Experimental investigation of a linear-chain structure in the nucleus 14C

H. Yamaguchi, D. Kahl, S. Hayakawa, Y. Sakaguchi, K. Abe, T. Nakao, T. Suhara, N. Iwasa, A. Kim, D. H. Kim, S. M. Cha, M. S. Kwag, J. H. Lee, E. J. Lee, K. Y. Chae, Y. Wakabayashi, N. Imai, N. Kitamura, P. Lee, J. Y. MoonK. B. Lee, C. Akers, H. S. Jung, N. N. Duy, L. H. Khiem, C. S. Lee

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39 Citations (Scopus)


It is a well-known fact that a cluster of nucleons can be formed in the interior of an atomic nucleus, and such clusters may occupy molecular-like orbitals, showing characteristics similar to normal molecules consisting of atoms. Chemical molecules having a linear alignment are commonly seen in nature, such as carbon dioxide. A similar linear alignment of the nuclear clusters, referred to as linear-chain cluster state (LCCS), has been studied since the 1950s, however, up to now there is no clear experimental evidence demonstrating the existence of such a state. Recently, it was proposed that an excess of neutrons may offer just such a stabilizing mechanism, revitalizing interest in the nuclear LCCS, specifically with predictions for their emergence in neutron-rich carbon isotopes. Here we present the experimental observation of α-cluster states in the radioactive 14C nucleus. Using the Be10+α resonant scattering method with a radioactive beam, we observed a series of levels which completely agree with theoretically predicted levels having an explicit linear-chain cluster configuration. We regard this as the first strong indication of the linear-chain clustered nucleus.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-16
Number of pages6
JournalPhysics Letters, Section B: Nuclear, Elementary Particle and High-Energy Physics
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Mar 10


  • Linear-chain cluster state
  • Nuclear cluster
  • RI beam
  • Resonant elastic scattering
  • Thick-target method in inverse kinematics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics


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