α-decay rates of 180,182,184Pb and the Z=82 shell closure

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The proton-rich isotopes 180Pb, 182Pb, and 184Pb were produced in 92Mo bombardments of 90Zr, 92Zr, and 94Zr, respectively, and their α-decay properties were investigated with the use of a fragment mass analyzer and a double-sided Si strip detector. These data yielded unambiguous identifications of 180Pb and 182Pb and half-lives for all three Pb nuclei that are more precise than previously available values. An examination of α reduced widths in the Pb mass region leads to the conclusion that the Z=82 shell gap is greatly reduced for neutron numbers midway between 82 and 126. Available mass data, manifested in ΔQα values and two-proton separation energies of even-even nuclei with the same neutron numbers, support this conclusion.

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Physical Review C - Nuclear Physics

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