CERN Accelerating science

Magic Numbers

Secrets of beta decay unraveled at ISOLDE

Ernest Rutherford, in 1899, separated radioactive emissions into two types: alpha and beta. Becquerel, in 1900, measured the mass-to-charge ratio of beta particles and identified them as electrons. The theory of β decay was developed by Fermi in…

Read more

ISOLDE sheds light to the nature of the proposed magic number N = 32

The most intuitive properties of the nucleus are its mass and size. Both properties can be precisely studied with dedicated experiments at ISOLDE. Most of the nuclei are deformed, i.e. shaped like a rugby ball or like a pancake, only a few are…

Read more