The Z = 82 shell closure in neutron-deficient Pb isotopes
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Recent mass measurements show a substantial weakening of the binding-energy difference δ2p(Z, N) = E(Z - 2, N) - 2E(Z, N) + E(Z + 2, N) in the neutron-deficient Pb isotopes. As δ2p is often attributed to the size of the proton magic gap, it might be speculated that reduction in δ2p is related to a weakening of the spherical Z = 82 shell. We demonstrate that the observed trend is described quantitatively by self-consistent mean-field models in terms of deformed ground states of Hg and Po isotopes.
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