Seminar Details

The Structure of Super-Heavy Atomic Nuclei

Roderick Clark, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Wednesday, April 18, 4:10 PM - Nuclear Science Seminar
NSCL Lecture Hall

What is the limit of the periodic table of the elements? The existence of super-heavy nuclei requires an incredibly delicate interplay between macroscopic liquid-drop energy and the extra binding associated with quantum shell corrections. Without these quantum effects, super-heavy nuclei would immediately decay due to the Coulomb repulsion between the large number of protons. I will describe a new generation of experiments, including preliminary results taken with the GRETINA array, on the structure and properties of the heaviest nuclei. These experiments are addressing the fundamental issue of the maximum mass and charge that a nucleus can attain. The results are testing predictions, stretching back more than forty years, of a possible "island of super-heavy stability". The talk will be accessible to students with an interest in nuclear science.