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July 23, 2018 at 12:44 pm

Science Magazine Quotes Phillips on Heaviest Calcium Nuclei Ever Seen

Dr. Daniel Phillips, portrait

Dr. Daniel Phillips

Dr. Daniel Phillips, Professor of Physics & Astronomy and Director of the Institute of Nuclear and Particle Physics, was quoted in an article headlined “How many neutrons can you cram into an atom? More than physicists thought” in Science magazine.

Physicists in Japan have blasted out the heaviest calcium nuclei ever seen—each containing the 20 protons needed to make the element, but with a huge number—40—of neutrons. That’s twice as many neutrons as in calcium’s most common form, and a couple more than the previous record. The finding suggests it may be possible to cram even more neutrons into nuclei than previously thought, and it could have implications for the theory of neutron stars.

“This is indeed an important and interesting finding,” says Daniel Phillips, a theoretical nuclear physicist at Ohio University in Athens. Physicists’ models of nuclear structure are tuned to more common nuclei with roughly equal numbers of protons and neutrons, he says, and scientists need to know how much those theories err as they extrapolate them to nuclei with more lopsided ratios of protons and neutrons….

Read more in Science magazine.

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