Although the bulk properties of nuclei such as the mass and size, and also fission and the compound nucleus reactions suggest that the nucleus behaves like a liquid, there exist characteristic properties which cannot be understood from such a point of view. The existence of magic numbers in various phenomena is the most evident example, suggesting the shell structure. The magic numbers appear in various systems in nature. The existence of the noble gases in the periodic table of the elements is the most popular example. Contrary to those magic numbers for atoms, which are associated with the long range Coulomb interaction, the magic numbers for nuclei which originate from the short range force differ in numbers. Also, the spin–orbit interaction plays a crucial role in the magic numbers for nuclei. In this chapter we discuss how the magic numbers arise, and discuss the spin and parity properties of the nuclei in the vicinity of magic numbers. Although the shell model which is based on the mean-field theory succeeds, it is suggested that it is important to take into account the effects of the residual interaction, i.e., the pairing correlation in order to explain the details of the nuclear phenomena. As an example of the current topics, we also discuss the present status of the research of superheavy elements which are stabilized by shell effects.
KeywordsOrbit Interaction Magic Number Neutron Number Superheavy Nucleus Superheavy Element
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