New angles on competitive γγ/γ-decay in 137Ba

P.-A. Söderström, L. Capponi, E. Açıksöz, T. Otsuka, N. Tsoneva, Y. Tsunoda, D. L. Balabanski, N. Pietralla, G. L. Guardo, D. Lattuada, H. Lenske, C. Matei, D. Nichita, A. Pappalardo & T. Petruse

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Jan 03, 2020
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Received Date: 8th December 19

A significant experimental and theoretical research program is ongoing worldwide on second-order nuclear transitions, recently triggered by the observation of the competitive two-photon decay in 137Ba. Here we unambiguously confirm this discovery with an improved value on the double-photon versus single-photon branching ratio as 2.62(30) × 10-6. Our results, now covering a larger angular range, contradict conclusions from the discovery experiment, where the decay was interpreted to be dominated by a quadrupole-quadrupole component. Here, we find a substantial enhancement in the energy distribution consistent with a dominating octupole-dipole character and a rather small quadrupole-quadrupole element in the decay. We investigate these results in terms of both the quasiparticle phonon model built on energy-density functionals and the Monte Carlo shell model. We find that both these approaches give a consistent and satisfactory reproduction of the octupole-dipole coupling, while to explain the small quadrupole-quadrupole contribution an evolution of the internal nuclear structure with increasing valence protons relative to the magic tin chain is needed. This type of decay is sensitive both to details regarding spectral structures originating from high-energy electromagnetic strength as well as changes in internal nuclear structure at low excitation energy. Thus, this type of process is simultaneously sensitive to traditionally separated phenomena of nuclear structure physics and have an important impact on nuclear structure research by high precision spectroscopy.

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