University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Engineering Department Nuclear Energy Seminars > Nuclear Polarizability: the Sleeping Beauty of Nuclear Physics

Nuclear Polarizability: the Sleeping Beauty of Nuclear Physics

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Despite the fact that carbon is produced in the core of massive stars through the fusion of three alpha particles into a resonance state at 7.654 MeV in 12C, the so-called Hoyle state, there is very little experimental evidence for clustering-forming structures in nuclei. Different state-of-the-art ab initio calculations have recently characterized the nuclear structure of the Hoyle state (see e.g., references [1,3]). However, discrepancies exist regarding the most likely geometrical configuration of the three alphas (e.g., bent-arm, oblate triangular and others). During this talk, I will provide new experimental information on the nucler shape of 12C and ab initio calculations that indicate an increasing nuclear polarizability with excitation energy. The nuclear polarizability is directly related to the total photo-absorption cross section and this enhancement may affect the way nuclei emits and absorbs radiation and discern among the different geometric configurations predicted by theoretical models. The elucidation of how nuclei fuse together could add fundamental grounds to the practical achievement of fusion energy.

This talk is part of the Engineering Department Nuclear Energy Seminars series.

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