Decades ago, a mystery in the field of nuclear physics emerged. Scientists began to wonder why the Universe is made of the specific elements we see around us, and not from other stuff. They also have undergone challenges when examining the physical processes capable of creating heavy space elements, such as platinum, gold, and uranium.
As more questions raised over time, scientists from the US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Lab decided to team up and explore all the possibilities. The team conducted an international nuclear physics experiment.
They relied upon the European Organization for Nuclear Research, which uses new procedures developed at Argonne to explore the origin and nature of heavy elements in the Universe. Their research might shed light on the methods that work together to make the rare nuclei.
The Origin and the Nature of Heavy Space Elements Explored
The team of scientists concentrated on the mercury isotope 207Hg. To study the isotope’s structure, they utilized the HIE-ISOLDE facility at CERN in Geneva. A high-energy emission of protons was shot at a heated lead goal, with the resulting crashings developing hundreds of od radioactive and rare isotopes.
Then they divided the 206Hg nuclei from the other particles and utilized CERN’s HIE-ISOLDE accelerator to produce an emission of the nuclei with the most powerful energy ever reached. No other facility could have provided such emissions of that mass and accelerate them to reach those energies. Ben Kay, an Argonne physicist, explained: “Coupled with the outstanding resolving power of the ISS, allowed us to observe the spectrum of excited states in 207Hg for the first time.”
The first examinations of the information from the CERN research confirm the theoretical forecasts of current nuclear variants. The team intends to research other nuclei in the field of 207Hg utilizing these new results on the heavy space elements.