Pizza is one of the most popular dishes in the world, and can be topped with almost anything. But this time, it’s not quite edible.

The slice in our image of the week isn’t your traditional pizza, its actually illustrating the potential energy surfaces (PES) of even-even *N *= 40 isotones. It’s part of the larger figure (below) which has similar PES pizza slices for other *N *= 40 isotones, from ^{62}Ti all the way up to ^{80}Zr as calculated in a recent paper published in JPhysG.

Potential energy surfaces of even–even *N *= 40 isotones in the *β−γ* plane, from Z H Wang *et al* 2015 *J. Phys. G: Nucl. Part. Phys.* **42** 045108

The potential energy surface in the diagram is in the *β−γ* plane and extracted from constrained coherent density functional theory calculations. But what does the image show? According to the authors:

The PES shown in the figure nicely illustrate the rapid transition of the spherical, oblate and prolate shapes along the isotonic chain of *N* = 40.

Find out more about the shape evolution of these nuclei and what the figure represents in the full paper published in JPhysG.

Figure: Potential energy surfaces of even–even *N *= 40 isotones in the* β−γ* plane, from Z H Wang *et al* 2015* J. Phys. G: Nucl. Part. Phys.* **42** 045108. Copyright IOP Publishing 2015.

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Categories: Journal of Physics G: Nuclear and Particle Physics, JPhys+

Tags: Image of the week, Nuclear Physics, Nuclear structure