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Nuclear physics

Not-so-magic numbers

When a nucleus has a ‘magic’ number of neutrons or protons, it is particularly stable. But it seems that for exotic nuclei, with large numbers of neutrons relative to protons, these magic numbers can change.

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Figure 1: Neutron excess and the energy of states.


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Warner, D. Not-so-magic numbers. Nature 430, 517–519 (2004).

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