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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Odd-Z Transactinide Compound Nucleus Reactions Including the Discovery of 260Bh

  • Author(s): Nelson, Sarah L
  • et al.

Several reactions producing odd-Z transactinide compound nuclei were studied with the 88-Inch Cyclotron and the Berkeley Gas-Filled Separator at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. The goal was to produce the same compound nucleus at or near the same excitation energy with similar values of angular momentum via different nuclear reactions. In doing so, it can be determined if there is a preference in entrance channel, because under these experimental conditions the survival portion of Swiatecki, Siwek-Wilcznska, and Wilczynski's "Fusion By Diffusion" model is nearly identical for the two reactions. Additionally, because the same compound nucleus is produced, the exit channel is the same. Four compound nuclei were examined in this study: 258Db, 262Bh, 266Mt, and 272Rg. These nuclei were produced by using very similar heavy-ion induced-fusion reactions which differ only by one proton in the projectile or target nucleus (e.g.: 50Ti + 209Bi vs. 51V + 208Pb). Peak 1n exit channel cross sections were determined for each reaction in each pair, and three of the four pairs' cross sections were identical within statistical uncertainties. This indicates there is not an obvious preference of entrance channel in these paired reactions. Charge equilibration immediately prior to fusion leading to a decreased fusion barrier is the likely cause of this phenomenon. In addition to this systematic study, the lightest isotope of element 107, bohrium, was discovered in the 209Bi(52Cr,n) reaction. 260Bh was found to decay by emission of a 10.16 MeV alpha particle with a half-life of 35 ms. The cross section is 59 pb at an excitation energy of 15.0 MeV. The effect of the N = 152 shell is also seen in this isotope's alpha particle energy, the first evidence of such an effect in Bh. All reactions studied are also compared to model predictions by Swiatecki, Siwek-Wilcznska, and Wilczynski's "Fusion By Diffusion" theory.

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