The limits of the nuclear chart set by fission and alpha decay
Abstract
I will review how our picture of heavyelement nuclear structure has evolved through remarkably simple ideas and related models. It is well known that the BetheWeizsäcker semiempirical mass model had an important role in unraveling radioactive decay and element transmutation in the heavyelement region in the 1930s. A remarkable aspect is that this model could immediately after the discovery of fission be generalized to explain this phenomenon through the consideration of deformation of a charged liquid drop. Bethe and Bacher already raised the possibility that shell structure (by them calculated in terms of a singleparticle oscillator potential) could give rise to noticeable deviations between results of the macroscopic mass model and experiment but limited data prevented firm conclusions. In the 1950s the singleparticle models took a realistic form and also included deformation. The possibility of the existence of a relatively stable "island" of superheavy elements was raised already then. But it was not until the work by Strutinsky in the mid 1960s that a quantitative model for the nuclear potentialenergy emerged in the form of the macroscopicmicroscopic model. Although new elements have been discovered at an almost steady pace since 1940, theory indicates that we are close to the end of this era: repulsive Coulomb effects will set the limit of observable elements to near Z = 120.
 Publication:

European Physical Journal Web of Conferences
 Pub Date:
 December 2016
 DOI:
 10.1051/epjconf/201613103002
 Bibcode:
 2016EPJWC.13103002M