Isotope Shifts of Radium Monofluoride Molecules

Phys Rev Lett. 2021 Jul 16;127(3):033001. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.127.033001.


Isotope shifts of ^{223-226,228}Ra^{19}F were measured for different vibrational levels in the electronic transition A^{2}Π_{1/2}←X^{2}Σ^{+}. The observed isotope shifts demonstrate the particularly high sensitivity of radium monofluoride to nuclear size effects, offering a stringent test of models describing the electronic density within the radium nucleus. Ab initio quantum chemical calculations are in excellent agreement with experimental observations. These results highlight some of the unique opportunities that short-lived molecules could offer in nuclear structure and in fundamental symmetry studies.