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Structure and rotations of the Hoyle state.

Authors
  • Epelbaum, Evgeny
  • Krebs, Hermann
  • Lähde, Timo A
  • Lee, Dean
  • Meißner, Ulf-G
Type
Published Article
Journal
Physical Review Letters
Publisher
American Physical Society
Publication Date
Dec 21, 2012
Volume
109
Issue
25
Pages
252501–252501
Identifiers
PMID: 23368455
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

The excited state of the (12)C nucleus known as the "Hoyle state" constitutes one of the most interesting, difficult, and timely challenges in nuclear physics, as it plays a key role in the production of carbon via fusion of three alpha particles in red giant stars. In this Letter, we present ab initio lattice calculations which unravel the structure of the Hoyle state, along with evidence for a low-lying spin-2 rotational excitation. For the (12)C ground state and the first excited spin-2 state, we find a compact triangular configuration of alpha clusters. For the Hoyle state and the second excited spin-2 state, we find a "bent-arm" or obtuse triangular configuration of alpha clusters. We also calculate the electromagnetic transition rates between the low-lying states of (12)C.

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