Estimating Beta Decay Rates Better for Exotic Nuclei
© The Physical Society of Japan
This article is on
Electron wave functions in betadecay formulas revisited (I): Gamow–Teller and spindipole contributions to allowed and firstforbidden transitions
(PTEP Editors' Choice)
Prog. Theor. Exp. Phys. 2021, 103D03 (2021).
Physicists from Japan demonstrate an improved estimation of the beta decay rate in heavy nuclei by considering nexttoleadingorder approximation for the electron wave function distorted by the Coulomb potential.
The physics of exotic nuclei, or nuclei with short lifetimes, is often governed by beta decay, a process in which a neutron decays into a proton, an electron, and an antineutrino. The decay rate is estimated by calculating the product of the electron and nuclear current densities. A widely used formula for calculating this rate relies on a leadingorder approximation of the electron wave functions distorted by the Coulomb potential. However, for heavy nuclei with large atomic numbers, this simple approximation may no longer be valid.
To address this issue, physicists from Japan developed a simple approach for improving the conventional formula to apply for the case of heavy nuclei. They treated the neutrino wave function as an exact plane wave and numerically solved for the electron wave functions to obtain both leadingorder (or LO) and nexttoleadingorder (or NLO) approximations. The physicists then showed that the LO approximation led to an overestimation of the decay rate while the NLO approximation better reproduced the exact result for a schematic transition density as well as for the transition densities obtained by a nuclear energydensity functional method.
The proposed formula could significantly impact our understanding of the origin and formation of heavy elements in our universe and perhaps open a window into yetundiscovered physics lying beyond the standard model of particle physics.
Electron wave functions in betadecay formulas revisited (I): Gamow–Teller and spindipole contributions to allowed and firstforbidden transitions
(PTEP Editors' Choice)
Prog. Theor. Exp. Phys. 2021, 103D03 (2021).
Share this topic
Fields
Related Articles

Highly Accurate Estimation of Beta Decay Rates for Heavy Nuclei
Nuclear physics
2023117
Physicists from Japan present complete formulas that consider the induced current and velocitydependent terms for estimating the beta decay rates in heavy nuclei with high accuracy.

Towards a Better Understanding of the Shortrange Repulsive Nuclear Force
Nuclear physics
20221121
In a new study, researchers provide an experimental estimate of the shortrange repulsive nuclear force strength based on a highstatistics measurement of the differential crosssection for Σ^{+}p scattering.

Towards Radionuclide Cancer Therapy with High Purity ^{177}Lu from Enriched ^{176}Yb Samples
Nuclear physics
Crossdisciplinary physics and related areas of science and technology
202263
A method was developed to estimate the isotopic compositions of enriched ^{176}Yb sample required for producing radionuclide ^{177}Lu used for cancer therapy, with high radionuclide purity in accelerators.

How Good is the TransitionState Theory?
Statistical physics and thermodynamics
Nuclear physics
20211130
For the first time, the main assumption of the transitionstate theory for the decay of complex quantum systems across a potential barrier was realized using a microscopic manybody Hamiltonian.

A Quantum Description of Physical Systems with Nonreal Energies
Mathematical methods, classical and quantum physics, relativity, gravitation, numerical simulation, computational modeling
Nuclear physics
Electron states in condensed matter
Gases, plasmas, electric discharges, and beams
2021719
While quantum systems are traditionally described by Hermitian Hamiltonians, the formalism is extendable to a nonHermitian description for systems that are dissipative or obey paritytime symmetry.