Thickness of Lead's Neutron Skin Measured

Some atomic nuclei are thin-skinned — they’re surrounded by a slim shell of neutrons.

Physicists now know how thick that neutron skin is for one particular type of nucleus. The skin of lead-208 — a variety of lead with 126 neutrons in addition to its 82 protons — is about 0.28 trillionths of a millimeter thick, researchers report online April 27 in Physical Review Letters.

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