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Alpha particle condensation

Figure 1 : Alpha cluster and Hoyle state in the 12C nucleus

As far as alpha particle condensation goes, besides the work of the theory group in this field, we can note that the first experimental evidence of the “alpha particle condensate” nature of the Hoyle state of 12C has been put forward recently by the INDRA/FAZIA group. This first evidence is based on the detection of three equal-energy alpha particles (see Figure 2).

Figure 2 : First experimental evidence of the “alpha particle condensate” nature of the Hoyle state of 12C

The methodology can be summed up as follows :

  • use reactions with intermediate energies in order to produce excited nuclei candidates for high-speed alpha condensation, which facilitates their identification and the laboratory measurement of alpha particle energies,
  • use a high-granularity 4π multidetector (CHIMERA),
  • take advantage of the power of multi-particle correlation methods for characterising states and their de-excitation.

The medium-term programme is in the process of being developed ; it relies on theoretical calculations that predict condensate states for 12C (Hoyle state), 16O (6th 0+ state), and heavier nuclei such as 20Ne, 24Mg, etc.

 


 

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