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Physicists flip Particle Accelerator of Atomic Nuclei

The Physicists are shooting beams of ions at proton clouds and helping them to map the inner workings of atoms’ Nuclei. The experiment is an inversion of the usual particle accelerators, which hurl electrons at atomic Nuclei to probe their structures. The results were published in Nature Physics.

The team used the inverse kinematics approach to sift to quantum mechanical influences within a nucleus, to provide a clear view of a nucleus’s protons and neutrons, as well as its short-range correlated pairs. The pairs of protons or neutrons that bind to super-dense droplets of nuclear matter and that are thought to dominate the ultradense environments in neutron stars.

The results show that inverse kinematics may be used to characterize the structure of more unstable Nuclei that is an ingredient scientists use to understand the dynamics of neutron stars and the processes by which they generate heavy elements.Hen’s co-authors include Jullian Kahlbow and Efrain Segarra of MIT, Eli Piasetzky of Tel-Aviv University, and researchers from the Technical University of Darmstadt, the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research in Russia, the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission, and the GSI Helmholtz Center for Heavy Ion Research in Germany.

The co-author of the study added they have opened the door for studying shoe range correlated pairs, not only in stable Nuclei but also in neutron-rich that are very abundant in environments like neutron star mergers. They can also bring us closer to understanding such exotic astrophysical phenomena. The Particle accelerators probe nuclear structures through electron scattering, in which high-energy electrons are beamed at a stationary cloud of target Nuclei. The electron hits a nucleus, knocks out protons and neutrons, and the electron loses energy in the process.

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