December 12, 2016

Direct detection of elusive thorium-229 isomer among "Physics World Top Ten Breakthroughs of the Year 2016"

The direct detection of the exotic isomeric state in thorium-229 at the LMU Munich, achieved in collaboration with our group, belongs to the IOP's "Physics World Top Ten Breakthroughs of the Year 2016" as identified according to their fundamental importance of research, significant advance in knowledge, strong connection between theory and experiment, and general interest to all physicists. The work lays a basis for next steps on the way to a potential future "nuclear clock" built upon the ground state transition of this isomeric state. Such a clock's precision might significantly surpass that of the best current timekeepers, the atomic clocks.

      Atomic Clock I
Graphical representation of a nuclear clock based on a transition in the atomic nucleus of thorium-229 (left). For the first time, electrons emitted in the deexcitation of the isomer into the ground state (top right) could be directly detected. The corresponding cut-out from the chart of nuclei, which tabulates all known atomic nuclei, is visible in the background. The thorium-229 ground state is listed with its half-life of 7932 years, while the now directly detected isomer with >60 s half-life.
Credit: Christoph Düllmann, JGU Mainz

The work, led by PD Dr. Peter Thirolf and Dr. Lars von der Wense from LMU, is published in the May 05 issue of Nature (see also accompanying "News & Views" feature by M. Safronova). Further information is available from the LMU Munich group, the NuClock consortium, and media releases from GSI and the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz that appeared when the paper was published.

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September 29, 2016

Nobelium in the limelight – Atom-at-a-time laser spectroscopy at SHIP gives first insight in heavy element's atomic structure

The analysis of atomic spectra is of fundamental importance for our understanding of atomic structures. Until now, researchers were unable to examine heavy elements with corresponding optical spectroscopy because these elements do not occur in nature and cannot be artificially created in weighable amounts. However, an international team of scientists and engineers led by Dr. Mustapha Laatiaoui (SHE physics department at GSI and HIM) and Prof. Michael Block (GSI, HIM and JGU Mainz) together with collaborators from our own department as well as several other research groups have now looked for the first time into the inner structure of heavy elements.

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Schematic of the experimental setup for the laser spectroscopic studies of No.
Figure: Mustapha Laatiaoui / GSI/HIM

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June 29, 2016
The chemistry is right not only in element 113: Helmholtz International Fellow Professor David Hinde from Australia is guest of GSI and HIM
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May 2016
TASCA16 workshop 

May 09, 2016
One step closer to the development of an ultra-precise nuclear clock
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December 2015
Special Issue on Superheavy Elements of Nuclear Pyhsics A

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