Nuclear physics is the study of the composition, behavior and interaction of atomic nuclei and their constituent parts.

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Aplications of algebraic topology/pure mathematics in nuclear fusion

I am planning on working on an independent research class this fall at a community college. My instructor wants to focus it around pure mathematics/topology/homotopy. I think she has done a phd in ...
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Is a Plutonium gun-type atomic bomb really “impossible”?

I caught a pretty well done 2 hour documentary on atomic bomb history yesterday on the local PBS station. In it, they go over the paths taken for design of the first bombs, including the Thin Man ...
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One Pion Exchange Potential properties for a two-nucleon system

I'm going through my Nuclear Physics book, and has come across a section called "Properties of OPEP for the two-nucleon system". It start out by considering the n-p system in a singlet spin state ...
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Lead - Lithium = Gold?

In reference to this question about transmuting lead into gold, I'm looking for a correct, though magical, way to turn lead into gold. I'm not worried if it's possible to split off a lithium nucleus ...
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Where to get the AME2012 isotope mass table?

what's the official site for getting the latest isotope mass table, i.e., AME2012? All links I have found (NIST, IAEA) point me to a site at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, but the link ...
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In the Iranian nuclear deal, how can IAEA detect nuclear activity after 24 days?

This is a question related to current events, but I want to ask about the physics, which are not explained in any news article that I can find. Ernest Moniz and John Kerry wrote an op-ed in the ...
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26 views

When does electron capture occur and when does positron emission occur?

I’ve been told that electron capture occurs when there isn’t enough energy to produce a positron by beta plus decay. Exactly why is this the case? Why does it take more energy for positron emission ...
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40 views

Can an electron in an atom have insufficient energy to achieve an energy level, or orbital, and what happens to this electron when this occurs?

If a nucleus undergoes a change in Z or Mass due decay or absorption, could this disrupt the electrons from their orbital/shell energy levels? If so, could the electrons that were previously in the ...
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145 views

Pentaquark spin prediction

Is there a straightforward way to see what the spin of the recently-discovered pentaquark states should be, from the representation theory of $SU(3)\times SU(2)\subset SU(6)$? I can see that from the ...
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22 views

Is there a directional aspect to Beta decay dependant on nucleus orientation

Does beta decay occur in certain directions relative to a nucleus orientation? Would the nucleus geometry or spin direction have an impact? This effect could may be tested if a radioactive nucleus ...
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15 views

Effect of nucleus geometry and states on the Coulomb barrier and the electric potential well surrounding the nucleus

In some models of the nucleus it has a geometric aspect due to the combination and alignments of the charges, magnetic moments and spins of the protons and neutrons it contains. Even in models that ...
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Are Fe56 or Ni56 the fission products of any binary reactions?

I'm curious as to if there is some combination of a fusion and fission event simultaneously occuring that would only produce 56 nucleon number nuclides. Such that the net energy out of the fusion ...
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43 views

Binding energy and mass

I’ve been told that a greater binding energy means the nucleus is more tightly bound, and therefore that decreases the mass of the nucleus with respect to its nucleons when separated. But why does a ...
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Can a light element with excited nucleus undergo internal conversion

Internal conversion occurs when an excited nucleus ejects a low level electron from the first 2 low energy shells such as a k shell electron instead of emitting gamma when returning to ground state. ...
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Does the mass of a nucleus increase when it is excited to higher energy levels

If we consider an atomic nucleus that is excited to a higher energy level. This maybe due to absorption of gamma for example or as a result of some other decay or interaction. Would the mass of that ...
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44 views

Why are heavier nuclei unstable?

If you have more neutrons than protons, then there will be more strong force present to counteract the repulsive forces between protons. Why is it that above bismuth, no nucleus is stable, regardless ...
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51 views

Using particle accelerators for nuclear fusion [duplicate]

Apologies this is probably a stupid idea but I am curious and my knowledge of physics is limited as I am 14. So I was wondering if we could use particle accelerators to achieve nuclear fusion. I have ...
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55 views

Textbook for learning nuclear physics

I've taken a college level course on nuclear physics. Though the course was titled "Nuclear and Particle Physics," almost nothing about elementary particles had been taught. I'm on vacation now, and ...
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Effect on electron shells energy levels during nuclear decay

First thanks for this great site. I was recently looking at photon emission from electron transitions from excited electron states in atoms. For simplicity I was using the Rutherford Bohr Model and ...
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Is the spontaneous fission-yield curve for 240Pu known?

I have not seen any data for the isotopes produced by spontaneous fission of plutonium. I believe this will be dominated by 240Pu as the major even-numbered isotope produced in reactor operations. I ...
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56 views

Reaction of uranium and neutrons emits neutrons, or is it photons?

So we had this test in nuclears physics today, and part of one of the quesitons was the following: When $\rm U^{235}_{92}$ nuclides are bombarded with one neutron, they can decompose to krypton ...
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24 views

Collision between electrons & nucleus [duplicate]

I am new with physics and I have a confusion that since electron and nucleus has opposite charges then why they do not collide with each other inside an atom?
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Giant dipole resonance

Could anyone explain in simple words what exactly is meant by GDR? What does giant imply? I have read about collective excitations and am also familiar with the multipolar form of the charge ...
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55 views

What's the idea behind Wu's experiment?

Madame Wu discovered the parity violation in beta-decays. To do so, she took some Co-60 nuclei, which decay via beta-decay in Ni-60 with emission of electron, antineutrino and 2 gamma rays. She ...
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Why do elements on the Binding Energy per Nuclear Molecule after Iron (most stable) even form?

So I was reading about the stability of elements based on Nuclear Binding Energy, and I saw that the 'Iron group' of elements were most tightly bound and hence most stable, and that is why the graph ...
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55 views

Total energy of neutrons and protons

In a stable nucleus, are the total energies of neutrons and protons same?
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What is a “cut” in the Hanbury-Brown and Twiss (HBT) method?

I am currently working on p-p collisions simulations using PYTHIA 6. I am using a Monte Carlo approach, but I have done mass reconstructions in the past using something very similar to the ...
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Distribution of fragments in fission reactions

What decides the mass and charge distribution of fission fragments? are these factors decided at or before the saddle point? and how? Why does the valley in the distribution function become shallow on ...
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68 views

Free neutrons in the sun's core?

In the standard description of proton-proton fusion, the first step of the interaction proceeds through the unbound diproton $\rm^2He$: $$ \begin{aligned} \rm p + p &\to \rm {}^2He^* \\ \rm ^2He^* ...
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How to derive the Gamow factor in the simplest way?

I want to know how to derive the Gamow factor (how to solve the integral and which approximation I have to do) without the centrifugal correction. $$V(r) = V_N(r)+V_c(r). $$ The Gamow factor is ...
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80 views

Why is the energy spectrum of alpha decay discrete?

Are the other peaks with lower energy caused by the possibility that daughter nuclei have to be in excited states?as show in this link (count versus energy)
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59 views

Deformation parameters of a nucleus

How are the deformation parameters (quadrupole, hexadecapole etc) of a nucleus mathematically related to the reduced transition probabilities $B(El)$ values obtained experimentally?
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37 views

Multipole expansion of Woods-Saxon potential?

When can a distribution be expanded in multipoles? What is the basic requirement? Can it be done for a potential like the Woods-Saxon form?
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21 views

Decay chain governed by first long-lived particle?

Suppose we have a decay chain reaction A->B->C-> ....Z Why is it a good assumption that the decay rate of all species in the chain is governed by the rate of the first long-lived one? Suppose B -> C ...
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What is the heaviest stable element in the center of the sun due to Photodisintegration?

Source that got me curious (page 5): http://astro1.physics.utoledo.edu/~megeath/ph6820/lecture27_ph6820.pdf High energy photons can cause larger, less stable elements to undergo fission. Uranium ...
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Why do nuclear multipole moments of charge density vary with isotopes?

Why do some isotopes have different quadrupole/octupole moments, when these moments of charge density should be independent of mass?
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Nuclear shapes and deformation

How do the experimentally measured multipole moments (static or transition) give information about the deformed nuclear shape? Since deformation is not directly observable, the only information we get ...
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46 views

Spin, isospin, parity etc. in nuclear physics

I have one question regarding these quantum numbers. When I read through my textbook, it sometimes just says something like: "And this atoms ground state has $J^{\pi} = 0^+$ and isospin $+1$" - as an ...
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When an atom is split, what form of energy is released?

When an atom is split, what form of energy is released? All of the websites I have looked at say there is a lot of energy released when an atom is split, but it never says what form of energy it is ...
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Why should odd-ordered electric multipole moments vanish?

In the multipole expansion of the radiation field of a nuclear, it is considered that the odd-ordered poles (like electric octupole) must vanish in order to conserve parity. But there exist many ...
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Why is the excited state of 116 Indium more stable than ground state?

Why is the excited state of 116 Indium more stable than ground state? Both undergo beta decay, but the ground state has a half-life of 14 seconds, while the excited state has a half-life of 54 ...
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Gamma decay with lowest energy?

What is the (by current knowledge) least energetic example of a gamma decay into the nuclear ground state? I am only considering degrees of freedom of the nucleons, i.e. without the electrons. (I ...
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55 views

Feynman-Bethe Critical Mass Formula

According to the historical lore of the making of the atomic bomb at Los Alamos, Richard Feynman and Hans Bethe supposedly worked out a formula for the critical mass for the core of the A-bomb. Is it ...
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How to determine whether a nuclear transition would be electric octupole, or hexadecapole?

The transition from one nuclear state to another is classified as quadrupole/octupole, etc, depending on the units on angular momentum transferred. But depending on the angular momentum of the two ...
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Origin of internuclear forces

I just recently read about the existence of internuclear forces as the reason for the nucleus to remain 'stable' as in it doesn't separate out into protons and neutrons even though there is electronic ...
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64 views

Does water absorb neutrons?

Water is used as a shielding material in nuclear reactors. What's its function as a shield? Does it absorb neutrons and is there a reaction between water and neutrons?
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From which height the effect of nuclear bomb will be Greater?

Well I was wondering like during war some of them drop nuclear bomb on ground and then it explode and we see a huge blast which causes so much of destruction but my question is that is it possible ...
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64 views

What are “correlations”?

When working with realistic two-body hamiltonians, a direct diagonalization is almost always imposible. Thus one usually takes a procedure which yields an approximate solution. A well known approach ...
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29 views

conversion from atomic mass to nuclear mass in the calculation of Q-values in a beta decay

Not exactly a homework problem in the real sense of the word but a way to understand how I can make arrive at the Q-values algebraically without relying on formula sheets or memorising. Let's begin ...
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Stability of nuclides in regard to the forces acting upon its nucleus

I am having trouble piecing together some information regarding the stability of a nucleus. I have read that iron-56 is the most stable isotope, because it has the highest binding energy per nucleon ...