4
votes
1answer
46 views

Energy balance for beta decay of cobalt-60

I am confused by a simple fact about the $\beta^{-}$ decay of ${}^{60}{\rm Co}$ nucleus. According to Wikipedia, the most likely decay branch is to an excited state of ${}^{60}{\rm Ni}$, see the ...
0
votes
1answer
35 views

Algorithm for distribution of radiation

Unstable atomic nuclei will spontaneously decompose to form nuclei with a higher stability. What is the algorithm for deciding what sort of it is? (alpha, beta, gamma, etc. Also, given that alpha and ...
0
votes
0answers
39 views

Use of fission products for electricity generation

Why can't we use fissions products for electricity production ? As far has I know fissions products from current nuclear power plants create enough 'waste' heat to boil water; and temperature ...
2
votes
1answer
40 views

Characteristic x-ray in energy spectrum

Context: Monte Carlo simulation of a linear accelerator photon beam. The energy spectrum for photons as calculated from the phase space files found in here has a peak somewhere near ...
2
votes
2answers
219 views

Why doesn't a nuclear fuel pool become irradiated?

Why doesn't the volume of water in a nuclear fuel pool become irradiated? Why wouldn't the water around the pool become radioactive and circulate around making the whole thing deadly? My question ...
0
votes
1answer
47 views

$α$-decay and electron

I'm a Web developer and I'm working on a physic interactive Web page to represent how atoms interact. I'm reading information about α-decay and here is what I understand. Let's say we have a isotope ...
2
votes
2answers
97 views

Measuring background radiation

We tried to measure background radiation using a geiger counter for a experiment at school. The meter showed $0.12$-$0.21$ microSv/h during the day averaging at about $0.14$ mcSv/h. As we tried to ...
1
vote
2answers
69 views

What causes different decays?

Nuclei spontaneously decay according to a certain decay rate. There are however different kinds of decay, alpha, beta, gamma... What causes then the nuclei, when they decay, to do so in one way of ...
3
votes
1answer
82 views

What determines the distribution of the energy between the beta-particle and the neutrino in beta decay?

When beta-decay occurs an electron or a positron is emitted along a neutrino or an antineutrino. The energy spectrum of the beta particles is continuous because, as I read, the energy is shared ...
0
votes
0answers
10 views

What are the coefficients of the Geiger-Nutall law dependent on?

The Geiger-Nutall law for alpha-particles predicts a linear relationship between the logarithm of the decay rate and the energy of the particle, and I've observed that in ln(decay rate) / (energy) ...
0
votes
0answers
21 views

Origin of the names for the decay chains

Is there any reason for the names of the decay chains? As shown in this chart (larger version here): only the Thorium chain starts on an isotope of the element it takes its name from, and it can ...
6
votes
1answer
114 views

How Does Lead Block Radiation

How is it that lead can block radiation, and things are lead lined. In the Indiana Jones 4 movie he climbs inside a lead-lined fridge and he somehow survives the blast and radiation?
1
vote
1answer
73 views

Is it possible to calculate the half-life of a nucleus?

Is it possible to calculate theoretically the half life of a nucleus (how?) or they are all known through measurements? As an example how do you calculate the half life of Carbon-14?
6
votes
2answers
488 views

Why aren't betavoltaics and alphavoltaics batteries widely used?

Betavoltaic batteries are devices which creates electricity from beta radiation of a radioactive material. Alphavoltaics operate similarly, using alpha radiation. The concept was invented roughly 50 ...
0
votes
2answers
138 views

1/r Counting Rate for Radiation Experiment

In an experiment performed in the lab, I want to justify that, when the width of the Geiger counter window is approximately the same size as the distance between the window and a mildly radioactive ...
0
votes
0answers
54 views

Are there isotopes that ONLY decay through beta decay?

Are there isotopes that only go through beta decay and nothing else to become stable ?
1
vote
1answer
124 views

How to solve the Fukushima incident?

I am trying to find out if it is somehow possible to take all this nuclear material, put it in some type of gamma chamber or blast it with neutrons to change the uranium isotopes into something ...
0
votes
0answers
26 views

Is there a way to slow down radioactive decay (specifically beta decay)? [duplicate]

How would I, theoretically speaking, be able to slow down decay rates such as beta decay of an unstable isotope?
3
votes
2answers
118 views

Can I excite an already unstable element for accelerated decay?

Say I had an unstable element ready to go through beta decay and I introduced it to high speed electrons: would this lessen the time needed for the product to go through beta decay?
5
votes
1answer
161 views

Would matter-antimatter annihilation create a fireball or not?

There has been a long discussion between me and Anna V on if the products of the annihilation will really cause a fireball to form and we haven't settled it yet. Our point here is that gamma rays ...
2
votes
2answers
530 views

Would a matter-antimatter explosion cause fallout?

I know matter and antimatter annihilation release a lot of gamma rays which are considered ionizing radiation if I am not mistaken. But what if the explosion happened on the surface of the earth, ...
3
votes
2answers
288 views

What is the shielding in nuclear reactors mainly against?

I have a little knowledge about ionizing radiation and I have been confused over why nuclear reactors need these massive shields. So, if I am not mistaken, Alpha and Beta radiation are not that ...
5
votes
2answers
610 views

Do brick walls effectively protect against ionizing radiation from a nuclear explosion?

Of course it depends on the distance and the amount of radiation, so let's say its about 10,000 Rad. Now, can wall made of brick protect someone behind it from such radiation ?
-6
votes
1answer
123 views

What's gonna happen if a nuclear bomb explodes nearby? [closed]

I live in the capital, 10 km from its center on the 9th floor, my windows facing the opposite direction will I still see a flash? Will I hear something? How loud will it be? How fast would I die? If I ...
35
votes
2answers
17k views

Why can Hiroshima be inhabited when Chernobyl cannot?

There was an atomic bomb dropped in Hiroshima, but today there are residents in Hiroshima. However, in Chernobyl, where there was a nuclear reactor meltdown, there are no residents living today (or ...
1
vote
2answers
650 views

Alpha particle and helium nucleus

The symbol for the alpha particle is α or $α^{2+}$, it can be written as $He^{2+}$. What I want to know is that, are they same? I mean alpha particle and helium nucleus are same or any subtle ...
10
votes
4answers
297 views

Why are alpha particles such a prominent form of radiation and not other types of nucleon arrangement?

It is said in many textbooks that alpha decay involves emitting alpha particles, which are very stable. Indeed, the binding energy (~28.3 MeV) is higher than for $Z$-neighboring stable isotopes. But ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

Kinetic energy of alpha-particle in $^{212}$Po decay

Admittedly, Nuclear Physics is not my strength. I'm writing a simulation to model alpha-decay. So far, I have looked up the values of the kinetic energy of the alpha particles that are emitted in a ...
1
vote
1answer
54 views

Nuclear transition notation

I have a question which asks me to determine what x is for the following nuclear transition $$^{29}Si(\alpha, n)X$$ But I don't have any idea what this notation implies. Another example: ...
-1
votes
2answers
419 views

Determining energy of gamma-rays after alpha-decay of Am-241

So it turns into Np, and electrons just falling into 'free new' levels and emmiting, right? Give me a link where to read, please, if it's very easy to answer.
0
votes
0answers
119 views

Beta decay for Ar-38, K-38, Cl-38

I want to prove that $^{38}Ar$ is stable with respect to $\beta$ decay, that $^{38}Cl$ decays by $\beta^-$ and that $^{38}K$ decays by $\beta^+$. I know from Googling that this is true, and I also ...
4
votes
1answer
69 views

$\alpha$ decay to more than one nuclear state

I do not understand how $\alpha$ decay can be a probabilistic process such that there are multiple products from the decay. For example: $^{241}\mathrm{Cm}$ decays to the excited states of ...
4
votes
1answer
147 views

Radiation exposure to a child who was briefly in the presence of an adult who had received a 18FDG PET scan

I am a physician who thought she was good at math, but apparently am not as I cannot figure out this mathematical/physics question. (My background is obviously NOT nuclear medicine!) A family friend ...
1
vote
1answer
148 views

Does the strong (nuclear) force ever contribute to decay?

Does the strong (nuclear) force ever contribute to decay ? Or is the weak nuclear force the only decaying force ?
2
votes
1answer
125 views

Alpha-stable isotopes

Why some isotopes with positive alpha-decay energy are stable? For example, alpha-decay energy of stable 194Pt is about 1.5 MeV. But there is no stable isotopes with positive beta-decay energy. ...
1
vote
2answers
313 views

Where does the “borrowed energy” come from in Alpha decay?

I was also thinking about the uncertainty principle in regards with energy & time. The question of something like: Alpha tunneling out of the nucleus is where this can be invoked, but having an ...
1
vote
1answer
57 views

References for nuclear masses, mass deficits, decay rates and modes

Where can I find the base data for computing the energy release of nuclear decays and the spectra of the decay products? My immediate need is to find the energy release by the beta decay of Thorium ...
1
vote
3answers
233 views

Neutron decay and electron anti neutrino $n\to p + e + \bar{\nu}_e$

Why do we need neutrino to explain neutron decay? Is there any evidence regarding existence neutrinos in the context of $n\to p + e + \bar{\nu}_e$?
9
votes
2answers
3k views

Why are alpha particles made of 2 protons and neutrons?

When experiencing alpha decay, atoms shed alpha particles made of 2 protons and 2 neutrons. Why can't we have other types of particles made of more or less protons?
6
votes
2answers
1k views

“Dear radioactive ladies and gentlemen” - Letter by Wolfgang Pauli

In 1930, Wolfgang Pauli wrote a letter to Lise Meitner for a convention in Tübingen, considering the problem of beta decay. Does anybody know, where to find the original letter online ?
0
votes
0answers
49 views

Problem on nuclear physics radioactivity [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How do we know that C14 decay is exponential and not linear? Please help me solving this problem. Find the half life period of uranium-238,if one gram of it emits ...
6
votes
1answer
322 views

Does neutron radiation form clouds?

I've heard a couple of scary stories from experienced accellerator physiscists about something called neutron clouds. Apparently, if you have an experiment like a fixed-target experiment that produces ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Tunneling of alpha particles

Consider this explanation of the alpha decay: It says The Coulomb barrier faced by an alpha particle with this energy is about 26 MeV, so by classical physics it cannot escape at all. ...
4
votes
2answers
789 views

What is the required thickness of concrete needed to entomb a leaking reactors emissions?

What is the minimum thickness of an aggregate concrete membrane to prevent radioactive particles from escaping a broken reactor? I am interested in calculating the amount of concrete required to ...
1
vote
2answers
262 views

$\alpha$ and $\beta$-decay, why don't they neutralize each other?

$\alpha$ radiation consist of positive charged helium nuclei, $\beta$ radiation of negative charged electrons. So why don't the $\alpha$ particles take those electrons to get neutral?
3
votes
3answers
243 views

Ratio of radiation sources in the uranium cycle

Sorry, I know y'all are probably getting a lot of questions re: Fukushima, but I had a very specific one and no-one has been able to answer it. I am specialised in medical radiation, and have been ...
6
votes
1answer
805 views

Why doesn't orbital electron fall into the nucleus of Rb85, but falls into the nucleus of Rb83?

Rb83 is unstable and decays to Kr-83. Mode of the decay is electron capture. Rb85 is stable. The nuclei Rb83 and Rb85 have the same charge. Rb85 is heavier than Rb85, but gravitation is too weak to ...
10
votes
6answers
883 views

Is there any thing other than time that “triggers” a radioactive atom to decay?

Say you have a vial of tritium and monitor their atomic decay with a geiger counter. How does an atom "know" when it's time to decay? It seems odd that all the tritium atoms are identical except with ...
10
votes
3answers
932 views

Why some nuclei with “magic” numbers of neutrons have a half-life less than their neighbor isotopes?

It's easy to find the "magic" numbers of neutrons on the diagrams of alpha-decay energy: 82, 126, 152, 162. Such "magic" nuclei should be more stable than their neighbors. But why some nuclei ...