Description: Models exist that ascribe the nuclear magnetic fields to the presence of a single nucleon whose spin is not neutralized by pairing it up with that of another nucleon; other models assume that the generation of the magnetic field is shared among some or all nucleons throughout the nucleus. All models predict the same magnetic field external to the nucleus since this is an anchor provided by experiments. The models differ, however, in their predictions of the magnetic field arrangement within the nucleus for which no data exist. The only way to distinguish which model gives the correct description of the nucleus would be to use a probe inserted into the nucleus. The goal of our project was to develop exactly such a probe and to use it to measure fundamental nuclear quantities that have eluded experimental scrutiny. The need for accurately knowing such quantities extends far beyond nuclear physics and has ramifications in parity violation experiments on atomic traps and the testing of the standard model in elementary particle physics. Unlike scattering experiments that employ streams of free particles, our technique to probe the internal magnetic field distribution of the nucleus rests on using a single bound electron. Quantum mechanics shows that an electron in the innermost orbital surrounding the nucleus constantly dives into the nucleus and thus samples the fields that exist inside. This sampling of the nucleus usually results in only minute shifts in the electron� s average orbital, which would be difficult to detect. By studying two particular energy states of the electron, we can, however, dramatically enhance the effects of the distribution of the magnetic fields in the nucleus. In fact about 2% of the energy difference between the two states, dubbed the hyperfine splitting, is determined by the effects related to the distribution of ...
Date: February 26, 1999
Creator: Beirsdorfer, P; Crespo-Lopez-Urrutia, J R & Utter, S B
Item Type: Refine your search to only Report
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