Recommended publications: Finding the lightest superdeformed triaxial atomic nucleus
The nuclei of atoms of heavy elements do not necessarily take a spherical shape: they may be variously extended or flattened along one, two or even three axes. An international team of physicists, led by scientists from the Institute of Nuclear Physics of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Krakow (IFJ PAN) and the Heavy Ion Laboratory at the University of Warsaw (HIL), has recently presented the results of experiments showing that complex superdeformed nuclei occur in much lighter elements as well.
Atomic nuclei do not in any case look like a perfect sphere (top). With a larger number of protons and neutrons the nuclei can be flattened or extended along one, two or three axes. The latter case (bottom right) is known as superdeformed triaxial. (Source: IFJ PAN)
"Superdeformed and Triaxial States in 42Ca",
K. Hadyńska-Klęk, P. J. Napiorkowski, M. Zielińska, J. Srebrny, A. Maj, F. Azaiez et al.
Physical Review Letters 117, 062501 (2016)
Press releases of the Institute of Nuclear Physics, Polish Academy of Sciences:
IFJ PAN Press Office - https://press.ifj.edu.pl/en/news/2016/10/19/
EurekAlert! Site - https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2016-10/thni-ftl101916.php
Other press releases - http://press.ifj.edu.pl/en