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Shape evolution in neutron-rich Zr, Mo and Ru isotopes around mass A=100

Abstract : The shape of an atomic nucleus, ie. the deviation of its mass distribution from sphericity, is a fundamental property and governed by a delicate interplay of macroscopic and microscopic effects, such as the liquid-drop like binding energy and the nuclear shell structure, respectively. Studying nuclear shape properties using gamma ray spectroscopic methods allows detailed tests of different nuclear models, which were originally developed for stable nuclei. We proposed a project to study the evolution of nuclear shapes in exotic nuclei, far from the valley of stability, specifically in neutron-rich nuclei in the isotopic chains from Zr (Z=40) to Pd (Z=46). Usually, nuclear shapes are slowly evolving from spherical shapes around closed-shell or (doubly-) magic nuclei to elongated (prolate) shapes in nuclei with many valence nucleons. The nuclei of interest, however, show rapidly evolving patterns of excited states, which can be interpreted as rapid variations of the nuclear shape, including the rare observation of oblate (disk-like) and triaxial shapes. So far the known properties for these nuclei are (mainly) limited to excitation energies. Information on the nuclear collectivity, which can be deduced from the lifetime of the excited states, are sparse, while direct information of the shape is practically non existing. The simplest estimate of nuclear deformation in even-even nuclei can be obtained from the energy of the first 2⁺ state. For Sr (Z = 38) and Zr (Z = 40) isotopes this energy is observed to decrease dramatically at N = 60, while its evolution is much more gradual in Mo nuclei (Z = 42). Precise lifetime measurements provide a key ingredient in the systematic study of the evolution of nuclear deformation and the degree of collectivity in this region. Neutron-rich nuclei in the mass region of A = 100-120 were populated through the fusion-fission reaction of a ²³⁸U beam at 6.2 MeV/u on a ⁹Be target. The compound nucleus ²⁴⁷Cm was produced at an excitation energy of around 45 MeV before undergoing fission. The setup used for this study comprised the high-resolution mass spectrometer VAMOS in order to identify the nuclei in Z and A, the Advanced gamma ray Tracking Array AGATA of 35 germanium detectors to perform gamma ray spectroscopy, as well as a plunger mechanism to measure lifetimes down to a few ps using the Recoil Distance Doppler Shift method (RDDS). In addition, the target was surrounded by 24 Lanthanum Bromide (LaBr₃) detectors for a fast-timing measurement of lifetimes longer than 100 ps. The sophisticated set of spectrometers used in this experiment allowed measurement of nuclear lifetimes in a range from 100’s of picoseconds down to a few picoseconds. In this thesis, we will report on new lifetime results for short-lived states in neutron-rich (A ~ 100) nuclei, with an emphasis on the Zr, Mo and Ru chains. We will discuss the experimental techniques used to evaluate the lifetimes as well as their interpretation in terms of state-of-the-art nuclear structure models.
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Submitted on : Monday, January 20, 2020 - 1:54:11 PM
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  • HAL Id : tel-02445759, version 1

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Saba Ansari. Shape evolution in neutron-rich Zr, Mo and Ru isotopes around mass A=100. Nuclear Experiment [nucl-ex]. Université Paris-Saclay, 2019. English. ⟨NNT : 2019SACLS384⟩. ⟨tel-02445759⟩

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