Shape Coexistence in Stable and Neutron-Rich Nickel Isotopes and the Role of the Monopole Tensor Interaction
Prof. Robert V.F. Janssens
University of North Carolina
A tour de force involving five experiments at four different laboratories on two continents revealed an unexpectedly complex landscape of triple shape coexistence in semi-magic 64Ni, a stable nucleus thought until recently to be purely spherical. In doing so, 64Ni now joins the neutron-rich 66,68,70Ni isotopes in exhibiting several nuclear shapes near their respective ground states. State-of-the-art calculations provide a complete microscopic understanding of these unexpected structural features, and highlight the key role of the monopole tensor part of the nucleon-nucleon interaction. The impact of this component of the force had not been fully realized until recently. It affects the energies of the nucleonic orbitals and weakens resistance to deformation already at the valley of stability.
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