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

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Trying to locate information on alpha particle scattering/peak resonance energies for elements

On our campus we have an ion beam analysis lab. It is used for compositional analysis through the firing of alpha particles at MeV energies at target samples. From here it is a simple matter of back ...
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What processes contribute to non-relativistic proton-antiproton collsions (annihilation)

I wonder what the dominant contributions of nuclear interaction to non-relativistic proton-antiproton annihilation are (I mean that the proton and antiproton are non-relativistic. The products might ...
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20 views

The central density of a nucleus remains roughly constant?

Let A be the atomic number The density of a nucleus is computed using the ratio of the number of protons and neutrons, A, to the volume of the nucleus (which at my current level, is assumed to be a ...
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An example on computing the density of a typical nucleus

An example from my text is as such: Compute the density of a typical nucleus, and find the resultant mass if we could manufacture a nucleus with a radius of 1cm. I will only provide a partial ...
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44 views

Radioactivity, alpha decay [duplicate]

In alpha decay, a $\text{He}$ nucleus is emited along with a daughter nuclide. Now suppose $\text{U}$ with atomic number 92 and atomic mass 238 emits an alpha particle and a daughter nuclide is formed ...
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Why do only heavy radioactive elements perform fission or fusion?

Why do only heavy radioactive elements perform fission or fusion? I mean what's so special about heavy elements which makes them ideal for nuclear fission? Also why do only neutrons show ...
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Scattering and form factor

In Introductory Nuclear Physics by Krane (there's a PDF online), it is mentioned electron scattering on the nucleus to get a picture of the latter's shape, e.g., its radius. It is said the probability ...
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49 views

Two isobars they differ in binding energy, will they differ in radius as well?

It is a problem from introduction to nuclear physics- by krane, chapter: nuclear properties, problem 7. It goes like this: From the known masses of $_{~~8} ^{15}\rm O$ and $_{~~7}^{15}\rm N$, compute ...
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44 views

Stopping a nuclear missile

I had been thinking about whether it is possible to stop an incoming missile or not. I found something quite interesting here. So, there many people said that it will be possible to stop an incoming ...
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Resultant half life of sample which contain more than one type of radioctive element.

If a sample is mixed with more than one radioactive elements - for example Ra-226, Po - 210 and Cs -137, then how to estimate the resultant half life of the sample? Is there any general formula to ...
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1answer
61 views

Nuclear fission problem

If during a nuclear fission U(235) decomposes into Xe(140), Sr(94) and n(1), how is it possible that the original U(235) has bigger mass than the three resulting nuclei together? Should it not be the ...
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What Happens to electrons after Alpha Decay and Nuclear Fission?

Where do the electrons go? In alpha decay do 2 electrons follow the alpha particle and make stable Helium or does the larger daughter nucleus become an anion? Also what do the electrons do in the ...
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69 views

Can an element decay into an infinite loop?

I've been working on a problem and have been wondering is there any isotope of any element that beta decays under certain conditions but then under differing conditions the daughter nucleus electron ...
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34 views

Is it possible to create helium atoms by bombarding heavy water with neutrons?

If heavy water is bombarded by neutrons is it possible that any of the deuterium atoms can capture neutrons and transmute to helium atoms? I suspect the more probable event would be knocking protons ...
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21 views

Production of Inductively Coupled Plasma

I am working on an experiment hat requires the usage of inductively coupled plasma, but unfortunately, I do not have any equipment at the moment that can produce such plasma, and I really need your ...
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6answers
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What will happen if a ball of ice with the mass of sun is thrown into the sun?

The question is a bit unrealistic with its circumstances but lets assume there is a bucket of ice cooled down to about absolute zero and is about 1000 km away (all around the sun) from sun and moving ...
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3answers
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Does lithium-6 “decay” when hit by a neutron?

I am talking about the nuclear reaction $$ ^6\text{Li} + n \rightarrow\ ^4\text{He} +\ ^3\text{H} + 4.78\text{MeV} $$ A neutron hits a lithium-6 nucleus and together they form an alpha and triton ...
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3answers
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What is nuclide notation referring to? Only the nucleus or the whole atom?

sorry that this is an easy question but I am just a bit confused about nuclide notation. When you say e.g. $^{240}_{94}\text{Pu}$, are you referring to the atom of $\text{Pu}$ or only its nucleus? It ...
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Why do all the atoms of a radioactive substance not decay at the same time?

Why does the substance decay at a rate which is proportional to the amount of the substance at that moment? As all atoms are in hurry to become a stable atom and as their decay do not depend on any ...
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1answer
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Can only radon-222 decay into polonium-218?

Is radon-222 the only element that can decay into polonium-218?
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2answers
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Do hadrons only interact via strong interaction?

According to my revision guide baryon and mesons always interact via the strong interaction. Does this hold for baryon-baryon interactions? meson-meson? Thanks
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12 views

Asymmetry Term in the Semi-Empirical Mass Formula

Could someone explain to me in simple terms what the asymmetry term means and how it is derived. I don't really want a full fledged mathematical derivation, but more the basic principle and idea ...
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0answers
12 views

Klein-Nishina for estimating X-ray cross section

I'm looking at interaction probability for X-rays with water and DNA, and recently have starting reading up on the Klein-Nishina identities for differential cross section. When integrated over all ...
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1answer
32 views

Proton-Uranium collision

I am looking for references or numbers regarding what happens when one bombards Uranium with Protons. In particular: How to calculate how often does a collision occurs? Can a collision lead to a ...
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3answers
45 views

What triggers a nuclear chain reaction?

A nuclear fission works by spliting atom's neutrons by neutrons which release energy but how is the chain reaction triggered because at first the nucleus is bond by a strong nuclear force so what ...
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2answers
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Energy from 1 gram of fuel in a nuclear power plant?

It might go without saying, but I am asking about a fission reactor. I assume the fuel still has mass after it is used. If I am right about that, I can't use e=m*c^2 to answer my question. Hence my ...
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BINDING ENERGY OR BINDING ENERGY PER NEUCLEON REMAINS CONSTANT [duplicate]

Which one is constant BINDING ENERGY or BINDING ENERGY PER NEUCLEON? I GOT LOTS OF ANS. BUT I CAN`T UNDERSTAND. IS NEITHER OF THE IS CONSTANT?
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Why doesn't the electron fall into the nucleus? [duplicate]

Electrons move around the nucleus, which contain protons and neutrons. I know that quantum mechanics tells us that the nucleus is made up of fundamental particles, but why (quantum mechanically ...
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1answer
41 views

Gamow peak and nuclear reaction rate

It's known that the nuclear reaction rate (inside a Star) can be determined with $$R_{ab}=n_a n_b\left<\sigma v\right> \, \approx \, n_a n_b \Big(\frac{8}{\pi m_e}\Big)^{1/2} ...
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1answer
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Protons and Neutrons Overshoot Actual Mass? [duplicate]

When I add up the mass of 6 protons and 6 neutrons in amu, I get a mass that is greater than the mass of carbon. I thought that it should be the other way around, because I have not including binding ...
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1answer
40 views

Why do nuclear bomb explosions create an array of visible electric discharges in the form of lightening in the upper atmosphere?

I've seen videos on the internet, showing nuclear bomb test explosions, and there appears to be a large amount of visible lightening discharging numerous times over the development of the mushroom ...
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29 views

Regge trajectories for higher spins

I have read that Regge theory did/does predict higher spin meson states, but that at higher spins the data becomes fuzzy for spins greater than 4. Why is this so? In the book "A Brief History of ...
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3answers
110 views

Why U235 over U238?

There are 3 isotopes of uranium that can be found in nature[1]: U234, U235 and U238. For a chain reaction to last there must be a high amount of neutrons contents and by comparison, U238 contains 92 ...
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41 views

Discrepancy problem in lithium?

Why is there a discrepancy between the amount of lithium-7 predicted to be produced in Big Bang nucleosynthesis and the amount observed in very old stars?
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Can we predict the half-lives of radioactive isotopes from theory?

Is there any way to predict the half-lives of radioactive isotopes from theory (that is, using only theoretical considerations, without using data about the decay)? For example, could we predict that ...
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1answer
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Carbon-14 formation in atmosphere

Wikipedia says Carbon-14 is formed in the atmosphere by the reaction: 1n + 14N → 14C + 1p This looks like neutron capture. However, I would expect neutron capture to result in 15N. However, "proton ...
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2answers
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Semi-empirical mass formula

The mass formula is given by $M(Z,A) = ZM_{p}+(A-Z)M_{n}-a_{1}A+a_{2}A^\frac{2}{3}+a_{3}\frac{Z(Z-1)}{A^\frac{1}{3}}+a_{4}\frac{(Z-A/2)^2}{A}+a_{5}A^\frac{-1}{2}$ So I am just wondering here what ...
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1answer
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Mass of an Atom

So the mass deficit of an atom, denoted by $\Delta M(Z,A)$, is given by the following formula, $\Delta M(Z,A) = M(Z,A) - Z(M_{p} + m_{e}) -NM_{n}$ However since the rest mass of an electron is a lot ...
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2answers
35 views

Binding Energy of an atom

I would like to know if there is any difference between the binding energy of a nucleus and the binding energy of an atom and what exactly do we mean when we say Binding energy per nucleon.. Edit to ...
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1answer
26 views

What is the charge/matter distribution?

I am a mathematics student who is doing an introductory course in nuclear physics and since the course is rather elementary a lot of the definitions/derivations are skipped which makes it quite tough ...
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1answer
855 views

Can Dark Matter just be clumps of Neutrons

I was wondering about Dark matter, and it occurred to me that why could it not be just nuclei of Neutrons with no electron cloud. Is it possible for such things to exists. Can Neutrons bond to one ...
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nuclear fusion scaling with reactor size

Thinking about physics of thermonuclear fusion, I have always intuitive sense, that making fusion feasible is matter of reactor size. In other words I feel like: if the fusion reactor is big enough ...
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0answers
38 views

What is the difference between mass defect and mass deficit?

Is there any difference between the mass defect and the mass deficit? I have read that the mass defect of a nuclide is never negative and have also been told that the mass defect is the same as the ...
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1answer
43 views

Sommerfeld Parameter Confusion

In almost every reference site I can find, the Sommerfeld parameter $\eta$ is explicitly stated as $$\eta=\frac{Z_1Z_2e^2}{\hbar \nu}=\frac{Z_1Z_2e^2}{\hbar }\sqrt{\frac{\mu}{2E}}$$ Where $Z_1$ and ...
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1answer
74 views

Why can “slow” neutrons trigger fission?

My understanding of nuclear fission is that some massive isotopes such as uranium-235 are unstable and when split via fission there will be a "slow" neutron. This slow neutron will hit another ...
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1answer
25 views

What happens to the nucleus energy when it decays?

When an atom decays into another atom, what happens to the potential energy of the nucleus ? I think it will get more negative because, in general, through fission and fusion an atom tries to get a ...
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1answer
65 views

Why is energy released during decay?

Why is energy released when an atom decays into another atom, even though no energy is added? What does the mass defect mean? Is it because a nucleus which decays is unstable (proton/neutron = 1)? ...
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Could the LHC be used for fusion experiments? [duplicate]

Just looking at the beam energy and peak power for the LHC, 360 MJ and petawatts, respectively, dumped in about 100 µs, would this be sufficient to do useful fusion experiments?
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1answer
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Stone vs. Atomic Bomb

What would do more damage, a B53, a 9 megaton uranium bomb, or a medium sized stone (2 kg) stone throw at 90% the speed of light. One thing that I know that will have to be considered is that fact ...
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1answer
90 views

What is the difference between zero background radiation and field background radiation in Nuclear Physics measurements?

Can someone please explain the difference between these two terms (Zero Background Radiation and Field Background Radiation) used in radiometric prospecting measurements?