Towards Laser Spectroscopy of Superheavy Elements

  • H. BackeEmail author
Part of the FIAS Interdisciplinary Science Series book series (FIAS)


The sensitivity of laser spectroscopic methods has been increased over the past two decades dramatically so that today the spectroscopy of superheavy elements appears on the horizon as a realistic option. For elements with Z > 100 no experimental atomic or ionic level structure information is known so far. These elements cannot be bread in high flux nuclear power reactors via successive neutron capture and \(\beta ^-\) decay but must be produced in accelerator-based nuclear fusion-evaporation reactions. Laser spectroscopic investigations at low rates take advantage of the storage of ions or atoms in rare gas traps. A first successful experiment was conducted only recently for the element nobelium with the atomic number Z = 102 behind the velocity filter SHIP at GSI in Darmstadt, Germany, applying the RAdioactive decay Detected Resonance Ionization Spectroscopy (RADRIS) method. The discovery of the \(7s^2~^1S_0\) \(\rightarrow \) \(7s\,7p~^1P_1\) optical transition opens up the possibility to measure the ionization potential, isotope shifts, or even the hyperfine splitting for \(^{252,253,254}\)No isotopes. The high precision of laser spectroscopic methods is a challenge for state-of-the-art relativistic many body calculations of the level structure.


Laser spectroscopy at superheavy elements Radiation Detected Resonance Ionization Spectroscopy (RADRIS) element nobelium (\(\mathrm{{Z}} = 102\)


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Nuclear Physics, Johannes Gutenberg-UniversityMainzGermany

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