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

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What makes a nucleus unstable?

My question is simply that - what makes a nucleus unstable? What exactly causes a nucleus to start breaking apart in the first place? Is it the Coulomb force between the neighboring protons? I'm just ...
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Why does U-235 split into barium and krypton in nuclear reactors?

For my chemistry project I have found the typical fission reaction which occurs in nuclear power plants is when nuclear fuel rods are bombarded with neutrons, splitting U-235 into isotopes barium and ...
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Why is 0 $\nu \beta\beta$ decay often written with electron emission and not positron?

According to http://www.cobra-experiment.org/double_beta_decay/ I can see that double $\beta$+ decay is possible, but I often find neutrinoless double beta sources with the double $\beta$- decay ...
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Are atoms made of protons, electrons and neutrinos?

If neutrons decay into proton, electron and (anti)neutrino of electron type, then is it safe to say that atoms are protons, electrons and neutrinos?
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Do electrons get accelerated or decelerated by the atoms of the anode during X-rays production?

The electrons striking the anode get deflected by the heavy nucleus. Though the speed may or may not change, the direction of motion changes which leads to acceleration. The charged particles emit ...
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Why do NNLC and NIST appear to give different values for the mass energy of the deuteron?

There is a problem with data that I've obtained over the internet. Here are the two sources of information from which I'm retrieving my data. NNLC and NIST On NIST, I have read that the mass excess ...
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Irreversibility of the nuclear decay process: is there a rigorous proof?

Consider an unstable nucleus that emits an alpha particle. For describing the process we solve the Schrodinger equation using a complex energy, and obtain a Gamow state. The mere fact that we use a ...
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48 views

Trigger supernova artificially [on hold]

Is there a way to artificially trigger a given star to be supernova? Is this theoretically possible? I would appreciate fast ways. For instance, preference will be given for ways that doesn't take ...
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Why did “tickling the dragons tail” by Louis Slotin not cause an explosion?

I have been reading the excellent Command and Control by Eric Schlosser and discovered more about Louis Slotin's experiment with "tickling the dragons tail" and the infamous Demon Core. What I don't ...
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18 views

The Form Factor in Nuclear physics

We know $$F(\vec{q})=\int e^{i\vec{q}.\vec{r}} \rho(r^\prime) dv^\prime$$ where $\vec{q}$ is the momentum change of scattering electron. But what is the physical meaning of it ?!
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15 views

Identification of massless, chargeless $x$ in a nuclear reaction

On Friday, we had our Physics test. We (the tenth grade students) have the basic introduction to Radioactivity and a few nuclear reactions in our syllabus. In the test, the following question was ...
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What does the exponential decay constant depend on?

We know the law of radioactivity: $$N=N_0e^{-\lambda t}$$ where $\lambda$ is the exponential decay constant. My question is: This constant depends of what?
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Is an atom charged after undergoing beta emission?

After beta emission, an atom's mass number remains the same while the number of protons increases by one. As far as I know, the beta particle (electron) is too energetic to be recaptured. If this is ...
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48 views

How do scientists estimate elemental-abundance in the universe?

I understand how cosmological observations can estimate the amount of 'baryonic matter' in the universe, but what I don't understand is how scientists can estimate the abundance of a particular ...
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26 views

Why are the dineutron and diproton unbound?

It is known that there is no diproton and dineutron nuclei. Does this mean that two protons or neutrons are not actually attracted to each other? Even if the attraction was weak, wouldn't it cause ...
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21 views

Ambiguity in ordering of isospin states for Clebsch-Gordan coefficients

In studying isospin for nuclear physics, I am confused a bit by an ambiguity I found. If a process that goes from $K^- + p \rightarrow \Sigma^0+ \pi^0$, I can write the isospin for the left hand side ...
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25 views

Detecting radioactive material at a distance

I have heard a lot about the failures of even the best-funded anti-ballistic missile technology. The usual explanation is that ABM is very hard after the boost phase because of evasion techniques and ...
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1answer
33 views

Is chain reaction possible in stable isotopes?

Is nuclear chain reaction possible in isotope that is considered stable? Are there examples?
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28 views

$\beta^+$ decay question

I read that all baryons apart from the proton itself decay into protons (why though?) and that mesons do not decay into protons due to having less mass than protons. Thus it makes sense for the ...
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1answer
23 views

How doesn't an ionization chamber leak?

I'm sure my understanding of an ionization chamber is incorrect, so please point out the error. Suppose we are using an sealed ionization chamber to detect the energies (trajectories) of a particular ...
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30 views

Alpha decay radioactivity [closed]

Do electrons actually escape from a radioactive element ? Or simply the helium nuclei that ? what actually is the structure of a fully decayed radioactive element ?
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64 views

Is it really possible to create some mass only from equivalent energy? [duplicate]

From Special theory of relativity we know that $E=m_0 c^2$, which says about mass energy equivalency. But my question : **Is there any real experiment where some mass is created purely from energy? ...
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Why does an atom remain uncharged after emission of an alpha particle?

When an alpha particle is emitted, two protons and two neutrons leave the nucleus but the electrons remain the same in number. Why does the atom remain uncharged although it appears it should have a ...
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Chemical potential for nucleons

Do you know if the concept of chemical potential can be properly defined for nucleons in the nuclei? I mean, if I can picture the nuclei like an interacting gas of nucleons, then may I think of a ...
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40 views

Isospin quantum number for light nuclei

Does anyone know where I can find the Isospin values for light nuclei (H, C,N, O, S, Cl, ..) in their ground state?
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What's the largest mushroom cloud possible from a coffee cup/grenade sized nuclear bomb?

Assuming the coffee cup is $16$oz = $1$lb = $0.4536$kg or $ \sim 450$mL I did a quick comparison to the W54 assuming there was a linear ratio (wishful thinking perhaps), and got it to be around 8m ...
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Can the half-life of rubidium 87 be theoretically estimated?

Can the Fermi golden rule be applied to give an approximation of this half-life?
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38 views

Calculating $\alpha$-Particles Detected During Rutherford Scattering (Cross Sections)

I am currently studying nuclear cross sections and this question considers the classic Rutherford scattering experiment. Here is a diagram of the experiment: The detector is at right-angles to the ...
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Incoherent assumption of the parton model

Consider the scattering process $ep\rightarrow eX$, in the frame of an ultra-relativistic electron, the partons inside the proton are "frozen," and since the time scale of strong interaction is much ...
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In the earth's crust, why is there far more uranium than gold?

In parts per million in the Earth's crust Uranium is around 1.8ppm and Gold 0.003ppm. Given that it takes far more energy to create Uranium than Gold, why is this?
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Are we close enough to objects?

Are we able to touch the atomic orbital of an element ? If so, wouldn't there be a current flowing ? If not, then where do we actually touch when we hold it ?
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How do control rods work?

I understand the basic idea of nuclear fission: put a bunch of fissionable material together and let the neutrons fly. An atom gets split, kicking out a few more neutrons, which split other atoms, ...
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The role of W bosons in the weak nuclear force and beta decay

I am a beginner Physics student and I am studying the weak nuclear force and how particle interactions work. Now, from my book and the Feynman diagram, I learned that a neutron can change into a ...
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1answer
92 views

Nuclear fusion and the Sun [closed]

I am working on a science project on the Sun. I have found that in order for nuclear fusion to work, it needs both helium 3 and 4. Why can't nuclear fusion be done with just helium 4? How can we ...
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Online physics lecture [closed]

I'm looking for online courses "video" for Classical electrodynamics and nuclear physics for undergraduate students .. do you know where I can find it ?
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Places where fluid dynamical ideas show up in physics? [closed]

One common theme of physics is that ideas and models developed to describe one type of physical situation are found to be nicely applicable to another type of situation. I know that fluid mechanics, ...
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Why is an electron negatively charged, and what is the difference between negative and positive charges?

Nobody has yet defined the actual meaning of a charge, or why a negative charge is different from a positive charge. Everybody knows that positive charge is due to protons and negative charge is due ...
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Near field and Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR)

Why does Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) physics not concern itself with near field physics? All resonance wavelengths in NMR are much larger than bough sample, pick-up coil and excitation coil. ...
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1answer
287 views

Can the High beta fusion reactor work?

Are the claims made about the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_beta_fusion_reactor realistic? Can such a small fusion reactor really work?
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Why does nuclear waste have to be stored until the constituent elements decay naturally?

Fair warning, I have a bachelors in CS and have chemistry 211/212 under my belt. My understanding of the atom consists of a proton, neutron, and electron quasi-orbiting it in some sort of strange ...
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deuteron repulsive channel

I have read some articles mentioning that the n-p interaction showed some repulsive channel. But since there exists a bound n-p state (the deuteron), I think that this repulsion has to be counteract ...
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1answer
42 views

How to calculate scalar neutron flux

I am really confused about the difference between flux and scalar flux. I have a specific question: If we have a parallel neutron beam of strength $\phi_0$ given in neutrons/cm$^2$s, incident on a ...
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1answer
71 views

Can we observe proton decay?

I know that the half life of a proton is more than $6.6\cdot 10^{33}$ years (antimuon decay). I have found this data on Wikipedia proton decay but I do not know the probability distribution that leads ...
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Can neutrons be synthesized purely from protons and electrons?

Can neutrons be synthesized purely from protons and electrons? Note: I'm looking for reactions that do not require neutrinos or any particles besides just protons and/or electrons as reactants.
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Is the E-Cat by Andrea Rossi et al. proof that cold fusion can work? [duplicate]

A team of researchers have tested a device (the E-Cat) produced by a team in Italy led by Andrea Rossi and claim that its 'abundant heat production' together with the change in the composition of its ...
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Integration & bremsstrahlung calculation

In this paper (relevant pdf section) that I'm reading, involving the calculation of bremsstrahlung in electron proton scattering (diagram below), the author calculates the integral over outgoing ...
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Quadrupole moment of a valence proton

The state of an unpaired nucleon in the nuclear shell model is given by the quantum numbers $l$, $s$, $j$ and $m_j$ resulting from coupling $l$ and $s$ when we add spin-orbit interaction. In chapter 5 ...
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How do we know that nuclear physics corresponds to low energy QCD?

One often hears the phrase "most of nuclear physics is in the low energy regime of QCD, where strong coupling constant is large ...", with the following diagram being invoked: How does one know ...
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About Nuclear magnetic resonance

I'm trying to understand the basic principles of Nuclear Magnetic Resonance reading this link but I have some doubts: 1) I have ever known that when protons aren't in a magnetic field, their spins ...
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Leakage of X-ray radiation

Suppose a sample of strontium-90 is stored in a lead container with lead walls. It is know that X-ray radiation may be detected outside the lead container. After some discussion with my peers, it ...