Ayşe Ataç Nyberg
Professor of Physics
To acquire more knowledge about the structure of the atomic nucleus and the strong force in the nucleus, Ayşe Ataç Nyberg conducts research on the unknown part of the nuclear landscape. The boundaries of the nuclear landscape, meaning the lightest and heaviest isotope for each element, are set by the binding ability of the strong force. Only the nuclides, atomic nuclei with a certain number of neutrons and protons, that lie within the boundaries can exist long enough to be of any significance to how our elements have been created in the universe. Advanced nuclear theory calculations indicate that here are 8,000 such nuclides. Today, only around 3,500 nuclides have been produced and identified in laboratories.
Nyberg’s research team is currently investigating nuclei in the area around the nuclide 100Sn, which has a surplus of protons. The method used is to accelerate heavy atomic nuclei to high speeds and let the ion stream collide with the nuclei in what is known as a radiation target so that they melt together and form a new nucleus. The surplus energy form of high-energy photons that are emitted in the formation contain important information about the structure of the atomic nucleus. To be able to study atomic nuclei, a powerful “microscope” is used, a gamma spectrometer, that can register the emitted photons.