We formulate criteria for identification of the nuclear tetrahedral and octahedral symmetries and illustrate for the first time their possible realization in a rare earth nucleus Sm152. We use realistic nuclear mean-field theory calculations with the phenomenological macroscopic-microscopic method, the Gogny-Hartree-Fock-Bogoliubov approach, and general point-group theory considerations to guide the experimental identification method as illustrated on published experimental data. Following group theory the examined symmetries imply the existence of exotic rotational bands on whose properties the spectroscopic identification criteria are based. These bands may contain simultaneously states of even and odd spins, of both parities and parity doublets at well-defined spins. In the exact-symmetry limit those bands involve no E2 transitions. We show that coexistence of tetrahedral and octahedral deformations is essential when calculating the corresponding energy minima and surrounding barriers, and that it has a characteristic impact on the rotational bands. The symmetries in question imply the existence of long-lived shape isomers and, possibly, new waiting point nuclei - impacting the nucleosynthesis processes in astrophysics - and an existence of 16-fold degenerate particle-hole excitations. Specifically designed experiments which aim at strengthening the identification arguments are briefly discussed.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Nuclear and High Energy Physics