First exploration of neutron shell structure below lead and beyond N=126

T.L. Tang, B.P. Kay, J.P. Schiffer, D.K. Sharp, L.P. Gaffney, S.J. Freeman, M.R. Mumpower, A. Arokiaraj, E.F. Baader, P .A. Butler, W.N. Catford, G. de Angelis, F. Flavigny, M.D. Gott, E.T. Gregor, J. Konki, M. Labiche, I.H. Lazarus, P.T. MacGregor, I. MartelR.D. Page, Zs. Podolyák, O. Poleshchuk, R. Raabe, F. Recchia, J.F. Smith, S.V. Szwec, J. Yang

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The nuclei below lead but with more than 126 neutrons are crucial to an understanding of the astrophysical r process in producing nuclei heavier than A similar to 190. Despite their importance, the structure and properties of these nuclei remain experimentally untested as they are difficult to produce in nuclear reactions with stable beams. In a first exploration of the shell structure of this region, neutron excitations in Hg-207 have been probed using the neutron-adding (d,p) reaction in inverse kinematics. The radioactive beam of Hg-206 was delivered to the new ISOLDE Solenoidal Spectrometer at an energy above the Coulomb barrier. The spectroscopy of Hg-207 marks a first step in improving our understanding of the relevant structural properties of nuclei involved in a key part of the path of the r process.
Original languageEnglish
Article number062502
Number of pages7
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 13 Feb 2020


  • R-process
  • Elements


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