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

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Radiometric dating calculation [on hold]

If a sample of zircon initially contains no Lead, find an expression for the ratio $$\frac{N_U}{N_{Pb}}$$ as a function of time? How do I do simplifications from this? Do I just go: ...
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Why does fusion stop at iron when nickel is most tightly bound?

My understanding is that stellar fusion naturally stops at iron because it is energetically unfavourable to grow the nucleus further. But iron is only the third most tightly-bound nucleus, nickel is ...
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Given the quadrupole moment of the nucleus as Q, is it possible to find the order of magnitude of the dimensions of the nucleus?

Given the quadrupole moment of the nucleus as Q, is it possible to find the order of magnitude of the dimensions of the nucleus? ( order of magnitude means approximate value to the powers of ten)
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Why does the nuclear volume scale (roughly) linearly with number of nucleons?

As far as I know, it is the fermi repulsion that gives a collection of protons or neutrons its finite size. But this only acts on indistinguishable fermions. If the protons and neutrons do not repel ...
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MCNPX for nuclear simulation [closed]

Anyone here expert in MCNPX? I need someone help. I run MCNPX. I try to calculate f4:n using nps:1000. But, it stop directly before culculate f4. There is comment: stack trace terminated abnormally. ...
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Spin orientations

The concept of spin is purely a quantum mechanical effect, it is restricted to given values in given orientations. If hypothetically spin were a classical concept yet still of a fixed value, would its ...
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23 views

Pair production with nucleus

I've seen in other questions that pair production is not possible in vacuum, i.e. it needs a nucleus or something massive in order for conservation of momentum to hold. I've seen the derivation of ...
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How long remains a boron control rod?

I was wondering today, how long boron control rods remains in a nuclear power plant? When a boron atom absorbs two neutrons, it becomes the unstable isotope boron-12 and and the boron nuclei starts ...
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Arrangement of neutrons and origins

I my physics textbook, it is given that atom consists of protons and neutrons. But my question is that how are they arranged in a nucleus of a heavy atom such as uranium?
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electrons inside nucleus and uncertainty principle [closed]

State the assumptions of the proton-electron model of the nucleus. Show that if one uses the Heisenberg uncertainty relation to estimate the speed of an electron inside a nucleus with a diameter of ...
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106 views

Does energy conservation not hold in fission and fusion processes?

I have read that during fission and fusion processes, there is some kind of equilibrium between the single nucleus and the disintegration products, so they are constantly being converted into each ...
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Spin and parity transition levels gamma radiation

Just a quick question regarding spin and parity. I am studying nuclear physics and I am just a tad confused with a concept about gamma radiation. Say I have ${^{20}_{10}Ne}$ And the lowest electric ...
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Is there a maximum number of neutrons of an isotope?

I wondered whether there is a maximum number of neutrons in an isotope. Or is there no maximum number? So, can an H-75 atom exist?
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Did Don Borghi's experiment show that neutrons can be synthesized purely from protons and electrons?

C. Borghi, C. Giori, and A. Dall'Olio published an article entitled "Experimental evidence of emission of neutrons from cold hydrogen plasma" appearing in Yad. Fiz. 56, 147-156 (July 1993) and Phys. ...
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Why do nuclear weapons create a blast wave?

As far as I know, in a nuclear explosion the energy is released in the form of radiation (neutrons, gamma rays, alpha particles and electrons), light and heat. There isn't a chemical reaction that ...
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74 views

Solution to Schrödinger equation

I'm trying to solve the Schrödinger equation for a given potential. With some assumptions I end up with: $$\frac{\hbar^2}{2M}\frac{d^2u(r)}{dr^2} = - \left(E - V(r)\right)u(r)$$ Since it's a square ...
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Centrality analogue in proton-proton collision

If we look at ion-ion collisions one can represent most observables as a function of centrality (0-5% centrality class event etc.). Is there any possibility to introduce centrality analogue in ...
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Possible Meson decays

For an excited state $D_s^{**+}$ of the $D_s^+$ meson, a possible decay is $$D_s^{**+} \rightarrow D_s^+ \pi^0 $$ For which of the $1P$ mesons, i.e. $1^1P_1, 1^3P_0, 1^3P_1,1^3P_2$, is this decay ...
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Deuteron wave function

The deuteron wave function is given by $$|\psi _d\rangle = a|^3S_1\rangle+b|^3D_1\rangle$$ where all states are normalized. How do we find $b^2$ s.t. the wave function reproduces the magnetic moment ...
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Is it correct that whenever energy change, mass also change?

Can I simply claim that, according to the mass-energy equation $E=mc^2$, whenever the energy of an physical object (not necessarily a microcosmic one) changes, its mass also change? Okay, I ...
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Estimate the moment of inertia of nucleus [closed]

How do I estimate the moment of inertia of the rotating nucleus, $^{232}_{90}Th$, using the first order estimate assuming the nucleus does not change shape at high rotational angular momentum? Can you ...
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Free energy for a nucleus

What is the physical significance of Free energy F? Why do sometime we calculate Free energy instead binding energy for a nucleus? If free energy is minimum at a certain temperature, then can we say, ...
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35 views

Isotope with longest decay chain to reach a stable isotope

Which decay chain of a radioactive isotope has the most 'steps' before reaching a stable isotope, i.e. decays into the most other isotopes before becoming stable?
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Complex structures bound by nuclear forces ( nuclear molecules ?)

This is very hypothetical question. Consider all chemistry (even bio-chemistry) is just physics of valence electrons. Because solutions of Schroedinger equation for system of electrons and nuclei are ...
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Nuclear fusion ignited by neutron capture

Does anybody know if there was some attempt to make a hydrogen (fusion) bomb using neutrons released from the fission primary? e.g. using $^{10}\text{B}$ hydrate as a fuel? Assuming reaction ...
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Why ingoing and outgoing impact parameters equal in elastic scattering?

Take the Rutherford scattering, as for example in this picture: What is the easiest way to show that the impact parameter "b" (see picture) is the same for the ingoing and outgoing trajectories? ...
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Underwater nuke - why does the shock wave first become visible at the top of the plume?

Seen at 0:30 seconds in, this video of Operation Crossroads Baker nuclear test the condensation behind the shock wave seem to become visible initially at the top of the plume - why?
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thresholds for Cherenkov radiation visible to the human eye

In pool-type fission reactors, the beautiful Cherenkov radiation from the beta decay of intermediate products seems to be a well-understood phenomenon. I am wondering what some ballpark figures are ...
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How to make sure that two electrons collide head to head?

In high energy experiments, people smash particles into particles. But how to make sure that they really run into each other, instead of just passing by?
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114 views

Why are atoms of the same element exactly the same?

Based on what we know about atomic structure all atoms have an electron density function which describes the uncertainty in the position of an electron. Thus theoretically 2 atoms of the same element ...
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Invariant mass for inelastic scattering

I am trying to understand the idea of invariant mass during electron-proton inelastic scattering. For electrons with energy $E$, scattered by a stationary proton through an angle $\theta$ with energy ...
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78 views

Can a nuclear reactor be used as a space-based weapon?

Imagine you have a ship, running on power from a nuclear reactor. We will assume this ship uses some kind of advanced technology that allows nuclear reactors to function in a microgravity environment. ...
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How do scientists measure the spin-parity of a resonance?

I have seen many plots and data tables which display the cross-section vs. center of mass energy for a particular nuclear reaction at a given angle. Here is an example. You can see that there are a ...
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Atomic form factor reduction from Mott Cross-section

as derived it is: \begin{equation}F(q^2) = \frac{3}{x^3} (\sin x-x \cos x),\quad x=\frac{qa}{\hbar}, \quad q=2p\sin(\theta/2)\end{equation} I have \begin{equation} p=400 MeV/c\end{equation} ...
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What's the slowest nuclear decay rate that's been measurably linked with a narrow energy linewidth?

As was explained in the question What is the relation between the half-time and the line-width of a radioactive nucleus?, the half-life $\tau$ of an unstable nucleus is related to the linewidth ...
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What is the relation between the half-time and the line-width of a radioactive nucleus?

Are they inversely proportional to each other? This is the case for the atoms, I think. The problem is that, for those isotopes like uranium 238, the half-time is as long as 4.4 billion years, and ...
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Why would two protons repel?

I understand that two protons would repel due to them both being positively charged, however, wouldn't the strong force act on the two protons pulling them together? Would this mean that in this case ...
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Why is the nucleon axial charge a charge?

Lets take a look at the definition of the nucleon axial charge $g_A$ $\langle p|A^a_\mu|p\rangle = g_A \bar u(p)\gamma_\mu\gamma_5\tau^au(p)$ with the QCD axial current ...
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Big bang theory

How much energy and heat were produced by the big bang? I'm reading Bill Bryson's Short history.... He mentioned a point that to forage light elements like hydrogen, helium and lithium into elements ...
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What is an 'S-factor' in nuclear physics?

I have seen the "S-factor" in many places, but I've never read an explanation of what it actually is. I have read that it is related to the cross-section of a reaction, but that's about it.
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Binding energies of Be

Just a quick question. How does Beryllium 8 decay into 2 alpha particles? Beryllium 8 has a binding energy of 56.499508 Mev An alpha particle has a binding energy of 28.3 so two of these would have ...
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What does 'channel' mean?

I see many plots like the following that graph counts per channel, I know what a 'count' is, but I don't know what a 'channel' is. Could somebody please explain to me? My guess is that it is that ...
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What is a threshold/subthreshold state and resonance?

I understand what a 'state' is for a quantum mechanical system, but upon reading a paper on reducing the error for a particular nuclear reaction rate I saw the following sentence. "The extrapolation ...
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How to express the differentiation of an antisymmetric matrix (the HFB pairing field)?

I'm trying to wrap my head around the differentiation of antisymmetric matrices in the context of Hartree-Fock-Bogoliubov (HFB) mean-field theory (see also e.g. Ring & Schuck, Blaizot & Ripka, ...
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How would the explosion from a Pure Fusion Bomb differ from the explosion from a Fission Nuclear Bomb?

Suppose we have the technology to create high enough temperatures and pressures inside a confined space to fuse together deuterium and tritium, and create a Pure Fusion Bomb. How would the explosion ...
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r-process: Is it correct to talk about “primary” and “secondary” r-processes?

This website, written in 1994, makes a differentiation between the "primary" and "secondary" r-processes in the context of astrophysics. As far as I can tell the main difference between the primary ...
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Proper nuclear reaction notation for arbitrary species

I am wondering the common way to write a nuclear reaction for an arbitrary species. For instance, for neutron capture on a species $X$: $$^{A}_ZX + n \rightarrow ^{A+1}_{\ \ \ \ \ Z}X'.$$ Is this ...
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only one material (meta)stable at extreme pressures?

Is the pressure at the center of a neutron star so high that everything is crushed into neutronium, no matter what the original elements were? What is the highest pressure (at low/moderate ...
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349 views

Deriving Gamow factor for potential with effective centrifugal potential term

I am looking at deriving an expression for the Gamow factor for $\alpha$-decay. I understand that the potential is the sum of the nuclear, electric and effective potentials: $$V(r) = V_N(r)+V_c(r) ...
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Why does a spinning nucleon generate a magnetic field?

I am trying to understand how NMR works, but I am not sure why a spinning nucleon produces a magnetic field. Is this a consequence of the quark structure inside?