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Title: Uncovering Magic Isotopes with the Power of HPC

Abstract

Where do elements come from? How does the strong force bind subatomic particles into nuclei? What can scientists understand from nuclei with unusual proton–neutron ratios? Nuclear physicists at the US Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) are seeking answers to such questions with the help of powerful supercomputers. The element tin is of particular interest to ORNL. In 2010, ORNL researchers discovered that the nucleus of a tin isotope, tin-132, was doubly “magic.” Isotopes are deemed magic when they have nucleons (positively charged proton particles or neutrally charged neutron particles) that complete a shell within the nucleus, making the magic isotopes much more strongly bound than those that are not magic. Isotopes with 2, 8, 20, 28, 50, 82, or 126 neutrons or protons are considered magic. A doubly magic isotope has two of these special numbers—one that describes its number of protons and one that describes its number of neutrons. Tin-132, for example, has 50 protons and 82 neutrons. The discovery of new magic isotopes can significantly affect the chart of nuclides, a table that orders the radioactive behaviors of isotopes. Because magic isotopes are more strongly bound, their structure impacts entire regions of the chartmore » of nuclides and the limit of how many nuclei can exist.« less

Authors:
 [1]
  1. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
UT-Battelle LLC/ORNL, Oak Ridge, TN (Unted States); Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility (OLCF)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC)
OSTI Identifier:
1567490
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC05-00OR22725
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Computing in Science and Engineering
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 20; Journal Issue: 4; Journal ID: ISSN 1521-9615
Publisher:
IEEE
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
73 NUCLEAR PHYSICS AND RADIATION PHYSICS; 97 MATHEMATICS AND COMPUTING; Computer Science

Citation Formats

Harken, Rachel. Uncovering Magic Isotopes with the Power of HPC. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.1109/MCSE.2018.042781333.
Harken, Rachel. Uncovering Magic Isotopes with the Power of HPC. United States. doi:10.1109/MCSE.2018.042781333.
Harken, Rachel. Tue . "Uncovering Magic Isotopes with the Power of HPC". United States. doi:10.1109/MCSE.2018.042781333. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1567490.
@article{osti_1567490,
title = {Uncovering Magic Isotopes with the Power of HPC},
author = {Harken, Rachel},
abstractNote = {Where do elements come from? How does the strong force bind subatomic particles into nuclei? What can scientists understand from nuclei with unusual proton–neutron ratios? Nuclear physicists at the US Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) are seeking answers to such questions with the help of powerful supercomputers. The element tin is of particular interest to ORNL. In 2010, ORNL researchers discovered that the nucleus of a tin isotope, tin-132, was doubly “magic.” Isotopes are deemed magic when they have nucleons (positively charged proton particles or neutrally charged neutron particles) that complete a shell within the nucleus, making the magic isotopes much more strongly bound than those that are not magic. Isotopes with 2, 8, 20, 28, 50, 82, or 126 neutrons or protons are considered magic. A doubly magic isotope has two of these special numbers—one that describes its number of protons and one that describes its number of neutrons. Tin-132, for example, has 50 protons and 82 neutrons. The discovery of new magic isotopes can significantly affect the chart of nuclides, a table that orders the radioactive behaviors of isotopes. Because magic isotopes are more strongly bound, their structure impacts entire regions of the chart of nuclides and the limit of how many nuclei can exist.},
doi = {10.1109/MCSE.2018.042781333},
journal = {Computing in Science and Engineering},
number = 4,
volume = 20,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {7}
}

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