‘Magic number’ 34
Uncommon magic numbers occur in isotopes like calcium-54 that have far more neutrons than protons. To make calcium-54, a team of physicists used beryllium to strip protons from a high-energy particle beam of scandium-55 and titanium-56. The team then measured the energy gaps between ground and excited states in calcium-54 nuclei and found they were larger than those for similar isotopes.
The new magic number could help scientists understand how atomic nuclei are formed in stars.