” Subtracting the known proton radius revealed a neutron skin 0.33 millionths of a nanometer thick, give or take about 50%”
“The PREX measurement suggests that the neutron skin of lead-208 is twice as thick as more-precise but model-dependent methods indicate.”
Hmm, so the measurement suggests it is twice as thick as previous measurements, but they estimate margin of error at 50%? Interesting stuff, but I can’t get too excited about the results with those numbers.
Agreed: the result announced here is not something to get excited about.
However, the important part of this is that this experimental method promises to be able to produce a much better measurement of the neutron skin than previous methods. THAT is the point, and regardless of what that result proves to be, it will be a very important piece of information to know. The exciting thing here is the “proof of principle” that this experimental method is viable.
This data is important enough that if this team is unable to use this specific apparatus to produce sufficient accuracy, certainly there will be a drive to build a follow-on apparatus with sufficient stability to accomplish the task.