School Seminar Program
Simple structures in complex nuclei versus complex structures in simple nuclei
Professor Andrew Stuchbery
Department of Nuclear Physics
Nuclear models tend to focus on incompatible extremes: individual particle motion versus collective vibrations and/or rotations of a liquid drop. The structure of heavy nuclei is determined by the interactions of many nucleons which ‘orbit’ the nucleus about 1021 times per second and occupy about half its volume. Despite this apparently chaotic and complex situation, nuclei often display very regular excitation patterns. A quantitative microscopic theory to explain these simple patterns is missing. The puzzle has been both extended and given new insights by unusual characteristics observed in nuclei with extreme numbers of protons or neutrons produced as radioactive beams. The problem is usually stated in terms of understanding ‘simple’ excitations in complex nuclei. In this presentation the issue is considered from the opposite perspective by starting from ‘simple’ nuclei with only a few nucleons outside a closed shell. Magnetic moment measurements reveal complexities in the structures such ‘simple’ nuclei that may be precursors for the development of ‘simple’ collective structures in more complex nuclei.
Prof Andrew Stuchbery did his PhD at the University of Melbourne, developing methods to measure the electromagnetic properties of picosecond-lived nuclear states, and using such methods to investigate nuclear structure. He came to ANU in 1983 as a joint ANU-Melbourne research fellow. He was awarded the Pawsey medal in 1991, and was an ARC Senior Research Fellow from 1992-1997. His current research exploits the new radioactive beam accelerator facilities in the USA and Europe. He served as Chair of the Nuclear Chemistry Gordon Research Conference in 2009, and is currently convening the ANU Master of Nuclear Science program.