Jun 18, 2008
 The shape of an atomic nucleus reflects the shell structure of the protons and neutrons of which it is formed. If the shells are completely filled, we speak of a "magic" nucleus, which is spherical in shape. Most nuclei, however, tend to be deformed because their shells are only partially filled. The most commonly encountered shapes are elongated (prolate) or flattened (oblate); these shapes can change from on nucleus to its neighbour by adding or removing a proton or neutron.


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