Microscopic origin of reflection-asymmetric nuclear shapes

11 Dec 2020  ·  Mengzhi Chen, Tong Li, Jacek Dobaczewski, Witold Nazarewicz ·

Background: The presence of nuclear ground states with stable reflection-asymmetric shapes is supported by rich experimental evidence. Theoretical surveys of odd-multipolarity deformations predict the existence of pear-shaped isotopes in several fairly localized regions of the nuclear landscape in the vicinity of near-lying single-particle shells with $\Delta\ell=\Delta j=3$. Purpose: We analyze the role of isoscalar, isovector, neutron-proton, neutron-neutron, and proton-proton multipole interaction energies in inducing the onset of reflection-asymmetric ground-state deformations. Methods: The calculations are performed in the framework of axial reflection-asymmetric Hartree-Fock-Bogoliubov theory using two Skyrme energy density functionals and density-dependent pairing force. Results: We show that reflection-asymmetric ground-state shapes of atomic nuclei are driven by the odd-multipolarity neutron-proton (or isoscalar) part of the nuclear interaction energy. This result is consistent with the particle-vibration picture, in which the main driver of octupole instability is the isoscalar octupole-octupole interaction giving rise to large $E3$ polarizability.

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Nuclear Theory