Observation of the distribution of nuclear magnetization in a molecule

S. G. Wilkins, S. M. Udrescu, M. Athanasakis-Kaklamanakis, R. F. Garcia Ruiz, M. Au, I. Belošević, R. Berger, M. L. Bissell, A. A. Breier, A. J. Brinson, K. Chrysalidis, T. E. Cocolios, R. P. de Groote, A. Dorne, K. T. Flanagan, S. Franchoo, K. Gaul, S. Geldhof, T. F. Giesen, D. Hanstorp, R. Heinke, T. Isaev, Á. Koszorús, S. Kujanpää, L. Lalanne, G. Neyens, M. Nichols, H. A. Perrett, J. R. Reilly, L. V. Skripnikov, S. Rothe, B. van den Borne, Q. Wang, J. Wessolek, X. F. Yang, C. Zülch
Nuclear Experiment, Nuclear Experiment (nucl-ex), Atomic Physics (physics.atom-ph), Chemical Physics (physics.chem-ph), Computational Physics (physics.comp-ph)
2023-11-06 16:00:00
Rapid progress in the experimental control and interrogation of molecules, combined with developments in precise calculations of their structure, are enabling new opportunities in the investigation of nuclear and particle physics phenomena. Molecules containing heavy, octupole-deformed nuclei such as radium are of particular interest for such studies, offering an enhanced sensitivity to the properties of fundamental particles and interactions. Here, we report precision laser spectroscopy measurements and theoretical calculations of the structure of the radioactive radium monofluoride molecule, $^{225}$Ra$^{19}$F. Our results allow fine details of the short-range electron-nucleus interaction to be revealed, indicating the high sensitivity of this molecule to the distribution of magnetization, currently a poorly constrained nuclear property, within the radium nucleus. These results provide a direct and stringent test of the description of the electronic wavefunction inside the nuclear volume, highlighting the suitability of these molecules to investigate subatomic phenomena.
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