Nuclear “knots” will help to solve the mystery of atoms

Nodular structures called Sirmione, can help scientists unravel the inner workings of atomic nuclei. Skyrmion is a tiny perturbation in matter, swirling pattern similar to the knot that is difficult to unravel. In the 1960-ies of the nuclear physicist Tony Squirm suggested that such structures can represent the protons and neutrons in the nucleus into theoretical calculations. But despite the beauty of the concept, it did. In particular, Sirmione calculations were given of the deformed nucleus.

But now scientists have improved their calculations of how protons and neutrons should be grouped together in the film skyrmion. These results are consistent with expectations based on experimental data, and was published in Physical Review Letters.


Here’s the idea: inside the nucleus particles called “pions” are constantly scurrying to and fro, helping to hold the nucleus together. Just as the electron has an electric field, is able to push the other particles, pions have their field. In the original picture Skyrme protons and neutrons can be described as curvature in the pion — skyrmions — like nodules into which are folded strings.

In fact, protons and neutrons are composed of smaller subatomic particles — quarks and gluons — the fundamental theory describing the interaction of these particles, quantum chromodynamics, is incredibly complex. Skyrmions could simplify the calculations — if only to give correct answers.

Physics from Durham University in England decided some problems of the skyrmions, exploring the atomic nucleus of carbon-12. The new results approach the “physically meaningful”. In the end, such calculations could help scientists explore the amazing properties of some nuclei. An example is carbon-14, a radioactive variant of carbon that can be used for Dating ancient artifacts.

To discuss the work in our chat in Telegram.

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