The damping of collective rotational motion is investigated by means of particles-rotor model in which the angular momentum coupling is treated exactly and the valence nucleons are in a multi-j shell mean-field. It is found that the onset energy of rotational damping is around 1.1 MeV above yrast line, and the number of states which form rotational band structure is thus limited. The number of calculated rotational bands around 30 at a given angular momentum agrees qualitatively with experimental data. The onset of rotational damping takes place gradually as a function of excitation energy. It is shown that the pairing correlation between valence nucleons has a significant effect on the appearance of rotational damping. © 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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