Structure of superheavy nuclei


Michael Bender

Centre d'Etudes Nucleaires de Bordeaux Gradignan, France

Superheavy nuclei represent the limit of nuclear mass and charge.  They are quite fragile objects; their existence hangs on quantum mechanical shell effects that stabilize them against fission induced by the strong Coulomb repulsion.  In spite of the rapidly dropping production cross section, superheavy nuclei have been synthesized up to Z = 118.  In addition, over the past 15 years spectroscopic studies delivered a wealth of detailed information about the structure of deformed nuclei between Z = 102 and 106.  However, even after more than 40 years of experimental and theoretical efforts in this domain, the question where are the next closed spherical proton and neutron shells beyond 208Pb is still open.

This presentation will review the status and perspectives of the description of transcatinide and superheavy nuclei with mean-field-based methods, focussing on spectroscopy and their stability against fission.