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Superallowed Gamow–Teller decay of the doubly magic nucleus 100Sn

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Abstract

The shell structure of atomic nuclei is associated with ‘magic numbers’ and originates in the nearly independent motion of neutrons and protons in a mean potential generated by all nucleons. During β+-decay, a proton transforms into a neutron in a previously not fully occupied orbital, emitting a positron–neutrino pair with either parallel or antiparallel spins, in a Gamow–Teller or Fermi transition, respectively. The transition probability, or strength, of a Gamow–Teller transition depends sensitively on the underlying shell structure and is usually distributed among many states in the neighbouring nucleus. Here we report measurements of the half-life and decay energy for the decay of 100Sn, the heaviest doubly magic nucleus with equal numbers of protons and neutrons. In the β-decay of 100Sn, a large fraction of the strength is observable because of the large decay energy. We determine the largest Gamow–Teller strength so far measured in allowed nuclear β-decay, establishing the ‘superallowed’ nature of this Gamow–Teller transition. The large strength and the low-energy states in the daughter nucleus, 100In, are well reproduced by modern, large-scale shell model calculations.

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Figure 1: Particle identification plot.
Figure 2: Time distribution of first decay events.
Figure 3: Spectrum of γ-radiation.
Figure 4: Tentative level scheme of 100 In.
Figure 5: Distribution of the positron energies emitted in the β-decay of 100 Sn.
Figure 6: Log( ft ) values of allowed nuclear β-decays.

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Acknowledgements

We thank the staff of the GSI ion source and accelerator for the preparation of a stable, high-intensity 124Xe beam, and we thank the fragment separator technicians for setting up the beamline detectors. We acknowledge discussions with G. Martínez-Pinedo, K. Langanke and A. Zuker. We are also grateful to the EUROBALL Owners Committee for the use of the Euroball Cluster Detectors. This work was supported by the BMBF under contracts 06MT238, 06MT9156, 06KY205I and 06KY9136I; by the GSI; by the DFG Cluster of Excellence 153 ‘Origin and Structure of the Universe’; by the EC within the FP6 through I3-EURONS (contract no. RII3-CT-2004-506065); and by the Swedish Research Council.

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Contributions

Fragment separator: H.W., P.B., H. Geissel, M.G., Zs.P. and C.N.; particle detectors: C.B.H., K. Straub, R.G., T.F., L.M. and F. Nebel; RISING γ-array: P.B., M.G., S.P., J.G., I.M.K. and H.-J.W.; data acquisition and analysis software: M.B., R.G., J.L.G., N.K. and L.M.; data analysis and interpretation: C.B.H., K. Straub, T.F., M.G., H. Grawe, R.K., K. Steiger, F. Nowacki and K. Sieja; shell model calculations: F. Nowacki and K. Sieja; writing of manuscript: C.B.H., T.F., R.G., H. Grawe, R.K., F. Nowacki and K. Sieja. All authors except H. Grawe, F. Nowacki and K. Sieja took part in the preparation and the experiments, and all authors commented on the final paper.

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Correspondence to T. Faestermann.

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The authors declare no competing financial interests.

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Hinke, C., Böhmer, M., Boutachkov, P. et al. Superallowed Gamow–Teller decay of the doubly magic nucleus 100Sn. Nature 486, 341–345 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1038/nature11116

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