Atom's core gets pear-shaped

Tapering asymmetry of some nuclei confirms predictions

By Andrew Grant, 12:58 PM May 8, 2013

Atomic nuclei come in many shapes and sizes, and scientists have now obtained precise measurements of an elusive form: pear-shaped. Studying these exotic nuclei, which are described in the May 9 Nature, could allow physicists to better understand subatomic structure and to find new particles and forces.

“It’s a beautiful, clear-cut result of a very careful experiment,” says Christopher Lister, a physicist at the University of Massachusetts in Lowell.

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