Observing the structure of collapsing unstable atomic nuclei using electrons is an experimental goal that has not been achieved anywhere in the world. Masanori Wakasugi, director of the Instrumentation Development Group at the RIKEN Nishina Center for Accelerator-Based Science (RNC), is working on this challenging issue.
The current theoretical model of the atomic nucleus has been constructed with major contributions from electron-scattering experiments, in which electrons are collided with stable atomic nuclei to visualize the nuclear structure.
In recent years, however, a wide range of experiments on the properties of unstable atomic nuclei has revealed a number of phenomena that are inconsistent with the current model of the atomic nucleus.
Radioisotope–electron scattering experiments in which electrons collide with unstable nuclei are indispensible in establishing the ultimate model of the atomic nucleus, which will yield a comprehensive understanding of both stable and unstable nuclei. Wakasugi and his colleagues are taking unique approaches to achieve this world-first experiment.
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A team of scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg investigated optically-induced superconductivity in the alkali-doped fulleride K3C60under high external pressures. This study allowed, on one hand, to uniquely assess the nature of the transient state as a superconducting phase. In addition, it unveiled the possibility to induce superconductivity in K3C60 at temperatures far above the -170 degrees Celsius hypothesized previously, and rather all the way to room temperature. The paper by Cantaluppi et al has been published in Nature Physics.
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