Monday, October 24, 2011

We break stereotypes: kernels of atoms in the form of a core

Calculations show, the rotating kernel of oxygen-16 can be deformed in 4 separate alpha particles placed along an axis of rotation. (Click a picture for increase)

Traditionally we represent kernels of atoms in the form of the balls comprising protons and neutrons. Earlier scientific already represented calculations according to which kernels can have the egg form; but last published work of scientists from Japan shows kernels of even more exotic form. In their opinion, quickly rotating kernels can turn to a chain consisting of separate clusters, including protons and neutrons. Similar exotic kernels can play an important role at formation in bowels of stars of such elements, as C12 and O16. The design procedure of similar structures developed by scientists allows to study even more exotic designs.

The kernel form makes serious impact on nuclear reactions, for example, in bowels of stars where all natural elements are created almost. If the atom kernel rotates quickly enough (usually as a result not the central collision or at collision and association of two small kernels), it can be deformed, turning from sphere habitual to our imagination in ellipsoid. This form inseparably linked with the strong interaction keeping together protons and neutrons (nucleons), and also centrifugal force counteracting it. For today scientists have already provided the experimental proof of possibility of existence of strongly deformed kernels with the relation of width to length about l or 1/3 for heavy elements. For easy kernels of such elements as carbon or oxygen, existed only signs of that the similar deformed statuses can be realised. But, despite intensive searches, experimental proofs of this fact did not exist.
Instead of working at level of separate nucleons, the most part of theoretical calculations is based on idea that kernels can be considered, how a certain set of the alpha particles representing closely connected groups of their two protons and one neutron. Such approach provides good approach, without showing thus serious requirements to computing capacities. The group of scientists from Kyoto University (Japan) used the alternative, more fundamental approach at which as elementary «building blocks» kernels were considered separate nucleons. For performance of calculation the command has united some last achievements in the field, having used a technique known for Hartri-Foka under a name. It has allowed to carry out calculations for rotating kernel O16, having put in model of interaction of nucleons in terms of the special forces used for approach of strong interactions, keeping nucleons in a kernel together. As result of calculations the command has received three dimensional distribution of density of nucleons in a kernel, defining the kernel form.

According to scientists, to certain frequency of rotation of a kernel really remain spherical. Further at increase in frequency of rotation the kernel starts to be deformed and turns in four alpha the particles placed along an axis of rotation. If and further to increase frequency, the kernel breaks up. It is necessary to notice that structures, like linear "chain", in a kernel of any size always were considered astable though earlier theorists assumed that they could exist. According to colleagues of the scientists, similar linear configurations of atoms can have fundamental value for dynamics of nuclear systems. They also could play an important role at formation C12 and O16 in bowels of stars.

In the near future the command plans to use the technique for search of longer linear chains.

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