Magnetic fields easily penetrate matter. Creating a space practically devoid of magnetic fields thus presents a great challenge. An international team of physicists has now developed a shielding that dampens low frequency magnetic fields more than a million-fold. Using this mechanism, they ... 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.
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
Some breweries have taken to resurrecting the flavors of ages past. Adventurous beer makers are extrapolating recipes from clues that archeologists have uncovered from old and even ancient brews found at historical sites. Now scientists have analyzed some of the oldest preserved beer sample ... more
Because food crops are also used for energy production, millions of people are threatened by starvation. Algae could provide an alternative: They only need sunlight to grow, thrive in salty water on barren fields. But it is a major challenge to exactly reproduce sunlight in the laboratory. ... 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
- 2VWR Acquires Hichrom Limited
- 3Endress+Hauser Set for Complete Acquisition of Analytik Jena
- 4Pall Corporation Acquires BioSMB Technology from Tarpon Biosystems
- 5Scientists X-ray chocolate
- 6Agilent Technologies and Scion Instruments Agree to Enable Each Other’s Instruments in Their Chromatography Data Systems
- 7Inspecting water quality with Raman spectroscopy
- 8Mummified bodies reveal how tuberculosis ravaged the heart of 18th century Europe
- 9Extensive Proteomics Research Strengthens the Uptake for Protein Purification Kits in Europe
- 10Eurofins signs agreement to acquire Experchem Laboratories, Inc.