neutrons in the Russian Federation, so the described program for developing such studies and building the required infrastructure was of special interest. Under the federal program, a network of centers for synchrotron radiation will be created that includes the upgraded source of synchrotron radiation at the Kurchatov Institute, another on Russkiy Island (Vladivostok), and a fourth-generation SKIF installation with an electron energy of 3 GeV (Kol’tsovo, near Novosibirsk). A top-of-the-line fourth-generation source of synchrotron radiation with an electron energy of 6 GeV will play a key role in the development of world-class studies by combining the general infrastructure with a linear accelerator and a free-electron X-ray laser (the SILA project in Protvino, Moscow oblast). The specialized source of synchrotron radiation will have a record low emittance of 90 pm rad, while the femtosecond laser will generate light with a wavelength of 0.1 nm, the level of the world’s best installations. These parameters will allow investigations of fast processes and objects the size of atoms.

The plenary report of N.V. Marchenkov, acting director of the Kurchatov Complex of Synchrotron an Neutron Investigations, titled “Kurchatov Complex of Synchrotron and Neutron Research: Current Status and Prospects,” allowed the conference’s participants to become better acquainted with the research on neutrons and synchrotron radiation now under way on the institute’s main campus.

An example of the NBICS paradigm is using means of nuclear physics to study objects of cultural heritage (“Studying Historic Materials by Means of Nuclear Physics at the Kurchatov Institute,” presented by E.B. Yatsyshina). Interesting results were yielded by nondestructive tests of materials contained in relic crosses dating back to 10th and 11th centuries, found in Suzdal’ Opol’e (a territory in Northeastern Russia heavily populated during the Middle Ages). These crosses were similar to one another but, as neutron tomography showed, contained very different substances (human hair, sheep’s wool, and linen and silk fibers). Using computer tomography, a joint research team from the Kurchatov Institute and State Museum of Fine Arts examined ten Egyptian mummies dating back to the 20th century BC. This investigation was complicated by the sarcophagi containing the mummies, which could not be opened.

The investigations revealed the mummification technique, age, gender, diseases, wounds and, in some cases, the cause of death for each mummy. Images of these people that lived 4000 years ago were reproduced using Gerasimov’s techniques for reconstructing facial soft tissues. Nuclear physics techniques for investigating artifacts were included in the conference agenda for the first time, drawing considerable attention. This will hopefully continue in future nuclear physics conferences of the series.

The PIK high-flux research reactor (Petersburg Nuclear Physics Institute) is one of the largest megascience facilities operating in the Russian Federation. In his plenary talk titled “International Center for Neutron Research Based on Reactor PIK”, Deputy Director V.V. Voronin described current and planned experiments with this Facility. It was noted that the PIK reactor was first mentioned in the literature as early as 1966. Although it was commissioned over half a century ago, this facility still operates more efficiently than most research reactors built recently. Upon the final upgrade of this reseach facility scheduled for 2024, the reactor’s power will reach 100 MW, and both cold and ultracold neutrons will be available to users. This will allow experimental studies in the fields of condensed-state physics, nanosystems, biology, nuclear and particle physics, and fundamental interactions.

The second day of the session started with the report “History of One Calendar Date. To the 80th Anniversary of the Discovery of Spontaneous Fission” delivered by S.V. Khlebnikov, director of the Radium Institute Museum (St. Petersburg). Leningrad physicists G.N. Flerov and K.A. Petrzhak, who discovered this phenomenon, built upon significant advances in nuclear physics, radiochemistry, and radiogeology largely achieved at the Radium Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences. The concept of charged-particle acceleration with the field of a high-frequency alternating current was proposed at the Radium Institute by L.V. Mysovskii, and the first European cyclotron was commissioned there fifteen years later (in 1937). The First National Radioactivity Meeting, the first nuclear physics conference in the Soviet Union, was convened at the Radium Institute in 1932. It is noteworthy that though 1940 is the accepted date of the discovery of spontaneous fission, this phenomenon was first recorded in the report by K.A. Petrzhak (Radium Institute) a year earlier.

Reports on large-scale international experiments in neutrino physics were delivered the same day. In his talk “Status and Prospects of the Jiangmen Underground Neutrino Observatory,” Alberto Garfagnini (Italy) represented the JUNO international collaboration, in which physicists from nineteen countries including Russia participate. In the JUNO project, the 700 m deep experimental hall under construction in China will house the world’s largest liquid scintillator detector of antineutrinos: 20 000 tons of liquid scintillator will be contained in a spherical vessel with a 30 m radius, and electron antineutrinos will be detected from the Vavilov–Cherenkov radiation produced by secondary positrons in collisions with protons by 20 000 large and 26 500 small photomulplier tubes. Two nuclear power plants operating at distances of ~50 km from the detector will serve as antineutrino sources. Detecting neutrino oscillations will provide clues to the neutrino mass hierarchy and help refine the values of neutrino-mixing parameters. Compared to measurements made with other detectors, the uncertainties on these parameters will be reduced by several times, due to a greater number of statistics. JUNO will also offer a powerful instrument for studies of solar and atmospheric neutrinos, and ones emitted by supernovas and geoneutrinos. The JUNO experimental program also includes seaches for proton decay (predicted by some theoretical schemes beyond the Standard Model) and sterile neutrinos.

The latter were also discussed by A.P. Serebrov (Corresponding Member, Russian Academy of Sciences) in his talk “Observation of Sterile Antineutrino Oscillation in the Neutrino-4 Experiment at SM-3 Reactor” devoted to the revolutionary discovery of a new types of neutrino. Neutrinos ot three flavors corresponding to three generations of lepton are now known to exist: electron, muon, and tau neutrinos. Also hypothesized is the existence of so-called sterile neutrinos, which could be dark matter particles and participate only in gravitational interactions but possibly mix with neutrinos of the three mentioned flavors. Mixing between known and sterile antineutrinos can be studied by measuring the electron–antineutrino flux as a function of the distance from the reactor core. Such measurements made in 2014–2019 in the Neutrino-4 experiment indeed indicate the existence of a sterile neutrino (dubbed neutrino-4), which could also explain results obtained earlier in the LSND and MiniBooNe experiments. Using the Neutrino-4 data, the authors extracted the mass-square difference between the first and fourth neutrino mass eigenstates and the sine of the doubled mixing angle between them. Using data obtained by other experiments and a number of assumptions (including the simplest scheme with a single sterile neutrino, the 3 + 1 model), effective neutrino masses were obtained as m νe = 0.58 ± 0.09 eV, m νμ = 0.42 ± 0.24 eV, m ντ ≤ 0.65 eV, and m 4 = 2.68 ± 0.13 eV. The above estimate of the electron-neutrino mass is consistent with corresponding upper limit m νe  < 1.1 eV (at 90% C.L.) imposed using the tritium beta-decay data of the KATRIN experiment (Germany) and reported by N. Titov (Institute for Nuclear Research, Moscow).

Provided that the lepton number is not conserved and that neutrino is a Majorana particle identical to its antiparticle, the rate of neutrinoless double beta decay (0νββ) is also sensitive to the neutrino effective mass. Results from the search for neutrinoless double beta-decay in the GERDA experiment (Gran Sasso laboratory, Italy) were reported by F. Salamida. The most stringent lower limit on the half-life of 76 Ge 0νββ decay was imposed in this experiment: T 1/2 > 1.8 × 10 26 yr (90% C.L.).

Very interesting talks dealing with the physics of ultrahigh-energy cosmic rays were also delivered on the same day. It is well known that the energies of some charged cosmic particles bombarding the Earth’s atmosphere exceed by seven–eight orders of magnitude those attained at the highest-energy accelerator constructed so far, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). These produce showers of secondary particles in the atmosphere that are detected by terrestrial cosmic-ray arrays, particularly by the world’s largest observatory, the Pierre Auger in Argentina. We obtain unique astrophysical data by detecting these ultrahigh-energy cosmic rays, along with information on fundamental interactions. Where particle colliders are concerned, we refer the reader to numerous conference reports dealing with the NICA collider under construction at the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research in Dubna.

Virtually all reports of large international collaborations in the fields of particle physics, relativistic nuclear physics, and high-energy physics were delivered on Wednesday, October 14. The corresponding section of the conference featured the largest number of talks delivered and drew the largest audience, reflecting the worldwide interest in these fields of research. The plenary talks presented results obtained at the Relativistic Heavy-Ion Collider (Brookhaven National Laboratory, US), the Large Hadron Collider (CERN, Geneva), and the CERN proton supersynchrotron. These machines are used in experiments conducted by large international collaborations with considerable Russian participation.

In his report “PHENIX Highlights,” Yu. Mitrankov (St. Petersburg Polytechnical University) described studies of quark–gluon plasma (QGP) produced in heavy ion collisions in the PHENIX experiment (RHIC). Compared to the LHC, the RHIC experimental conditions are advantageous in that we can collide heavy ions of different species, thus probing the dependence of QGP formation on the mass numbers of colliding nuclei. PHENIX data were presented on such QGP-sensitive parameters as the anisotropies of charged and neutral secondary hadrons (elliptical and triangular flows), nuclear modification factors reflecting QGP effects on the multiplicity of secondary hadrons, and direct-photon yields. The authors of this report concluded that collisions between light and heavy nuclei result in mini-QGP formation. The data suggest that in all heavy-ion collision systems, direct photons are emitted by sources of the same (albeit not specified) nature, regardless of the energy of collision.

equation M1

The results obtained in CERN experiments were discussed in a great many plenary talks. S. Kovalsky (Poland) reported recent studies of strong interactions in the NA61/SHINE fixed-target experiment at the SPS machine, in which the momenta of incident Ar, Xe, and Pb ions were varied between 13 A and 158 A  GeV/ c . The main aim of this experiment was to study the formation of fireballs (clusters of ultradense, strongly interacting matter) and systematically investigating the hadron gas transition to the QGP phase. Phase diagrams with such variables as temperature, baryon chemical potential, and system size will be plotted for different strongly interacting collision systems. Compared to earlier SPS experiments, greater attention is given in NA61/SHINE to variations of physical characteristics as signals of a phase transition. Variations in the multiplicities of secondary strange and charmed particles are known to signal the onset of QGP formation. As was emphasized by the reporter, the range of collision energies provided by the SPS machine offers a unique opportunity to investigate charmed-particle production in the vicinity of the critical point of the first-order phase transition between the confined and QGP states of hadronic matter.

The current status and upgrade of the ALICE experiment at the LHC were discussed in a number of talks that included four plenary ones. E. Fragiacomo (CERN) reported ALICE data for proton collisions with heavy Pb and Xe ions at energies of collision between 1 and 13 TeV, shedding light on QGP formation and subsequent decay, and on the planned upgrade of the ALICE detector. The LHC will undergo a substantial upgrade whereby its luminosity will be boosted in two steps (by a factor of ten after 2027). The LHC will resume operation with protons and heavy ions upon completion of the first stage of the upgrade planned for 2021–2022. As reported by W. Trzaska (Finland), the ALICE detector is undergoing a thorough upgrade that will allow this detector of heavy-ion collisions to fully utilize the enhanced LHC luminosity. Upon completion of the detector upgrade in 2022, rare phenomena will be detected with increased precision. These include the emission of heavy-quark hadrons with small transverse momenta sensitive to quark interactions with the medium, and dilepton emissions from QGP that provide insight into the restoration of chiral-symmetry in quark–gluon plasma. The talk “New Inner Tracking System (ITS) for Open Charm Direct Measurements by ALICE at the LHC: Status and Perspectives” delivered by G.A. Feofilov (St. Petersburg State University) was of considerable interest to the audience. Planned upgrades of the detector oriented toward the third and fourth stages of the ALICE experimental program were discussed. Short-lived hadrons containing heavy quarks (such as D mesons) with small transverse momenta will be detected at a much higher frequency of primary collisions using a new internal tracker formed by seven layers of monolithic active pixel sensors manufactured with CMOS technology. The new internal tracker increases the spatial resolution by a factor of three, allows us to detect particles with transverse momenta down to 50 MeV/ c (zero for charmed particles), and can perform at a higher particle frequencies corresponding to those of primary collisions. In some respects, the new internal tracker of the ALICE detector is superior to those of the ATLAS and CMS detectors also operating at the LHC. Along with probing QGP properties, the ALICE detector can be used to investigate exotic nuclei, as was explained by A. B. Borissov in his talk “Latest Results on (Anti-)Hypernuclei Production at the LHC with ALICE.” Apart from elementary particles, lead ion collisions also produce low A nuclei and smaller amounts of hypernuclei that feature a constituent Λ hyperon instead of a neutron. We can not only detect hypertritons but also measure their lifetimes, due to the unique virtues of the ALICE detector. The latter proved to be close to the Λ lifetime, in agreement with theoretical models predicting that the Λ hyperon is weakly bound to constituent nucleons of the nucleus. Antihypertriton production can also be investigated in the ALICE experiment.

That QGP studies at the LHC are not restricted to the ALICE experiment was demonstrated by O. Evdokimova’s talk “New Results from Heavy-Ion Studies in the CMS Experiment.” Originally, the main thrust of the CMS experiment was particle physics, and particularly those of the Higgs boson. However, the CMS experimental agenda has since been diversified to include studies of heavy-ion collisions (particularly of the azimuthal anisotropy of secondary particles, the production of hadrons containing heavy quarks, and jet quenching). These processes provide clues to QGP formation in heavy-ion collisions. In the latter report, particular attention was given to CMS data on QGP formation in collisions between light nuclei.

FOURTH AND SUBSEQUENT DAYS

Fundamental problems of low-energy nuclear physics were discussed on the fourth day of the conference. Talks were submitted by veterans who have regularly participated in such conferences for several decades. Spectroscopic factors broadly used in analyzing data on nuclear reactions were critically reviewed by Prof. L.D. Blokhintsev (Moscow State University). It was unexpectedly concluded that spectroscopic factors are unobservable quantities that can be consisitently defined only for certain forms of the nuclear interaction Hamiltonian.

The phenomenon of chaos in quantum-mechanical systems, and in atomic nuclei in particular, was discussed by Prof. V.E. Bunakov (Petersburg Nuclear Physics Institute). How can chaotic motion be defined for quantum processes that involve no particle trajectories? A chaoticity criterium also applicable to quantum systems was proposed: a system can be viewed as chaotic as soon as the number of its integrals of motion (or “good” quantum numbers) is less than the number of degrees of freedom. In counting the number of “good” quantum numbers, we need consider only those that are conserved in the classical limit (in contrast to, e.g., the space parity conserved in strong interactions). In his review, Prof. R.V. Jolos (Joint Institute for Nuclear Research, Dubna) discussed the nuclear phase transitions that occur upon raising the energy of excitation and angular momentum while varying the number of constituent neutrons. The symmetry of the nucleus mean field and the structures of its ground and excited states are thus affected. Such effects as the coexistence of different nuclear shapes, the transition to a state with octupole deformation with increasing angular momentum, and the variation of the nucleus superfluid properties were considered within either the collective and microscopic approach.

JINR measurements of total cross sections of the 8 Li and 8 He exotic isobar scattering by 28 Si, 59 Co, and 181 Ta targets as functions of collision energy were reported by V.V. Samarin. Note that the structure of exotic nuclei near drip line consisting of a core and a halo can be efficiently probed by colliding them with stable nuclei, so such experiments attract growing attention. Total cross sections were measured for the first time over a broad energy range of 6–46 MeV per nucleon, and nuclear collisions were detected via prompt neutron and gamma emission. Measurements were compared to theoretical predictions, including ones based on the time-dependent Schrödinger equation, with which the 8 Li nucleus was found to consist of a 7 Li core (formed by 4 He and 3 H clusters) and a halo neutron.

In his interesting report “Physical Criteria of Data Reliability and Systematic Uncertainties of Photoneutron Reaction Cross Sections,” Prof. V.V. Varlamov (Moscow State University) analyzed the differences between the Saclay and Livermore measurements of the cross sections of photoneutron reactions. In a talk titled “Mechanisms of Multy-Stage Nuclear Decays with Taking into Account Real and Virtual States of Intermediate Nuclei,” Prof. S.G. Kadmensky (Voronezh) proposed including the virtual (and real) states of intermediate nuclei in the decay chain of radioactive nuclei. This theoretical framework was then used to describe ternary and quaternary nuclear decays (either spontaneous or induced) as virtual processes. Presentations delivered by E. Litvinova (West Michigan University, United States) and Yu.V. Popov (Moscow State University) were also met with interest.

MEDICAL APPLICATIONS

The Nucleus 2020 agenda included a broader scope of nuclear physics applications in medical research than those of the previous conferences of the series. European and Russian participants both shared their experience with nuclear physics tecnologies in the therapy and diagnostics of various diseases. The promising modern technology of flash therapy, which opens up new possibilities in the treatment of oncological diseases, was described in an interesting report delivered by Prof. M. Dosanjh (CERN). Cancer tumors are briefly exposed to a charged-particle beam and receive a large dose of radiation. The period of irradiation is selected so that the DNA molecules of cancer cells are destroyed, while those of normal cells remain intact. Modern ways of treating oncological diseases with radioactive isotopes of different elements were reviewed by V.I. Zherebchevsky (St. Petersburg State University). These new isotopes find important applications in diagnostics (through positron emission tomography and single-photon emission computerized tomography) and therapy (through radioimmunology). Oncological diseases can be effectively diagnosed and treated with minimum side effects by combining the radioisotope visualization of organs and tissues with radioisotope therapy (an approach referred to as theranostics , or diagnostics-based therapy). The onco-selective preparation administered to the patient contains a radionuclide used originally for diagnostics and then as a means of treatment. Particular attention was given to joint studies and projects with the participation of physicists and engineers from St. Petersburg State University and State Corporation ROSATOM.

CONCLUSIONS

Because of volume restrictions, not all reports delivered at the conference can be noted in this brief review. For a full list, the reader is referred to Internet site [ 2 ] and the list of abstracts published in advance of the conference [ 3 ]. The best reports recommended by the conference’s program committee will be published in several issues of the Bulletin of the Russian Academy of Sciences: Physics , Physics of Elementary Particles and Atomic Nuclei , and Nuclear Physics and Engineering .

The unique long-term continuity of the series of Russian nuclear physics conferences is explained by the flexibility and broad scope of its scientific program, which adequately reflects the evolution of microworld physics. Compared to the conferences of the initial forty-year period, which dealt largely with low-energy physics, today’s emphasis is on high-energy physics and nuclear physics applications in such areas as medicine and studying objects of cultural heritage. Despite the long history of the conference, its organizers are quite young, providing it with new ideas and energy.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

This conference was a result of the collective efforts of many physicists. We thank the participants for sharing their results and ideas. We also thank the conference’s audience for their many questions, which could inspire future research leading to new discoveries.

Translated by A. Asratyan

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Nuclear Physics investigates the fundamental interactions governing the world of subatomic particles. Nuclei are the massive tiny core of atoms that give them their identity as specific isotopes of a given element. They are made up of protons, the number of which determine the element, and neutrons, the number of which determine the isotope. These building blocks, protons and neutrons (collectively called hadrons), constitute over 90% of the visible mass in the Universe. They are composites of more fundamental particles known as quarks and gluons. The goal of understanding the structures of nuclei and hadrons has led to the exploration of the fundamental forces, the strong force and the weak force, and their symmetries, which are fundamentally important; the underlying quark and gluonic structure of the protons and neutrons; as well as nuclear matter under extreme conditions.

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New nuclei can help shape our understanding of fundamental science on Earth and in the cosmos

by Matt Davenport, Michigan State University

New nuclei can help shape our understanding of fundamental science on Earth and in the cosmos

In creating five new isotopes, an international research team working at the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams (FRIB) at Michigan State University has brought the stars closer to Earth.

The isotopes —known as thulium-182, thulium-183, ytterbium-186, ytterbium-187 and lutetium-190—are reported in the journal Physical Review Letters.

These represent the first batch of new isotopes made at FRIB, a user facility for the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science, or DOE-SC, supporting the mission of the DOE-SC Office of Nuclear Physics. The new isotopes show that FRIB is nearing the creation of nuclear specimens that currently only exist when ultradense celestial bodies known as neutron stars crash into each other.

"That's the exciting part," said Alexandra Gade, professor of physics at FRIB and in MSU's Department of Physics and Astronomy and FRIB scientific director. "We are confident we can get even closer to those nuclei that are important for astrophysics."

Gade is also a co-spokesperson of the project, which was led by Oleg Tarasov, senior research physicist at FRIB.

The research team included a cohort based at FRIB and MSU, along with collaborators at the Institute for Basic Science in South Korea and at RIKEN in Japan, an acronym that translates to the Institute of Physical and Chemical Research.

"This is probably the first time these isotopes have existed on the surface of the Earth," said Bradley Sherrill, University Distinguished Professor in MSU's College of Natural Science and head of the Advanced Rare Isotope Separator department at FRIB.

For an explanation as to what "advanced" means in this context, Sherrill said that researchers needed only a couple individual particles of a new isotope to confirm its existence and identity using FRIB's state-of-the-art instruments.

With researchers now knowing how to make these new isotopes, they can start making them in greater quantities to conduct experiments that were never possible before. The researchers are also eager to follow the path they've forged to make more new isotopes that are even more like what are found in the stars.

"I like to draw the analogy of taking a journey. We've been looking forward to going somewhere we've never been before and this is the first step," Sherrill said. "We've left home and we're starting to explore."

Almost star stuff

Our sun is a cosmic atomic factory. It's powerful enough to take the cores of two hydrogen atoms , or nuclei, and fuse them into one helium nucleus.

Hydrogen and helium are the first and lightest entries on the periodic table of the elements . Getting to the heavier elements on the table requires even more intense environments than what's found in the sun.

Scientists hypothesize that elements like gold—about 200 times as massive as hydrogen—are created when two neutron stars merge.

Neutron stars are the leftover cores of exploded stars that were originally much larger than our sun, but not so much larger that they can become black holes in their final acts. Although they're not black holes, neutron stars still cram an immense amount of mass into a very modest size.

"They're about the size of Lansing with the mass of our sun," Sherrill said. "It's not certain, but people think that all of the gold on Earth was made in neutron star collisions."

By making isotopes that are present at the site of a neutron star collision, scientists could better explore and understand the processes involved in making these heavy elements.

The five new isotopes are not part of that milieu, but they are the closest scientists have come to reaching that special territory—and the outlook for finally reaching it is very good.

To create the new isotopes, the team sent a beam of platinum ions barreling into a carbon target. The beam current divided by the charge state was 50 nanoamps. Since these experiments were performed, FRIB has already scaled its beam power up to 350 nanoamps and has plans to reach up to 15,000 nanoamps.

In the meantime, the new isotopes are exciting in and of themselves, presenting the nuclear research community new opportunities to step into the unknown.

"It's not a big surprise that these isotopes exist, but now that we have them, we have colleagues who will be very interested in what we can measure next," Gade said. "I'm already starting to think of what we can do next in terms of measuring their half-lives, their masses and other properties."

Researching these quantities in isotopes that have never been available before will help inform and refine our understanding of fundamental nuclear science.

"There's so much more to learn," Sherrill said. "And we're on our way."

Provided by Michigan State University

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The Journal of Undergraduate Reports in Physics (JURP) is a peer-reviewed, online journal of the Society of Physics Students (SPS) and Sigma Pi Sigma, the physics honor society. JURP is devoted to archiving scholarly works conducted by undergraduate students in physics, astronomy, and its related fields. JURP is designed to be a vehicle for the exchange of ideas and information by undergraduate students and a way for faculty to share scholarly works conducted by undergraduates. Papers in experimental physics, theoretical physics, or educational research in physics are welcome.

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Nuclear Theory

Title: an efficient quantum circuit for block encoding a pairing hamiltonian.

Abstract: We present an efficient quantum circuit for block encoding pairing Hamiltonians studied in nuclear physics. The new block encoding scheme does not require mapping the creation and annihilation operators to Pauli operators and representing the Hamiltonian as a linear combination of unitaries. Instead, we show how to encode these operators directly using controlled swaps. We analyze the gate complexity of the block encoding circuit and show that it scales polynomially with respect to the number of qubits required to represent a quantum state associated with the pairing Hamiltonian. We also show how the block encoding circuit can be combined with quantum singular value transformation to construct an efficient quantum circuit for approximating the density of state of a pairing Hamiltonian. Athough we focus on block encoding circuit for pair Hamiltonians in this paper, the techniques presented here can be extended to encode more general second quantized Hamiltonians.

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Dr. Patrick Huber, Professor of Physics & Director of Center for Neutrino Physics (CNP), VT, will give a talk entitled "Neutrinos & Nuclear Security"

February 23, 2024.

@10:10 am, 440 Goodwin Hall, Blacksburg (in-person); room 6-051, VTRC, Arlington For remote access, register here.

Abstract Nuclear reactors are the brightest man-made neutrino sources and have been the workhorse of neutrino physics since the discovery of the neutrino. In the 1970s Lev Mikaelyan realized that neutrinos also can be used to learn about the internal state of a nuclear reactor. The past decade has seen a significant increase in the interest in reactor neutrinos, thanks to the theta-13 experiments and the search for sterile neutrinos. In particular, I will discuss case studies we have performed for the historical case of the 1990s nuclear crisis in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and for the IR-40 reactor in Iran. I will report on on-going efforts to develop suitable detectors for surface deployment close to a nuclear reactor and comment on the role coherent elastic neutrino nucleus scattering may play.

Bio Dr. Patrick Huber is a professor of physics and an affiliate professor in the nuclear engineering program and a member of the Virginia Tech faculty since 2008. Huber conducts research on neutrino physics. He has helped build an internationally recognized program in neutrino physics both in basic science and applications to global and national security. He has authored more than 170 publications and has built an impactful research program.

In 2010, Huber co-founded the Center for Neutrino Physics at Virginia Tech and since 2018 he is serving as its director.. He was a lead developer of the GLoBES software package which is the standard for computing the physics sensitivity of many large neutrino experiments. In 2011, he performed what is currently the most accurate calculation of the reactor antineutrino spectrum emitted by nuclear reactors.

He has been a member or leader of a large number of study and planning efforts in the neutrino community, including his service on the2023 Particle Physics Project Prioritization Panel (P5), setting the research and budget priorities for the field in the United States for the next decade.

He is the recipient of multiple awards, including the Fermilab Distinguished Scholar, the Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics, Early Career Research Award of the U.S. Department of Energy Office of High Energy Physics and election as a Fellow of the American Physical Society. He also is a recipient of the 2024 Alumni Award for Research Excellence in the “Science or Engineering” category at Virginia Tech.

He earned a master’s degree and Ph.D. from Technical University of Munich, Germany.

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Home > Arts and Sciences > Physics > PHYSICSETD

Physics Theses, Dissertations, and Masters Projects

Theses/dissertations from 2023 2023.

Ab Initio Computations Of Structural Properties In Solids By Auxiliary Field Quantum Monte Carlo , Siyuan Chen

Constraining Of The Minerνa Medium Energy Neutrino Flux Using Neutrino-Electron Scattering , Luis Zazueta

From The Hubbard Model To Coulomb Interactions: Quantum Monte Carlo Computations In Strongly Correlated Systems , Zhi-Yu Xiao

Theses/Dissertations from 2022 2022

Broadband Infrared Microspectroscopy and Nanospectroscopy of Local Material Properties: Experiment and Modeling , Patrick McArdle

Edge Fueling And Neutral Density Studies Of The Alcator C-Mod Tokamak Using The Solps-Iter Code , Richard M. Reksoatmodjo

Electronic Transport In Topological Superconducting Heterostructures , Joseph Jude Cuozzo

Inclusive and Inelastic Scattering in Neutrino-Nucleus Interactions , Amy Filkins

Investigation Of Stripes, Spin Density Waves And Superconductivity In The Ground State Of The Two-Dimensional Hubbard Model , Hao Xu

Partial Wave Analysis Of Strange Mesons Decaying To K + Π − Π + In The Reaction Γp → K + Π + Π − Λ(1520) And The Commissioning Of The Gluex Dirc Detector , Andrew Hurley

Partial Wave Analysis of the ωπ− Final State Photoproduced at GlueX , Amy Schertz

Quantum Sensing For Low-Light Imaging , Savannah Cuozzo

Radiative Width of K*(892) from Lattice Quantum Chromodynamics , Archana Radhakrishnan

Theses/Dissertations from 2021 2021

AC & DC Zeeman Interferometric Sensing With Ultracold Trapped Atoms On A Chip , Shuangli Du

Calculation Of Gluon Pdf In The Nucleon Using Pseudo-Pdf Formalism With Wilson Flow Technique In LQCD , Md Tanjib Atique Khan

Dihadron Beam Spin Asymmetries On An Unpolarized Hydrogen Target With Clas12 , Timothy Barton Hayward

Excited J-- Resonances In Meson-Meson Scattering From Lattice Qcd , Christopher Johnson

Forward & Off-Forward Parton Distributions From Lattice Qcd , Colin Paul Egerer

Light-Matter Interactions In Quasi-Two-Dimensional Geometries , David James Lahneman

Proton Spin Structure from Simultaneous Monte Carlo Global QCD Analysis , Yiyu Zhou

Radiofrequency Ac Zeeman Trapping For Neutral Atoms , Andrew Peter Rotunno

Theses/Dissertations from 2020 2020

A First-Principles Study of the Nature of the Insulating Gap in VO2 , Christopher Hendriks

Competing And Cooperating Orders In The Three-Band Hubbard Model: A Comprehensive Quantum Monte Carlo And Generalized Hartree-Fock Study , Adam Chiciak

Development Of Quantum Information Tools Based On Multi-Photon Raman Processes In Rb Vapor , Nikunjkumar Prajapati

Experiments And Theory On Dynamical Hamiltononian Monodromy , Matthew Perry Nerem

Growth Engineering And Characterization Of Vanadium Dioxide Films For Ultraviolet Detection , Jason Andrew Creeden

Insulator To Metal Transition Dynamics Of Vanadium Dioxide Thin Films , Scott Madaras

Quantitative Analysis Of EKG And Blood Pressure Waveforms , Denise Erin McKaig

Study Of Scalar Extensions For Physics Beyond The Standard Model , Marco Antonio Merchand Medina

Theses/Dissertations from 2019 2019

Beyond the Standard Model: Flavor Symmetry, Nonperturbative Unification, Quantum Gravity, and Dark Matter , Shikha Chaurasia

Electronic Properties of Two-Dimensional Van Der Waals Systems , Yohanes Satrio Gani

Extraction and Parametrization of Isobaric Trinucleon Elastic Cross Sections and Form Factors , Scott Kevin Barcus

Interfacial Forces of 2D Materials at the Oil–Water Interface , William Winsor Dickinson

Scattering a Bose-Einstein Condensate Off a Modulated Barrier , Andrew James Pyle

Topics in Proton Structure: BSM Answers to its Radius Puzzle and Lattice Subtleties within its Momentum Distribution , Michael Chaim Freid

Theses/Dissertations from 2018 2018

A Measurement of Nuclear Effects in Deep Inelastic Scattering in Neutrino-Nucleus Interactions , Anne Norrick

Applications of Lattice Qcd to Hadronic Cp Violation , David Brantley

Charge Dynamics in the Metallic and Superconducting States of the Electron-Doped 122-Type Iron Arsenides , Zhen Xing

Dynamics of Systems With Hamiltonian Monodromy , Daniel Salmon

Exotic Phases in Attractive Fermions: Charge Order, Pairing, and Topological Signatures , Peter Rosenberg

Extensions of the Standard Model Higgs Sector , Richard Keith Thrasher

First Measurements of the Parity-Violating and Beam-Normal Single-Spin Asymmetries in Elastic Electron-Aluminum Scattering , Kurtis David Bartlett

Lattice Qcd for Neutrinoless Double Beta Decay: Short Range Operator Contributions , Henry Jose Monge Camacho

Probe of Electroweak Interference Effects in Non-Resonant Inelastic Electron-Proton Scattering , James Franklyn Dowd

Proton Spin Structure from Monte Carlo Global Qcd Analyses , Jacob Ethier

Searching for A Dark Photon in the Hps Experiment , Sebouh Jacob Paul

Theses/Dissertations from 2017 2017

A global normal form for two-dimensional mode conversion , David Gregory Johnston

Computational Methods of Lattice Boltzmann Mhd , Christopher Robert Flint

Computational Studies of Strongly Correlated Quantum Matter , Hao Shi

Determination of the Kinematics of the Qweak Experiment and Investigation of an Atomic Hydrogen Møller Polarimeter , Valerie Marie Gray

Disconnected Diagrams in Lattice Qcd , Arjun Singh Gambhir

Formulating Schwinger-Dyson Equations for Qed Propagators in Minkowski Space , Shaoyang Jia

Highly-Correlated Electron Behavior in Niobium and Niobium Compound Thin Films , Melissa R. Beebe

Infrared Spectroscopy and Nano-Imaging of La0.67Sr0.33Mno3 Films , Peng Xu

Investigation of Local Structures in Cation-Ordered Microwave Dielectric a Solid-State Nmr and First Principle Calculation Study , Rony Gustam Kalfarisi

Measurement of the Elastic Ep Cross Section at Q2 = 0.66, 1.10, 1.51 and 1.65 Gev2 , YANG WANG

Modeling The Gross-Pitaevskii Equation using The Quantum Lattice Gas Method , Armen M. Oganesov

Optical Control of Multi-Photon Coherent Interactions in Rubidium Atoms , Gleb Vladimirovich Romanov

Plasmonic Approaches and Photoemission: Ag-Based Photocathodes , Zhaozhu Li

Quantum and Classical Manifestation of Hamiltonian Monodromy , Chen Chen

Shining Light on The Phase Transitions of Vanadium Dioxide , Tyler J. Huffman

Superconducting Thin Films for The Enhancement of Superconducting Radio Frequency Accelerator Cavities , Matthew Burton

Theses/Dissertations from 2016 2016

Ac Zeeman Force with Ultracold Atoms , Charles Fancher

A Measurement of the Parity-Violating Asymmetry in Aluminum and its Contribution to A Measurement of the Proton's Weak Charge , Joshua Allen Magee

An improved measurement of the Muon Neutrino charged current Quasi-Elastic cross-section on Hydrocarbon at Minerva , Dun Zhang

Applications of High Energy Theory to Superconductivity and Cosmic Inflation , Zhen Wang

A Precision Measurement of the Weak Charge of Proton at Low Q^2: Kinematics and Tracking , Siyuan Yang

Compton Scattering Polarimetry for The Determination of the Proton’S Weak Charge Through Measurements of the Parity-Violating Asymmetry of 1H(E,e')P , Juan Carlos Cornejo

Disorder Effects in Dirac Heterostructures , Martin Alexander Rodriguez-Vega

Electron Neutrino Appearance in the Nova Experiment , Ji Liu

Experimental Apparatus for Quantum Pumping with a Bose-Einstein Condensate. , Megan K. Ivory

Investigating Proton Spin Structure: A Measurement of G_2^p at Low Q^2 , Melissa Ann Cummings

Neutrino Flux Prediction for The Numi Beamline , Leonidas Aliaga Soplin

Quantitative Analysis of Periodic Breathing and Very Long Apnea in Preterm Infants. , Mary A. Mohr

Resolution Limits of Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometry with Pulsed Source , Guangzhi Qu

Solving Problems of the Standard Model through Scale Invariance, Dark Matter, Inflation and Flavor Symmetry , Raymundo Alberto Ramos

Study of Spatial Structure of Squeezed Vacuum Field , Mi Zhang

Study of Variations of the Dynamics of the Metal-Insulator Transition of Thin Films of Vanadium Dioxide with An Ultra-Fast Laser , Elizabeth Lee Radue

Thin Film Approaches to The Srf Cavity Problem: Fabrication and Characterization of Superconducting Thin Films , Douglas Beringer

Turbulent Particle Transport in H-Mode Plasmas on Diii-D , Xin Wang

Theses/Dissertations from 2015 2015

Ballistic atom pumps , Tommy Byrd

Determination of the Proton's Weak Charge via Parity Violating e-p Scattering. , Joshua Russell Hoskins

Electronic properties of chiral two-dimensional materials , Christopher Lawrence Charles Triola

Heavy flavor interactions and spectroscopy from lattice quantum chromodynamics , Zachary S. Brown

Some properties of meson excited states from lattice QCD , Ekaterina V. Mastropas

Sterile Neutrino Search with MINOS. , Alena V. Devan

Ultracold rubidium and potassium system for atom chip-based microwave and RF potentials , Austin R. Ziltz

Theses/Dissertations from 2014 2014

Enhancement of MS Signal Processing for Improved Cancer Biomarker Discovery , Qian Si

Whispering-gallery mode resonators for nonlinear and quantum optical applications , Matthew Thomas Simons

Theses/Dissertations from 2013 2013

Applications of Holographic Dualities , Dylan Judd Albrecht

A search for a new gauge boson , Eric Lyle Jensen

Experimental Generation and Manipulation of Quantum Squeezed Vacuum via Polarization Self-Rotation in Rb Vapor , Travis Scott Horrom

Low Energy Tests of the Standard Model , Benjamin Carl Rislow

Magnetic Order and Dimensional Crossover in Optical Lattices with Repulsive Interaction , Jie Xu

Multi-meson systems from Lattice Quantum Chromodynamics , Zhifeng Shi

Theses/Dissertations from 2012 2012

Dark matter in the heavens and at colliders: Models and constraints , Reinard Primulando

Measurement of Single and Double Spin Asymmetries in p(e, e' pi(+/-,0))X Semi-Inclusive Deep-Inelastic Scattering , Sucheta Shrikant Jawalkar

NMR study of paramagnetic nano-checkerboard superlattices , Christopher andrew Maher

Parity-violating asymmetry in the nucleon to delta transition: A Study of Inelastic Electron Scattering in the G0 Experiment , Carissa Lee Capuano

Studies of polarized and unpolarized helium -3 in the presence of alkali vapor , Kelly Anita Kluttz

Supersymmetric Leptophilic Models of Electroweak Symmetry Breaking , Gardner Rush Marshall

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    Theses/Dissertations from 2020. PDF. A First-Principles Study of the Nature of the Insulating Gap in VO2, Christopher Hendriks. PDF. Competing And Cooperating Orders In The Three-Band Hubbard Model: A Comprehensive Quantum Monte Carlo And Generalized Hartree-Fock Study, Adam Chiciak. PDF.

  27. Remembering Professor Frank Nwachukwu Ndili: A Pioneer in Nuclear

    As the first African Professor of Nuclear Physics and a revered former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, his passing marks the end of an era. Professor Ndili, known for his groundbreaking work and profound influence on the field of nuclear physics, left behind a legacy that transcends borders and generations.