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The quantitative consistency of nucleon transfer reactions as a probe of the occupancy of valence orbits in nuclei is tested. Neutron-adding, neutron-removal, and proton-adding transfer reactions were measured on the four stable even Ni isotopes, with particular attention to the cross section determinations. The data were analyzed consistently in terms of the distorted wave Born approximation to yield spectroscopic factors. Valence-orbit occupancies were extracted, utilizing the Macfarlane-French sum rules. The deduced occupancies are consistent with the changing number of valence neutrons, as are the vacancies for protons, both at the level of <5%. While there has been some debate regarding the true "observability" of spectroscopic factors, the present results indicate that empirically they yield self-consistent results. © 2012 American Physical Society.

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Physical Review Letters