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The Oslo Cyclotron Laboratory (OCL) houses the only accelerator in Norway for ionized atoms in basic research. The laboratory serves as an experimental center for various fields of research and applications. The main field of research is within nuclear physics and nuclear chemistry. In addition, isotopes are produced for nuclear medicine.
Nuclear physics has as its objective the investigation and understanding of nuclei, which are the hearts of atoms and the place where almost all mass of visible matter resides. The rules of nuclear binding determine the number of stable isotopes and their relative abundance in the world we live. Nuclei are fermion systems comprising from a few to hundred of neutrons and protons. The systems are small enough to exhibit sharp quantum states, but also large enough to show collective degrees of freedom, like vibrations and rotations.