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November 5, 2020
When two nuclei of lead collide, the number of fast particles the collision produces depends on whether the nuclei graze each other, so-called peripheral collisions (colored data points), or have more head-on or central collisions (faint grey lines).
When Tiny, Energetic Worlds Collide
A new analysis provides a clearer picture of the universe by considering the yield of fast particles in grazing versus head-on nuclear collisions.
October 23, 2020
Using the first new method in half a century for measuring the size of the proton via electron scattering, nuclear physicists have produced a new value for the proton’s radius.
New Measurement Fits Another Piece in the Proton Radius Puzzle
Physicists get closer to solving the proton radius puzzle with unique new measurement of the charge radius of the proton.
October 23, 2020
Snapshot of a nuclear reaction showing a high-energy neutron causing a carbon-12 atom to break apart into three alpha-particles, leaving a low-energy neutron (left). This is the reverse of how the process would occur in nature (right).
The Life and Death of Stars: Viewing Nuclear Reactions to Understand the Universe Around Us
Studying nuclear reactions using a Time Projection Chamber allows scientists to study stars’ internal processes.
October 7, 2020
Lijuan Ruan stands atop the STAR detector at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider at Brookhaven National Laboratory. The silver Muon Telescope Detector components surrounding STAR’s magnet detect muons, the decay products of J/psi particles.
What Does It Take to Destroy Confinement?
New measurements offer insights into binding interactions that glue fundamental building blocks of matter together.
September 29, 2020
Schematic of a single proton (p) inducing deformation (grey) on an otherwise spherical “semi-magic” tin-128 core (green). The bulge is analogous to the moon inducing oceanic tidal bulges on the Earth.
Novel Measurement Finds Collective Motion and Deformation in Atomic Nuclei
Measurements of the electromagnetic properties of radioactive antimony-129 offer new insights on proton-neutron interactions and nuclear shapes.
September 18, 2020
Radiation can break electron pairs (yellow) in a qubit into individual electrons (red). Beta particles (β) and X-rays interact with in the aluminum (Al) superconductor. Gamma rays (γ) affect the silicon (Si) substrate. Cosmic rays penetrate the device.
Naturally Occurring Radiation Limits Superconducting Qubit Coherence Times
New experiments demonstrate the correlation of natural radiation, unpaired electrons, and decoherence in superconducting qubit devices.
September 9, 2020
With one neutron outside of the chain of isotopes with a fully populated shell of 126 neutrons, mercury-207 lies in what was until now an almost entirely unexplored region of the nuclear chart.
A Pioneering Exploration of Exotic Nuclei
Newly implemented techniques expand scientific understanding of isotopes whose nuclei have the “magic numbers” of protons and neutrons.
September 9, 2020
One way to simulate infinite neutron matter is to put a number of neutrons in a box, surround that box with identical boxes, then sum up the forces among all the particles.
Probing the “Equation of State” of Neutron Matter—The Stuff that Neutron Stars Are Made Of
Nuclear theorists explore the properties of dense neutron matter to get at the core of neutron stars.
August 7, 2020
Plot of 100,000 predictions of the radius & energy of the atomic nucleus of oxygen-16 for different models of the interaction inside the nucleus. The new method generated the results on a laptop in just a few minutes. Dashed lines show experimental data.
Computing Nuclei Properties at Lightning Speed
A fast, new approach to complex theoretical analysis of the bulk properties of atomic nuclei brings analysis to personal computers.
August 7, 2020
Stable selenium isotopes are football-shaped. However, the isotope selenium-70 instead has a disk-like shape. Researchers have found that radioactive selenium-72 is football-shaped, evidence that a shape change occurs between selenium-72 and selenium-70.
Shape-Shifting Selenium; Abrupt Change Found Between Selenium-70 and Selenium-72
Scientists find the radioactive nucleus selenium-72 is football-shaped, answering a longstanding question about the nuclear shape of selenium isotopes
May 28, 2020
The components of the Low Energy RHIC electron Cooling assembly include 100 meters of beamline. In this beamline, accelerated electrons propagate with ions in one beam to extract their heat, then make a 180-degree turn to cool the ions in the other beam.
Keeping Cool with an Innovative Bunched Beam Accelerator
Team combines many innovative accelerator accomplishments to keep gold ions cold and advance nuclear physics research.
December 4, 2019
The axis of a toy top deviates in a circular path from its straight up and down alignment as the top spins around that axis. Knowing the rate of this deviation for spinning protons helps physicists keep the particles aligned in experiments.
Scientists ‘Tune In’ to Proton Spin
Diagnostic test will improve performance of collider as physicists explore sources of proton spin.
December 4, 2019
Fig. 1: Photograph of the upgraded Sudbury Neutrino Observatory (SNO ) Detector taken from inside the cavern.
Probes of New Physics from Deep Underground
The SNO+ Experiment, over a mile underground, places new limits on grand unified theories and studies neutrinos from the Sun.
October 29, 2019
This simulation shows two dense neutron stars colliding. They have formed a black hole and a whirlpool of magnetized gas is orbiting around it. Some matter emerges in energetic jets and winds that will make heavy elements and flashes of detectible light.
The Aftermath of Neutron Star Collisions
New computer simulations reveal the explosive scene after ultra-dense stars collide, as well as where heavy elements may have originally formed.
September 18, 2019
Seung Joon Lee holds the variable angle slant hole collimator. This device can help a breast molecular imaging system get six times better contrast of cancer lesions, providing the same or better image quality while potentially halving the radiation dose.
Better 3-D Imaging of Tumors in the Breast with Less Radiation
A new device may provide up to six times better contrast of tumors in the breast, while halving the radiation dose to patients.
August 23, 2019
FIONA is a new system at Berkeley Lab’s 88-Inch Cyclotron that enables direct mass number measurements of superheavy elements.
Building a Scale to Weigh Superheavy Elements
Expanding our understanding of the structure and decay properties of some of the most exotic elements.
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.