Image of the week: nuclear binding energies

Synthesis and decay of superheavy nuclei is the subject of our image of the week this week. Nuclear mass measurements and predictions are of great importance, but it turns out the theory is rather complex. As the main decay route of superheavy nuclei is alpha radioactivity, it is important to know the alpha decay energy to calculate nuclear masses.

Our image this week shows the differences between calculated and experimental binding energies for over 3000 nuclei:

Contour map of the differences between the calculated binding energies and the experimental ones for 3255 nuclei as a function of neutron number and proton number.

Contour map of the differences between the calculated and experimental binding energies for 3255 nuclei. Part of figure 2 from the paper, click for details.

In their paper, Na Na Ma et al  have been working on models to improve the accuracy with which we calculate these binding energies. They demonstrate significant improvements in binding energy estimations across most nuclear masses, greatly increasing the accuracy of the above figure.

Read the paper in JPhysG for the full story.

CC-BY logoThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License

Image: adapted from Na Na Ma et al 2015 J. Phys. G: Nucl. Part. Phys. 42 095107. Copyright IOP Publishing 2015.


Categories: Journal of Physics G: Nuclear and Particle Physics

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