A new type of nucleus was discovered

Researchers at the Accelerator Laboratory at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland, have made an exciting discovery of a new nuclide called 190-astatine, the lightest isotope of the now rapidly decaying and rare element astatine. This novel isotope-making feat was made possible by combining 84Sr beam particles with silver target atoms. Isotope identification among the fusion products was performed using RITU recoil separator detectors.

In a significant scientific breakthrough, researchers have discovered a light isotope of the rare and rapidly decaying element astatine. The discovery of 190-astatine, which Master of Science graduate Henna Kokkonen made as part of her thesis, provides important insights into nuclear structure and the boundaries of known matter.

An experiment at the Accelerator Laboratory at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland, has succeeded in creating a previously unknown nucleus, 190-astatine, with 85 protons and 105 neutrons. The nucleus is the lightest isotope of astatine discovered to date.

Astatine decays rapidly and is therefore a rare element. In the Earth’s crust, astatine is estimated to be no more than a teaspoon. An experiment at the University of Jyväskylä’s Accelerator Laboratory in Finland has succeeded in creating a previously unknown nuclide, 190-astatine. The new isotope 84Sr was produced by fusion of beam particles and silver target atoms. The isotope in the products was detected using RITU recoil separator detectors.

Henna Kokkonen

Henna Kokkonen is a doctoral researcher from the Department of Physics at the University of Jyväskylä. Credit: Henna Kokkonen and Kalle Aranen

A new nucleus emits an alpha particle

New nuclei decay towards more stable isotopes via alpha decay. Alpha decay is the most common decay mode of heavy nuclei.

“Studies of new nuclei are important for understanding the structure of nuclei and the limits of known matter,” says postdoctoral researcher Henna Kokkonen from the Department of Physics at the University of Jyväskylä.

The study is part of my master’s thesis

The new discovery was made by Henna Kokkonen, who recently graduated with a master’s degree. The study was part of his master’s thesis. It is unusual for the results of a master’s thesis to be published in a peer-reviewed journal. Physical examination cNot to mention that it reports a new isotope.

“In my thesis, I analyzed experimental data from which a new isotope was discovered. During my thesis process and summer internships, I got to know the work of the Nuclear Spectroscopy group. Now I am very happy to work in the group for my Ph.D.

Henna Kokkonen moved to Jyväskylä from Juva in southeastern Finland five years ago to study physics and now continues her studies as a doctoral researcher at the accelerator laboratory of the University of Jyväskylä.

Note: “Properties of a new α-decaying isotope 190at” H. Kokkonen, K. Auranen, J. Usidalo, S. Eckott, D. Grahn, P. D. Greenlees, P. Jones, R. Julin, S. Jutinen, M. Leino, A.-P. Leppänen , M. Nyman, J. Pakarinen, P. Rahkila, J. Sarén, C. Scholey, J. Sorri, and M. Venhart, 20 June 2023, Physical examination c.
DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevC.107.064312

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