On the way to unveiling the atomic structure of superheavy elements
1 Helmholtz-Institut Mainz, Staudinger Weg 18, 55128 Mainz, Germany
2 GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung GmbH, Planckstr. 1, 64291 Darmstadt, Germany
a e-mail: email@example.com
Published online: 1 December 2016
Optical spectroscopy of the transfermium elements (atomic number Z > 100) is nowadays one of the most fascinating and simultaneously challenging tasks in atomic physics. On the one hand, key atomic and even nuclear ground-state properties may be obtained by studying the spectral lines of these heaviest elements. On the other hand, these elements have to be produced “online” by heavy-ion induced fusion-evaporation reactions yielding rates on the order of a few atoms per second at most, which renders their optical spectroscopy extremely difficult. Only recently, a first foray of laser spectroscopy into this heaviest element region was reported. Several atomic transitions in the element nobelium (Z = 102) were observed and characterized, using an ultra-sensitive and highly efficient resonance ionization technique. The findings confirm the predictions and additionally provide a benchmark for theoretical modelling. The work represents an important stepping stone towards experimental studies of the atomic structure of superheavy elements.
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences 2016
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