The atomic nucleus is often treated as monolithic from the perspective of atoms and molecules, but NMR demonstrates that nuclear states can be affected through external means.

Especially the development of solid-state NMR exhibits effects from various interactions with nuclear states: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solid-state_nuclear_magnetic_resonance#Nuclear_spin_interactions_in_the_solid_phase

Might it be possible to use such interactions to drive nuclear transitions?

I'm aware that -- since the interaction strengths are weak compared to the transition energies -- these would probably have to be second order effects.

EDIT: I should have been more clear: by driving nuclear transitions I mean changing the lifetimes of nuclear excited states (even ever so slightly).


If by "nuclear transitions" you mean changing the internal state of the nucleus (besides realigning its net spin), then the answer is unlikely, but potentially not impossible.

The fundamental issue here is that typical energy scale of the nucleus is so high compared electronic energies. The electron-nuclear spin coupling (hyperfine splitting) is already a small perturbation on the electron's energy. If you're trying to affect the internal state of the nucleus with an external (DC) field, it would have to be huge.

The only exception is that I could imagine for a metastable nuclear state, it's possible that you could enhance a transition rate using a field, or that interactions with the electrons could affect the lifetime, etc.

Disclaimer: I'm not a nuclear physicist.

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    $\begingroup$ Thanks, I clarified via an edit what I mean by nuclear transitions. $\endgroup$ – MrFu Apr 2 '20 at 13:17

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