Neutron and weak-charge distributions of the 48Ca nucleus

G. Hagen*, A. Ekström, C. Forssén, G. R. Jansen, W. Nazarewicz, T. Papenbrock, K. A. Wendt, S. Bacca, N. Barnea, B. Carlsson, C. Drischler, K. Hebeler, M. Hjorth-Jensen, M. Miorelli, G. Orlandini, A. Schwenk, J. Simonis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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What is the size of the atomic nucleus? This deceivably simple question is difficult to answer. Although the electric charge distributions in atomic nuclei were measured accurately already half a century ago, our knowledge of the distribution of neutrons is still deficient. In addition to constraining the size of atomic nuclei, the neutron distribution also impacts the number of nuclei that can exist and the size of neutron stars. We present an ab initio calculation of the neutron distribution of the neutron-rich nucleus 48 Ca. We show that the neutron skin (difference between the radii of the neutron and proton distributions) is significantly smaller than previously thought. We also make predictions for the electric dipole polarizability and the weak form factor; both quantities that are at present targeted by precision measurements. Based on ab initio results for 48 Ca, we provide a constraint on the size of a neutron star.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)186-190
Number of pages5
JournalNature Physics
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2 Feb 2016

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