FIGURE 4. Calculated potential-energy valleys and ridges and corresponding nuclear shapes for 228Ra.

From the following article:

Nuclear fission modes and fragment mass asymmetries in a five-dimensional deformation space

P. Möller, D. G. Madland, A. J. Sierk & A. Iwamoto

Nature 409, 785-790(15 February 2001)

doi:10.1038/35057204

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Two fission paths exist: one asymmetric path and one symmetric path. The symmetric path has a higher fission saddle point and the more elongated shapes in the valley beyond the saddle point indicate that total fragment kinetic energies in the symmetric mode are lower than in the asymmetric mode. For excitation energies just above the symmetric saddle the ridge separating the two valleys is high enough to keep the two modes well separated.

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