Scientists have recently delved into the realm of neutron transfer within weakly bound nuclei. These endeavors have shed light on the intricacies of the one-neutron stripping process, particularly in interactions involving lithium-6 and bismuth-209. The research, executed at Legnaro National Laboratory, has been documented in the journal Nuclear Science and Techniques.

Contrary to initial assumptions, the outcomes of the one-neutron transfer process have proven to be comparable to those observed in full fusion reactions, especially in energy zones near nuclear barriers. This discovery has pointed to the dominance of the one-neutron transfer mechanism at lower energies, surpassing the output of fusion reactions. These surprising results challenge previous convictions and underline the significance of such processes in nuclear interactions.

The investigation builds upon years of exploration into the behaviors of weakly bound nuclei like lithium-6 when they encounter heavier counterparts. The fragile structure of lithium-6 renders it susceptible to fragmentation and involvement in intricate reaction pathways. The study’s findings demonstrate that even as energy levels decrease, the influence of these reactions remains substantial, offering fresh insights into the dynamics of nuclear interactions across different scenarios.

Utilizing the sophisticated GALILEO Array in conjunction with the 4π Si-ball EUCLIDES, researchers performed extensive spectroscopic analyses to monitor and characterize the reactions. The gamma-gamma coincidence method played a pivotal role in discerning specific reaction channels, enabling the team to pinpoint the behaviors of nuclei under diverse circumstances with remarkable precision.

Lead author J. Lubian expressed, “By gaining a deeper comprehension of nuclei behaviors in such conditions, we can refine our methodologies in nuclear energy production and radiation therapy.” This study sets the stage for prospective applications in medical physics and energy research, where a profound understanding of nuclear processes holds paramount importance. The exploration of the one-neutron stripping process serves as a testament to the complex and nuanced nature of nuclear reactions, opening doors to potential breakthroughs in the realm of nuclear science and technology.


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