Nuclear physicists from Subatech have participated in an international research collaboration to show how the spin of two fragments from the fission of an atomic nucleus is generated.

A series of experiments at the ALTO accelerator at the IJC lab in Orsay revealed that fragments from nuclear fission obtain their intrinsic angular momentum (or spin) after fission, and not before as was previously widely assumed. This result was made possible by the 'nu-ball' collaboration, an international group of nuclear physicists whose aim is to study the structure of many nuclei. This group includes researchers from 37 institutes and 16 countries, among them members of Subatech, and is led by the Irène-Joliot-Curie laboratory in Orsay. The results are presented in the new Nature publication entitled 'Angular momentum generation in nuclear fission'.

Not only do these results provide new insight into the role of angular momentum in the fission mechanism, but they also have implications for other fields of research such as the study of the structure of neutron-rich nuclei, the synthesis of superheavy elements, and applications such as the residual power of nuclear reactors.

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