Thursday, 19 March 2020

Nuclear Fission Dynamics in our Frontiers special topic

The next article published in our special topic on advances in time-dependent methods in nuclear structure and reactions in Frotiers in Physics is "Nuclear Fission Dynamics: Past, Present, Needs, and Future" by Aurel Bulgac, Jin Shi, and Ionel Stetcu.  The reference is Front. Phys. 8, 63 (2020) doi:10.3389/fphy.2020.00063.

It's a broad-ranging discussion of how the process of fission works from a microsopic point of view (microscopic meaning at the level of individual nucleons and their quantum wave functions).  The take home message is that the adiabatic approximation that is frequently applied does not work for the last stages of fission where the rearragement of the nuclear shape is too fast for the nucleus to continuously relax into the ground state associated with its instantaneous shape.  

There are lots of nice figures included which makes it easy for me to include one in the blog post.  This is part of their Figure 7 showing a typical density plot of the point in the fission process in which the nucleus (in this case fermium-258) splits into two.  One sees the importance of not assuming spatial symmetry, which is an approximation often made.

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