Nuclear “nodules” will help to reveal the mystery of atoms

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Nodular structures called skyrmions can help scientists unravel the inner workings of atomic nuclei. Skyrmion is a tiny perturbation in matter, swirling pattern similar to the knot that is difficult to unravel. In the 1960s, nuclear physicist Tony Skirm suggested that such structures could represent protons and neutrons in the nucleus in theoretical calculations. But despite the beauty of the idea, it stalled. In particular, Sirmione calculations were given of the deformed nucleus.

But now scientists have improved their calculations of how protons and neutrons should be grouped together in the film skyrmion. These results are consistent with expectations based on experimental data and have been published in the Physical Review Letters.

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Here is the essence of the idea: inside the core particles called “peonies” constantly scurrying back and forth, helping to keep the core together. Just as an electron has an electric field capable of pushing other particles, peonies have their fields. In the original picture Skyrme protons and neutrons can be described as curvature in the pion — skyrmions — like nodules into which are folded strings.

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skyrmion2-650x371 Science  Nuclear "nodules" will help to reveal the mystery of atoms

In fact, protons and neutrons are composed of smaller subatomic particles — quarks and gluons — and the fundamental theory describing the interaction of these particles, quantum chromodynamics, is incredibly complex. Skyrmions could simplify calculations-if only they gave correct answers.

Physicists from the University of Durham in England solved some problems of skyrmions, exploring the atomic nuclei of carbon-12. New results are approaching “physically meaningful”. After all, such calculations can help scientists study the amazing properties of some nuclei. An example is carbon-14, a radioactive variant of carbon that can be used to date ancient artifacts.


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