Nuclear Configurations in the Spin-Orbit Coupling Model. I. Empirical Evidence

Phys. Rev. 78, 16 – Published 1 April 1950
Maria Goeppert Mayer


An extreme one particle model of the nucleus is proposed. The model is based on the succession of energy levels of a single particle in a potential between that of a three-dimensional harmonic oscillator and a square well. (1) Strong spin orbit coupling leading to inverted doublets is assumed. (2) An even number of identical nucleons are assumed to couple to zero angular momentum, and, (3) an odd number to the angular momentum of the single odd particle. (4) A (negative) pairing energy, increasing with the j value of the orbit is assumed. With these four assumptions all but 2 of the 64 known spins of odd nuclei are satisfactorily explained, and all but 1 of the 46 known magnetic moments. The two spin discrepancies are probably due to failure of rule (3). The magnetic moments of the five known odd-odd nuclei are also in agreement with the model. The existence, and region in the periodic table, of nuclear isomerism is correctly predicted.


  • Received 7 December 1949
  • Published in the issue dated April 1950

© 1950 The American Physical Society

Authors & Affiliations

Maria Goeppert Mayer

  • Argonne National Laboratory, Chicago, Illinois


References (Subscription Required)

Authorization Required




Log In



Article Lookup
Paste a citation or DOI

Enter a citation
  1. Enter a citation to look up or terms to search.

    Ex: "PRL 112 068103", "Phys. Rev. Lett. 112, 068103", "10.1103/PhysRevLett.112.068103"