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Journal Articles Reports on Progress in Physics Year : 2018

Review on the progress in nuclear fission—experimental methods and theoretical descriptions


Abstract : An overview is given on some of the main advances in experimental methods, experimental results and theoretical models and ideas of the last years in the field of nuclear fission. New approaches extended the availability of fissioning systems for experimental studies of nuclear fission considerably and provided a full identification of all fission products in A and Z for the first time. In particular, the transition from symmetric to asymmetric fission around 226Th and some unexpected structure in the mass distributions in the fission of systems around Z = 80 to 84 as well as an extended systematics of the odd-even effect in fission fragment Z distributions have been measured [A. N. Andreyev et al., Rep. Progr. Phys. 81 (2018) 016301]. Three classes of model descriptions of fission presently appear to be the most promising or the most successful ones: Self-consistent quantum-mechanical models fully consider the quantum-mechanical features of the fission process. Intense efforts are presently made to develop suitable theoretical tools [N. Schunck, L. M. Robledo, Rep. Prog. Phys. 79 (2016) 116301] for modeling the non-equilibrium, large-amplitude collective motion leading to fission. Stochastic models provide a fully developed technical framework. The main features of the fission-fragment mass distribution are well reproduced from mercury to fermium and beyond [P. M¨oller, J. Randrup, Phys. Rev. C 91 (2015) 044316]. However, the limited computer resources still impose restrictions, for example on the number of collective coordinates and on an elaborate description of the fission dynamics. In an alternative semi-empirical approach [K.-H. Schmidt et al., Nucl. Data Sheets 131 (2016) 107], considerable progress in describing the fission observables has been achieved by combining several theoretical ideas, which are essentially well known. This approach exploits (i) the topological properties of a continuous function in multidimensional space, (ii) the separability of the influences of fragment shells and macroscopic properties of the compound nucleus, (iii) the properties of a quantum oscillator coupled to the heat bath of other nuclear degrees of freedom, (iv) an early freeze-out of collective motion, and (v) the application of statistical mechanics for describing the thermalization of intrinsic excitations in the nascent fragments. This new approach reveals a high degree of regularity and allows calculating high-quality data that are relevant for nuclear technology without specific adjustment to empirical data of individual systems.
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in2p3-01314814 , version 1 (12-05-2016)
in2p3-01314814 , version 2 (26-04-2018)



Karl-Heinz Schmidt, Beatriz Jurado. Review on the progress in nuclear fission—experimental methods and theoretical descriptions. Reports on Progress in Physics, 2018, 81, pp.106301. ⟨10.1088/1361-6633/aacfa7⟩. ⟨in2p3-01314814v2⟩


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