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Publication

Deformation versus Sphericity in the Ground States of the Lightest Gold Isotopes

Journal Contribution - Journal Article

The changes in mean-squared charge radii of neutron-deficient gold nuclei have been determined using the in-source, resonance-ionization laser spectroscopy technique, at the ISOLDE facility (CERN). From these new data, nuclear deformations are inferred, revealing a competition between deformed and spherical configurations. The isotopes ^{180,181,182}Au are observed to possess well-deformed ground states and, when moving to lighter masses, a sudden transition to near-spherical shapes is seen in the extremely neutron-deficient nuclides, ^{176,177,179}Au. A case of shape coexistence and shape staggering is identified in ^{178}Au which has a ground and isomeric state with different deformations. These new data reveal a pattern in ground-state deformation unique to the gold isotopes, whereby, when moving from the heavy to light masses, a plateau of well-deformed isotopes exists around the neutron midshell, flanked by near-spherical shapes in the heavier and lighter isotopes-a trend hitherto unseen elsewhere in the nuclear chart. The experimental charge radii are compared to those from Hartree-Fock-Bogoliubov calculations using the D1M Gogny interaction and configuration mixing between states of different deformation. The calculations are constrained by the known spins, parities, and magnetic moments of the ground states in gold nuclei and show a good agreement with the experimental results.
Journal: Physical Review Letters
ISSN: 0031-9007
Issue: 20
Volume: 131
Publication year:2023
Accessibility:Open