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Coulomb excitation of ground- and isomeric state of neutron-deficient polonium isotopes: a study of shape coexistence in the Z=82 region

Coulomb excitation of ground- and isomeric state of neutron-deficient polonium isotopes: a study of shape coexistence in the Z=82 region


The object of the present proposal is the study of the intriguing phenomenon of shape coexistence, whereby an atomic nucleus exhibits different shapes (e.g. spherical, oblate, prolate) at low excitation energy. The measurements will give quantitative information about the nature of the shape coexistence and the interplay between single-nucleon and collective degrees of freedom and should, therefore, reveal important new insight in the underlying mechanisms that determine the nuclear structure. The study will focus on neutron-deficient polonium isotopes, a critical region of the nuclide-chart to tests coherent descriptions of shape coexistence. The study will be achieved via Coulomb excitation experiments using state-of-the-art beams from CERN’s isotope separator on-line facility ISOLDE and the highly segmented germanium detector array MINIBALL. A quantitative analysis of the configuration mixing in the wave-functions will be deduced from the measurements of the transition matrix elements between low-lying excited states. The data will be combined with other experimental observables (mean square charge radii, magnetic moments, alpha- and beta-decay transition probabilities, level structures) and compared with contemporary theoretical predictions (mean-field and shell-model calculations and symmetry-based approaches). Through the present proposal the candidate will have the unique opportunity to receive high-level training in: radioactive nuclei production via the ISOL method, laser resonant ionization, gamma-ray spectroscopy with highly segmented germanium detectors and nuclear structure properties in heavy nuclei. This will allow the candidate to extend and deepen her research skills to the field of radioactive nuclei, today one of the major nuclear research field. Qualified researchers are extremely needed in the existing and planned Radioactive Ion Beam facilities.
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Oude Markt 13
3000 Leuven


Activity type

Higher or Secondary Education Establishments

EU Contribution

€ 160 600

Administrative Contact

Stijn Delauré (Dr.)

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 252951


Closed project

  • Start date

    10 September 2010

  • End date

    9 September 2012

Funded under:


  • Overall budget:

    € 160 600

  • EU contribution

    € 160 600

Coordinated by: