New approaches to the study of shape coexistence

Lead Research Organisation: University of Manchester
Department Name: Physics and Astronomy

Abstract

100 years after the discovery of the atomic nucleus by Sir Ernest Rutherford at the University of Manchester, much is still left to research on the heart of matter. The nuclear landscape is vast, with 300 stable isotopes and 3000 known radioactive isotopes. Nuclear models predict that about as many are yet to be discovered. Those models are also used to predict the many properties of the most exotic nuclei, out of reach of the laboratory studies. Those nuclei are of great importance in stellar processes responsible for the creation of matter as we know it in the universe. However, models often disagree with one another and their predictions have to be asserted with experimental evidence. Of particular interest is the shape of the nucleus as its observation is independent of the model used in extracting the data. In this research proposal, we shall investigate the phenomenon of shape coexistence in the heavy isotopes around mercury, lead, polonium, and radon, where spherical and deformed shapes compete with one another at low energy. In order to gather the required information, we shall perform experiments at international rare ion beam facilities such as CERN-ISOLDE. The study of ground- and excited-state properties in exotic isotopes of polonium and radon shall highlight features of interest. Finally, technical developments towards new experimental techniques will be made with the Heidelberg Test Storage Ring (TSR) facility, for its implantation at CERN-ISOLDE.

Publications

10 25 50

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C Van Beveren (2016) a -decay study of ${}^{\mathrm{182,184}}$Tl in Journal of Physics G: Nuclear and Particle Physics

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Cocolios T (2017) A new perspective on charge radii around Z = 82 in Hyperfine Interactions

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Cocolios T (2013) The Collinear Resonance Ionization Spectroscopy (CRIS) experimental setup at CERN-ISOLDE in Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section B: Beam Interactions with Materials and Atoms

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Cocolios T (2016) High-resolution laser spectroscopy with the Collinear Resonance Ionisation Spectroscopy (CRIS) experiment at CERN-ISOLDE in Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section B: Beam Interactions with Materials and Atoms

 
Description Through this research, we have developed new tools to study the properties of radioactive nuclei, using solid state detectors and lasers. We have used those tools at CERN to study very exotic radioactive nuclei only produced in the laboratory, and have extracted several of their properties (e.g. lifetime, decay energies). By comparing those with theoretical models, we have been able to constrain the predictions of the models on radioactive nuclei that so exotic they cannot be produced in the laboratory, although we suspect that they are essential in the astrophysical processes responsible for nucleosynthesis (the process through which matters is produced in the universe).
Exploitation Route My findings have already been exploited by other researchers, either by theorists to challenge the nuclear models, or by other experimental teams to complement their research. Furthermore, recent technical advances in my research will provide input into the design of new facilities for the production of medical radioisotopes. Finally, the results presented can be used in the study of trace elements in natural sample, for geological or oceanographical studies, as well as in threat reduction and nuclear non-proliferation activities.
Sectors Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Education,Energy,Environment,Healthcare,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections,Pharmaceuticals and Medical Biotechnology,Security and Diplomacy,Other

URL http://personalpages.manchester.ac.uk/staff/thomas.cocolios/Website_perso/Home.html
 
Description My findings have contributed to further the understanding of the structure of matter. This has impact in the modelling of nucleosynthesis (the origin of matter in the universe) and also in the modelling of nuclear process for man-made activity (such as in the energy sector). New developments are additionally under way for medical applications of radioisotopes.
First Year Of Impact 2014
Sector Education,Energy,Healthcare,Pharmaceuticals and Medical Biotechnology,Other
Impact Types Cultural

 
Description IOP Nuclear Physics Group
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Membership of a guidance committee
URL http://www.iop.org/activity/groups/subject/np/
 
Description Royal Society Research Grant
Amount £13,000 (GBP)
Funding ID RG130726 
Organisation The Royal Society 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 03/2014 
End 02/2015
 
Description STFC Ernest Rutherford Research Grant
Amount £160,910 (GBP)
Funding ID ST/L002868/1 
Organisation Science and Technologies Facilities Council (STFC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 02/2014 
End 01/2017
 
Description CRIS 
Organisation European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN)
Department Engineering: Sources, Targets and Interactions (EN-STI)
Country Switzerland 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Manchester proposed the original idea, made the design and constructed the setup The Spokesperson is from Manchester My contribution is to be the convener for the Decay Spectroscopy programme I am directly contributing a full-time PhD student with minimum 1 year LTA and some equipment
Collaborator Contribution Additional equipment (e.g. lasers) and manpower
Impact Scientific publications
Start Year 2008
 
Description CRIS 
Organisation European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN)
Department ISOLDE Radioactive Ion Beam Facility
Country Switzerland 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Manchester proposed the original idea, made the design and constructed the setup The Spokesperson is from Manchester My contribution is to be the convener for the Decay Spectroscopy programme I am directly contributing a full-time PhD student with minimum 1 year LTA and some equipment
Collaborator Contribution Additional equipment (e.g. lasers) and manpower
Impact Scientific publications
Start Year 2008
 
Description CRIS 
Organisation IPN Orsay - Nuclear structure
Country France 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Manchester proposed the original idea, made the design and constructed the setup The Spokesperson is from Manchester My contribution is to be the convener for the Decay Spectroscopy programme I am directly contributing a full-time PhD student with minimum 1 year LTA and some equipment
Collaborator Contribution Additional equipment (e.g. lasers) and manpower
Impact Scientific publications
Start Year 2008
 
Description CRIS 
Organisation Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz
Department LARISSA
Country Germany 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Manchester proposed the original idea, made the design and constructed the setup The Spokesperson is from Manchester My contribution is to be the convener for the Decay Spectroscopy programme I am directly contributing a full-time PhD student with minimum 1 year LTA and some equipment
Collaborator Contribution Additional equipment (e.g. lasers) and manpower
Impact Scientific publications
Start Year 2008
 
Description CRIS 
Organisation University of Leuven
Department Institute for Nuclear and Radiation Physics
Country Belgium 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Manchester proposed the original idea, made the design and constructed the setup The Spokesperson is from Manchester My contribution is to be the convener for the Decay Spectroscopy programme I am directly contributing a full-time PhD student with minimum 1 year LTA and some equipment
Collaborator Contribution Additional equipment (e.g. lasers) and manpower
Impact Scientific publications
Start Year 2008
 
Description ISOLTRAP 
Organisation European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN)
Department ISOLDE Radioactive Ion Beam Facility
Country Switzerland 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Convener for the Tape Station programme New decay spectroscopy setup for alpha decay 1 full-time PhD student including minimum 1 year LTA
Collaborator Contribution Full experimental setup Full operation support
Impact Scientific publications on my research themes Extended collaboration with other partners at ISOLDE
Start Year 2010
 
Description ISOLTRAP 
Organisation Gesellschaft für Schwerionenforschung
Country Germany 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Convener for the Tape Station programme New decay spectroscopy setup for alpha decay 1 full-time PhD student including minimum 1 year LTA
Collaborator Contribution Full experimental setup Full operation support
Impact Scientific publications on my research themes Extended collaboration with other partners at ISOLDE
Start Year 2010
 
Description ISOLTRAP 
Organisation Istanbul University
Department Department of Physics
Country Turkey 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Convener for the Tape Station programme New decay spectroscopy setup for alpha decay 1 full-time PhD student including minimum 1 year LTA
Collaborator Contribution Full experimental setup Full operation support
Impact Scientific publications on my research themes Extended collaboration with other partners at ISOLDE
Start Year 2010
 
Description ISOLTRAP 
Organisation Max Planck Society
Department Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics
Country Germany 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Convener for the Tape Station programme New decay spectroscopy setup for alpha decay 1 full-time PhD student including minimum 1 year LTA
Collaborator Contribution Full experimental setup Full operation support
Impact Scientific publications on my research themes Extended collaboration with other partners at ISOLDE
Start Year 2010
 
Description ISOLTRAP 
Organisation National Center for Scientific Research (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique CNRS)
Department Centre for Nuclear Sciences and Material Sciences (CSNSM)
Country France 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Convener for the Tape Station programme New decay spectroscopy setup for alpha decay 1 full-time PhD student including minimum 1 year LTA
Collaborator Contribution Full experimental setup Full operation support
Impact Scientific publications on my research themes Extended collaboration with other partners at ISOLDE
Start Year 2010
 
Description ISOLTRAP 
Organisation Technical University of Dresden
Department Institute of Nuclear and Particle Physics
Country Germany 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Convener for the Tape Station programme New decay spectroscopy setup for alpha decay 1 full-time PhD student including minimum 1 year LTA
Collaborator Contribution Full experimental setup Full operation support
Impact Scientific publications on my research themes Extended collaboration with other partners at ISOLDE
Start Year 2010
 
Description ISOLTRAP 
Organisation University of Greifswald
Department Institute of Physics
Country Germany 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Convener for the Tape Station programme New decay spectroscopy setup for alpha decay 1 full-time PhD student including minimum 1 year LTA
Collaborator Contribution Full experimental setup Full operation support
Impact Scientific publications on my research themes Extended collaboration with other partners at ISOLDE
Start Year 2010
 
Description MEDICIS 
Organisation European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN)
Department CERN - Other
Country Switzerland 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We have studied the impact of the predicted collections at the CERN MEDICIS facility on the radiation levels in the experimental area. Suggestions on a series of collection chambers have been made. Partnership between CERN MEDICIS and The Christie have been explored. Links between CERN MEDICIS and The National Physical Laboratory have been initiated.
Collaborator Contribution CERN MEDICIS is building the facility. KU Leuven will provide an essential piece of equipment (dipole magnet). The National Physical Laboratory will study Good Manufacturing Practices. The Christie will be an end user of the isotopes produced at CERN MEDICIS.
Impact An NTEC Master Thesis has been produced on this subject. The partnership between NPL and CERN MEDICIS has been cemented, resulting in a tangible lasting involvement of the UK in this international collaboration. An experimental programme involving CERN MEDICIS and The Christie has been cemented with the submission of a Letter of Intent to the CERN ISOLDE & nToF Committee (INTC) for the award of beam time at CERN. The final aim of this collaboration is use the general progress from fundamental nuclear research towards medical applications with radioisotopes.
Start Year 2015
 
Description MEDICIS 
Organisation National Physical Laboratory
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We have studied the impact of the predicted collections at the CERN MEDICIS facility on the radiation levels in the experimental area. Suggestions on a series of collection chambers have been made. Partnership between CERN MEDICIS and The Christie have been explored. Links between CERN MEDICIS and The National Physical Laboratory have been initiated.
Collaborator Contribution CERN MEDICIS is building the facility. KU Leuven will provide an essential piece of equipment (dipole magnet). The National Physical Laboratory will study Good Manufacturing Practices. The Christie will be an end user of the isotopes produced at CERN MEDICIS.
Impact An NTEC Master Thesis has been produced on this subject. The partnership between NPL and CERN MEDICIS has been cemented, resulting in a tangible lasting involvement of the UK in this international collaboration. An experimental programme involving CERN MEDICIS and The Christie has been cemented with the submission of a Letter of Intent to the CERN ISOLDE & nToF Committee (INTC) for the award of beam time at CERN. The final aim of this collaboration is use the general progress from fundamental nuclear research towards medical applications with radioisotopes.
Start Year 2015
 
Description MEDICIS 
Organisation The Christie NHS Foundation Trust
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution We have studied the impact of the predicted collections at the CERN MEDICIS facility on the radiation levels in the experimental area. Suggestions on a series of collection chambers have been made. Partnership between CERN MEDICIS and The Christie have been explored. Links between CERN MEDICIS and The National Physical Laboratory have been initiated.
Collaborator Contribution CERN MEDICIS is building the facility. KU Leuven will provide an essential piece of equipment (dipole magnet). The National Physical Laboratory will study Good Manufacturing Practices. The Christie will be an end user of the isotopes produced at CERN MEDICIS.
Impact An NTEC Master Thesis has been produced on this subject. The partnership between NPL and CERN MEDICIS has been cemented, resulting in a tangible lasting involvement of the UK in this international collaboration. An experimental programme involving CERN MEDICIS and The Christie has been cemented with the submission of a Letter of Intent to the CERN ISOLDE & nToF Committee (INTC) for the award of beam time at CERN. The final aim of this collaboration is use the general progress from fundamental nuclear research towards medical applications with radioisotopes.
Start Year 2015
 
Description MEDICIS 
Organisation University of Leuven
Department Institute for Nuclear and Radiation Physics
Country Belgium 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We have studied the impact of the predicted collections at the CERN MEDICIS facility on the radiation levels in the experimental area. Suggestions on a series of collection chambers have been made. Partnership between CERN MEDICIS and The Christie have been explored. Links between CERN MEDICIS and The National Physical Laboratory have been initiated.
Collaborator Contribution CERN MEDICIS is building the facility. KU Leuven will provide an essential piece of equipment (dipole magnet). The National Physical Laboratory will study Good Manufacturing Practices. The Christie will be an end user of the isotopes produced at CERN MEDICIS.
Impact An NTEC Master Thesis has been produced on this subject. The partnership between NPL and CERN MEDICIS has been cemented, resulting in a tangible lasting involvement of the UK in this international collaboration. An experimental programme involving CERN MEDICIS and The Christie has been cemented with the submission of a Letter of Intent to the CERN ISOLDE & nToF Committee (INTC) for the award of beam time at CERN. The final aim of this collaboration is use the general progress from fundamental nuclear research towards medical applications with radioisotopes.
Start Year 2015
 
Description Windmill 
Organisation Belgian Nuclear Research Centre
Department ISOL@MYRRHA
Country Belgium 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Responsible for the integration of the alpha-detection setup at ISOLDE. Principal Investigator on 50% of the research programme. Operational support.
Collaborator Contribution Experimental setup (detectors, lasers)
Impact High-impact scientific publications New beams at ISOLDE for other research programmes (e.g. polonium, astatine)
 
Description Windmill 
Organisation Comenius University in Bratislava
Department Department of Nuclear Physics and Biophysics
Country Slovakia 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Responsible for the integration of the alpha-detection setup at ISOLDE. Principal Investigator on 50% of the research programme. Operational support.
Collaborator Contribution Experimental setup (detectors, lasers)
Impact High-impact scientific publications New beams at ISOLDE for other research programmes (e.g. polonium, astatine)
 
Description Windmill 
Organisation European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN)
Department Engineering: Sources, Targets and Interactions (EN-STI)
Country Switzerland 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Responsible for the integration of the alpha-detection setup at ISOLDE. Principal Investigator on 50% of the research programme. Operational support.
Collaborator Contribution Experimental setup (detectors, lasers)
Impact High-impact scientific publications New beams at ISOLDE for other research programmes (e.g. polonium, astatine)
 
Description Windmill 
Organisation European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN)
Department ISOLDE Radioactive Ion Beam Facility
Country Switzerland 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Responsible for the integration of the alpha-detection setup at ISOLDE. Principal Investigator on 50% of the research programme. Operational support.
Collaborator Contribution Experimental setup (detectors, lasers)
Impact High-impact scientific publications New beams at ISOLDE for other research programmes (e.g. polonium, astatine)
 
Description Windmill 
Organisation Friedrich Schiller University Jena (FSU)
Country Germany 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Responsible for the integration of the alpha-detection setup at ISOLDE. Principal Investigator on 50% of the research programme. Operational support.
Collaborator Contribution Experimental setup (detectors, lasers)
Impact High-impact scientific publications New beams at ISOLDE for other research programmes (e.g. polonium, astatine)
 
Description Windmill 
Organisation IPN Orsay - Nuclear structure
Country France 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Responsible for the integration of the alpha-detection setup at ISOLDE. Principal Investigator on 50% of the research programme. Operational support.
Collaborator Contribution Experimental setup (detectors, lasers)
Impact High-impact scientific publications New beams at ISOLDE for other research programmes (e.g. polonium, astatine)
 
Description Windmill 
Organisation Joint Institute of Nuclear Research
Country Russian Federation 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Responsible for the integration of the alpha-detection setup at ISOLDE. Principal Investigator on 50% of the research programme. Operational support.
Collaborator Contribution Experimental setup (detectors, lasers)
Impact High-impact scientific publications New beams at ISOLDE for other research programmes (e.g. polonium, astatine)
 
Description Windmill 
Organisation Lohengrin (Institut Laue-Langevin)
Country France 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Responsible for the integration of the alpha-detection setup at ISOLDE. Principal Investigator on 50% of the research programme. Operational support.
Collaborator Contribution Experimental setup (detectors, lasers)
Impact High-impact scientific publications New beams at ISOLDE for other research programmes (e.g. polonium, astatine)
 
Description Windmill 
Organisation Petersburg Nuclear Physics Institute (PNPI)
Country Russian Federation 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Responsible for the integration of the alpha-detection setup at ISOLDE. Principal Investigator on 50% of the research programme. Operational support.
Collaborator Contribution Experimental setup (detectors, lasers)
Impact High-impact scientific publications New beams at ISOLDE for other research programmes (e.g. polonium, astatine)
 
Description Windmill 
Organisation Slovak Academy of Sciences
Country Slovakia 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Responsible for the integration of the alpha-detection setup at ISOLDE. Principal Investigator on 50% of the research programme. Operational support.
Collaborator Contribution Experimental setup (detectors, lasers)
Impact High-impact scientific publications New beams at ISOLDE for other research programmes (e.g. polonium, astatine)
 
Description Windmill 
Organisation University of Leuven
Department Nuclear Spectroscopy Group
Country Belgium 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Responsible for the integration of the alpha-detection setup at ISOLDE. Principal Investigator on 50% of the research programme. Operational support.
Collaborator Contribution Experimental setup (detectors, lasers)
Impact High-impact scientific publications New beams at ISOLDE for other research programmes (e.g. polonium, astatine)
 
Description Windmill 
Organisation University of York
Department Department of Physics
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Responsible for the integration of the alpha-detection setup at ISOLDE. Principal Investigator on 50% of the research programme. Operational support.
Collaborator Contribution Experimental setup (detectors, lasers)
Impact High-impact scientific publications New beams at ISOLDE for other research programmes (e.g. polonium, astatine)
 
Description Hangout with CERN on pear-shaped nuclei and astatine 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Type Of Presentation Keynote/Invited Speaker
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact 1,000 people watched the webcast live, ~10,000 watched it since

The interest for the activities at ISOLDE was deemed so high that the following episode was dedicated to ISOLDE as well.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
URL https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x8Jdu9O2RhU
 
Description I'm a scientist, get me out of here! 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Several hundreds students got the opportunity to ask questions directly through live chat sessions and offline about science and life as a scientist.

A very positive response was received from the students who might in return seriously consider studying science.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL http://imascientist.org.uk
 
Description India-UK workshop on physics at ISOLDE 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Type Of Presentation Keynote/Invited Speaker
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Participants in your research and patient groups
Results and Impact 20 Indian participants and 5 UK participants exchanged on various topics of interest for ISOLDE. Ideas have been expressed to collaborate on similar projects that will be followed up in meetings and travels to India later this year.
I presented specifically on the themes of laser spectroscopy and mass spectrometry at ISOLDE and led the forum on atomic techniques for nuclear spectroscopy.

Prof Jon Billowes has been invited to BARC in May to discuss the details of a possible collaboration on the laser spectroscopy research.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description LEGO Mindstorm workshops 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact As of end February 2016, 6 schools workshops delivered by physics undergraduates have engaged ~120 secondary school pupils under age 14 in explaining the nuclear research being carried out at CERN and teaching basic programming, in the context of challenging pupils to complete a task with a Lego Mindstorms robot.
Follow-up comment emailed by a parent: "[My child] really enjoyed the STEM activity. He had a real excitement about the event both leading up to it and afterwards. I think he particularly enjoyed the fact that they had some independence on their project, with support from the STEM team. He also really appreciated how science can be used in the workplace, how it can be a career and the sort of areas it can impact on."
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015,2016
 
Description Official CERN tour guide 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Type Of Presentation Keynote/Invited Speaker
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Groups of students and members of the general public frequently visit CERN (>100,000 visitors per year). When they request to visit ISOLDE, we offer introduction lectures and guided tours of the facility. Those happen weekly and the duty is shared between the members of the group present at CERN on those occasions.

Some participants to those visits as physics undergraduate students have since decided to continue their research in nuclear physics with a specific request to work with our group at ISOLDE.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2010,2011,2012,2013,2014,2015
URL http://outreach.web.cern.ch/outreach/
 
Description Ogden Trust Physicist of the Year Award Lecture 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact 26 students were presented with an award and made Fellows of the Ogden Trust, giving them access to the Ogden Trust networking and scholarships in physics. The students and their families attended the lecture and made contact with me afterwards.

One student obtained on that occasion a summer placement at The University of Manchester, School of Physics & Astronomy.
All students are now eligible for scholarships to study Physics at university.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL http://www.ogdentrust.com/about-us/news/post/1217-awards-season
 
Description Random Walk in Physics 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact 30 3rd-year undergraduate students attended the lecture and interacted with me afterwards.

2 students requested specifically to perform their summer internship within the Nuclear Physics Group.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description STFC Career event 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Presentation to doctoral students about the path to academic research an on how to best position oneself towards success in academia.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015