Probing nobelium with laser light
(Helmholtz Association) Sizes and shapes of nuclei with more than 100 protons were so far experimentally inaccessible. Laser spectroscopy is an established technique in measuring fundamental properties of exotic atoms and their nuclei. For the first time, this technique was now extended to precisely measure the optical excitation of atomic levels in the atomic shell of three isotopes of the heavy element nobelium. This was reported by an international team lead by scientists from GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung.