The observation of vibrating pear-shapes in radon nuclei

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There is a large body of evidence that atomic nuclei can undergo octupole distortion and assume the shape of a pear. This phenomenon is important for measurements of electric-dipole moments of atoms, which would indicate CP violation and hence probe physics beyond the Standard Model of particle physics. Isotopes of both radon and radium have been identified as candidates for such measurements. Here, we observed the low-lying quantum states in 224Rn and 226Rn by accelerating beams of these radioactive nuclei. We show that radon isotopes undergo octupole vibrations but do not possess static pear-shapes in their ground states. We conclude that radon atoms provide less favourable conditions for the enhancement of a measurable atomic electric-dipole moment.


  • P. A. Butler
  • L. P. Gaffney
  • P. Spagnoletti
  • J. Konki
  • M. Scheck
  • J. F. Smith
  • K. Abrahams
  • M. Bowry
  • T. Chupp
  • G. de Angelis
  • H. De Witte
  • P. E. Garrett
  • A. Goldkuhle
  • C. Henrich
  • A. Illana
  • K. Johnston
  • D. T. Joss
  • J. M. Keatings
  • N. A. Kelly
  • M. Komorowska
  • T. Kröll
  • M. Lozano
  • B. S. Nara Singh
  • D. O’Donnell
  • J. Ojala
  • R. D. Page
  • L. G. Pedersen
  • C. Raison
  • P. Reiter
  • J. A. Rodriguez
  • D. Rosiak
  • S. Rothe
  • T. M. Shneidman
  • B. Siebeck
  • M. Seidlitz
  • J. Sinclair
  • M. Stryjczyk
  • P. Van Duppen
  • S. Vinals
  • V. Virtanen
  • N. Warr
  • K. Wrzosek-Lipska
  • M. Zielinska
Enheter & grupper
Externa organisationer
  • University of Liverpool
  • CERN
  • University of the West of Scotland
  • University of the Western Cape
  • University of Michigan
  • Laboratori Nazionali di Legnaro
  • Catholic University of Leuven
  • University of Guelph
  • University of Cologne
  • Technical University of Darmstadt
  • University of Warsaw
  • University of Jyväskylä
  • Helsinki Institute of Physics
  • University of Oslo
  • University of York
  • Joint Institute for Nuclear Research
  • CSIC Spanish National Research Council
  • University of Paris-Saclay

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ) – OBLIGATORISK

  • Acceleratorfysik och instrumentering
TidskriftNature Communications
StatusPublished - 2019 dec 1
Peer review utfördJa