NP Highlights

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August 16, 2019
The OARtrac® system features scintillating fibers that were originally developed for use in nuclear physics experiments.
Nuclear Physics Detector Tech Used in Cancer Treatment Monitoring System
Built with detector technologies used in nuclear physics experiments, the system monitors radiation treatments in hard-to-reach areas.
August 6, 2019
Magnesium-40 (40Mg) sits at the intersection of the magnesium isotopes and the chain of nuclei with 28 neutrons. A recent measurement of gamma-ray transitions in 40Mg shows something beyond what theory expected.
A Change in Structure for a Superheavy Magnesium Isotope
The recently observed “fingerprints” of neutron-rich magnesium-40 suggest an unexpected change in nuclear structure.
June 24, 2019
The mechanism of multinucleon transfer using theoretical calculations. Scientists created heavy nuclei by allowing nature to select the neutron richness of the heavy nucleus. The picture shows uranium and thorium nuclei in contact with each other.
A Search for New Superheavy Isotopes
Following in the footsteps of supernovas, a new approach offers a more natural way to make new extremely heavy elements.
June 14, 2019
An event display shows particle tracks from a lead-on-lead collision in the ALICE detector
Explaining Light-Nuclei Production in Heavy-Ion Nuclear Collisions
Pairs of sub-atomic particles may catalyze reactions that happened moments after the Big Bang.
June 11, 2019
The image illustrates this process and shows how two neutrons (shown as blue spheres in the background) beta decay into a neutron and a proton (shown as a red sphere) under the emission of an electron and a neutrino (small green and blue sphere).
Solving a Beta Decay Puzzle
Researchers use advanced nuclear models to explain 50-year mystery surrounding the process stars use to transform elements.
June 1, 2019
This side view of the STAR detector at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) shows the endcap electromagnetic calorimeter.
STAR Gains Access to “Wimpy” Quarks and Gluons
Low-momentum (wimpy) quarks and gluons contribute to proton spin, offering insights into protons’ behavior in all visible matter.
May 30, 2019
Radiochemical technicians David Denton and Karen Murphy use hot cell manipulators at Oak Ridge National Laboratory during the production of actinium-227.
Improving Isotope Supply for a Cancer-Fighting Drug
Production of actinium-227 ramps up for use in a drug to fight prostate cancer that has spread to bone.
May 30, 2019
Charge radii of calcium isotopes. Scientists obtained new data from a laser spectroscopy technique. The graphs shows the data (red squares) compared with theoretical values. As shown, calcium-39 is consistent with previous measurements.
Why Are These Extremely Light Calcium Isotopes So Small?
The radii of three proton-rich calcium isotopes are smaller than previously predicted because models didn’t account for two nuclear interactions.
May 22, 2019
Two-dimensional images of a neutrino interaction in MicroBooNE shown at different stages of signal processing reveal cleaner and cleaner signals.
Extracting Signs of the Elusive Neutrino
Scientists use software to "develop" images that trace neutrinos' interactions in a bath of cold liquid argon.
April 18, 2019
The spin flipper magnet assembly resides inside a tunnel that houses the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider at Brookhaven National Laboratory.
Spin Flipper Upends Protons
The spin direction of protons was reversed, for the first time, using a nine-magnet device, potentially helping tease out details about protons.
April 18, 2019
The latest data from the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider reveal that the quark spin contribution (green puzzle piece)—specifically the contribution from a “sea” of antiquarks—is more complex than previously thought.
Sea Quark Spin Surprise!
Since the 1980s, scientists have known that quark and antiquark spins within a proton account for, at best, a quarter of the overall proton spin.
April 17, 2019
The Weak Side of the Proton
The Weak Side of the Proton
A precision measurement of the proton’s weak charge narrows the search for new physics.
April 15, 2019
The team’s data came from Jefferson Lab's Experimental Hall B, featuring the Continuous Electron Beam Accelerator Facility Large Acceptance Spectrometer.
Fast-Moving Pairs May Solve 35-Year-Old Mystery
A re-analysis of data suggests that proton-neutron pairs in a nucleus may explain why their quarks have lower average momenta than predicted.
April 12, 2019
Quarks Under Pressure in the Proton
Quarks Under Pressure in the Proton
Inside every proton in every atom in the universe is a pressure cooker environment that surpasses the atom-crushing heart of a neutron star. That
April 12, 2019
View of the ultracold neutron trap, comprising 5,139 permanent magnets arranged in an asymmetric bowl-shaped array, during magnetic field mapping with a robotic arm.
Magnetic Levitation of Ultracold Neutrons Yields New Measurement of the Neutron Lifetime
Storing extremely slow neutrons in a novel trap enables precise measurement of a basic property of particle physics.
February 21, 2019
Prototype fluidic system for zirconium-89 purification. Image taken through a hot cell window at the Department of Radiology, University of Washington.
Supplying High-Quality Cancer-Imaging Isotopes
New method produces high-purity zirconium-89, a diagnostic radionuclide used to image cancerous tumors.
February 21, 2019
Pictorial representation of the ground state of oxygen-16 (16O) and the Hoyle-like state.
Do Alpha Particle Condensates Exist in Oxygen Nuclei?
Yes. Such condensates, analogous to those in carbon-12, in heavier nuclei could change how we describe certain elements.
January 30, 2019
This event display shows the result of a muon neutrino candidate interacting inside the MicroBooNE detector at Fermilab. Cyan shows the energy deposited in electromagnetic shower-like topologies. Yellow shows energy deposited in other line-like topologies
MicroBooNE, Machine Learning, and Liquid Argon
The MicroBooNE experiment demonstrates the use of machine learning to interpret images made by a liquid-argon particle detector.
December 18, 2018
Clarifying Rates of Methylmercury Production
Clarifying Rates of Methylmercury Production
Mercury is a toxic element that occurs naturally and as an anthropogenic pollutant in the environment. The neurotoxin monomethylmercury (MMHg) is a
September 6, 2018
Heavy Particles Get Caught Up in the Flow
Heavy Particles Get Caught Up in the Flow
Particle collisions at RHIC free quarks and gluons from their confinement within ordinary particles (e.g., protons and neutrons) so
September 4, 2018
Small, Short-Lived Drops of Early Universe Matter
Small, Short-Lived Drops of Early Universe Matter
In semi-overlapping gold-gold collisions at RHIC, more particles emerge from the “equator” than perpendicular to the collision
September 4, 2018
Modular Fluidic System Developed to Supply Radioisotope Used in Targeted Alpha Therapy
Modular Fluidic System Developed to Supply Radioisotope Used in Targeted Alpha Therapy
Astatine-211 is produced by alpha beam irradiation of bismuth target material. The University of Washington has one of only a few cyclotrons in the
August 29, 2018
Thorium: A Source of Multiple Medical Isotopes
Thorium: A Source of Multiple Medical Isotopes
Radium is a bone-seeking radioelement, due to its chemical similarity to calcium, the main component of hydroxyapatite, the bone mineral. Radium is
August 6, 2018
Quantum Computing of an Atomic Nucleus
Quantum Computing of an Atomic Nucleus
Quantum computers promise to solve “exponentially hard” problems, such as computing the structure of molecules, atoms, or atomic nuclei
June 20, 2018
Is Nature Exclusively Left Handed? Using Chilled Atoms to Find Out
Is Nature Exclusively Left Handed? Using Chilled Atoms to Find Out
Using the TRIUMF Neutral Atom Trap (TRINAT) facility, a collaboration from Texas A&M University, TRIUMF (Canada's national particle accelerator