After two years of searching for a special radioactive decay that would provide an indication of new physics beyond the standard model, an experiment deep under ground near Carlsbad (New Mexico, USA) has so far found no evidence of its existence. If this decay indeed exists, its half -life ... more
Tin-100, a doubly magic nucleus
A view of the experiment at the GSI from a perspective against the beam direction. The fragments are stopped at the center of a “hedgehog” of 105 liquid nitrogen-cooled gamma ray detectors, where the precise time point of the beta decay and the released decay energy are measured.
22-06-2012: A few minutes after the Big Bang the universe contained no other elements than hydrogen and helium. Physicists of the Technische Universitaet Muenchen (TUM), the Cluster of Excellence “Universe” and the Helmholtz Center for Heavy Ion Research (GSI) have now succeeded in producing tin-100, a very instable yet important element for understanding the formation of heavier elements.
A few minutes after the Big Bang the universe contained no other elements than hydrogen and helium. Physicists of the Technische Universitaet Muenchen (TUM), the Cluster of Excellence “Universe” and the Helmholtz Center for Heavy Ion Research (GSI) have now succeeded in producing tin-100, a very instable yet important element for understanding the formation of heavier elements. The researchers report on their results in the current edition of the scientific journal Nature.
Stable tin, as we know it, comprises 112 nuclear particles – 50 protons and 62 neutrons. The neutrons act as a kind of buffer between the electrically repelling protons and prevent normal tin from decaying. According to the shell model of nuclear physics, 50 is a “magic number” that gives rise to special properties. Tin-100, with 50 protons and 50 neutrons, is “doubly magic,” making it particularly interesting for nuclear physicists.
Shooting xenon-124 ions at a sheet of beryllium, the international team headed by physicists from the TU Muenchen, the Cluster of Excellence Origin and Structure of the Universe and the GSI in Darmstadt succeeded in creating tin-100 and analyzing its subsequent decay. Using specially developed particle detectors, they were able to measure the half-life and decay energy of tin-100 and its decay products. Their experiments confirmed that tin-100 has the fastest beta decay of all atomic nuclei, as previously predicted by theoretical physicists.
A repeat of the experiment is slated for the near future at the RIKEN research center in Japan. The beam intensity at RIKEN is higher in the mean time, allowing even more precise measurements. The aim of the research work is to improve the understanding of processes in the formation of heavy elements during explosions on the surface of compact stars. In addition, the researchers hope to draw conclusions on the neutrino mass from the measurements.
This work was supported by the BMBF, by the GSI, by the DFG-Cluster of Excellence Origin and Structure of the Universe, by the EC within the FP6 through I3-EURONS and by the Swedish Research Council.
Superallowed Gamow-Teller Decay of the Doubly Magic Nucleus Sn-100, Christoph B. Hinke et al., Nature, 21. Juni 2012
- TU München
In the future, an entire chemistry lab could be accommodated in a tiny little droplet. While simple reactions already work in these simplest models of an artificial cell now a group of scientists of the Cluster of Excellence Nanosystems Initiative Munich (NIM) have established and investiga ... more
An team of scientists, led by Joachim Reichert, Johannes Barth, and Alexander Holleitner (Technische Universitaet Muenchen, Clusters of Excellence MAP and NIM), and Itai Carmeli (Tel Aviv University) developed a method to measure photocurrents of a single functionalized photosynthetic prote ... more
In Wiesbaden, Germany, nine countries signed the international agreement on the construction of the accelerator facility FAIR (Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research), which will be located at the GSI Helmholtz Center for Heavy Ion Research in Darmstadt, Germany. Signing the agreement for ... more
On Monday July 12, 2010, the chemical element discovered at GSI was christened “copernicium”. This symbolic christening celebrated the element's eternal entry into the periodic table of elements. Copernicium is 277 times heavier than hydrogen and the heaviest element officially recognized i ... more
- 1Schleicher & Schuell has been purchased by Whatman plc
- 2Identifying microbial species
- 3Merger of CyBio AG into Analytik Jena AG Completed
- 4Sophisticated radiation detector designed for broad public use
- 5SP Industries Acquires Bel-Art Products
- 6The quantum dance of oxygen
- 7LIMS/LIS Market and POCT Supplement
- 8KNAUER among Top 100 innovators
- 9Danaher Announces Definitive Agreement to Acquire Leica Microsystems
- 10Siemens Healthcare agrees to sell microbiology business to Beckman Coulter