A hundred years have passed since Otto Hahn discovered in 1921 the first nuclear isomer at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute in Berlin-Dahlem. Nuclear isomers are long-lived or metastable excited nuclear states. The nuclear structure intricacies that lead to their formation remain to this day a vivid area of theoretical and experimental research. Isomers are relevant to a larger community spanning nuclear and atomic physics, astrophysics, medical research and precision metrology. For instance, with their long lifetimes, isomers can store large amounts of energy. If an efficient way could be found to release that energy in a controlled manner, then a new type of nuclear energy storage could be constructed. Therefore, the electromagnetic manipulation of isomers, either radiatively or via coupling to the atomic shells, is of particular interest. Long-lived isomers also play a very special role in astrophysics, where their existence can influence the pathways of nucleosynthesis. Finally, it is a nuclear isomer transition that is at present envisaged for a new type of clock that should surpass in accuracy available frequency standards.
The workshop aims at bringing together researchers from various subfields of this larger community to celebrate the nuclear isomers centenary. Although postponed by one year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the meeting remains timely. The isomer community is preparing for major new experimental facilities that are under construction and soon to be commissioned, for example FAIR, ELI-NP, FRIB and HIAF. These will offer exceptional cross-disciplinary opportunities. We are meeting to discuss these opportunities and to prepare for them in a strategic manner. The workshop aims at synergy and cross-fertilizing effects, that will bring a new impetus to isomer research.
A list of topics to be covered includes:
- New developments of nuclear structure models for more accurate predictions
of isomeric properties
New isomer discoveries in exotic nuclei
- The involvement of atomic processes in isomer population and depletion
- The role of isomers in nucleosynthesis, astromers
- The role of isomers in superheavy elements
- The prospect of a nuclear clock based on the 8 eV isomer in 229 Th
- The application of isomers in nuclear medicine
We hope to be able to hold the meeting in person at the Harnack House in Berlin (https://www.harnackhaus-berlin.mpg.de/en). Needless to say, the pandemic conditions that will prevail in May 2022 are uncertain. It is not excluded that the meeting will have a hybrid format, with those participants unable to attend in person connecting online.
No registration fee is planned. The attendance of doctoral students and other early-career researchers will be encouraged by travel and accommodation support for on-site participants. Further information about venue, accommodation, reservations and travel will be updated in due time.