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

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In the known universe, would an atom not present in our periodic table exist?

I have watched this movie Battleship. In it the researchers say this piece of metal is alien because we cant find this metal on earth. So that would mean somewhere else in the universe any of the ...
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278 views

Is it viable to convert nuclear waste into safe isotopes?

I read that powerful pulsed lasers can change isotopes: J. Magill, et. al.: "Laser transmutation of iodine-129". Did anyone estimate what would be the energy costs to transmutate 1 kg of fission ...
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210 views

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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126 views

Norsk Hydro and heavy water - what was the perceived threat?

Through various raids and acts of sabotage during WWII, the Allies succeeded in preventing Germany from coming into possession of large quantities of heavy water produced by the Norsk Hydro plant in ...
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644 views

Was the early Earth radioactive?

I've been reading of the (surprising) fact we are uncertain on whether there is nuclear fission in the center of the Earth or not (yet we know so much detail on structures at the other end of the ...
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7k views

Why isn't Hydrogen's electron pulled into the nucleus? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Why do electrons occupy the space around nuclei, and not collide with them? Why don’t electrons crash into the nuclei they “orbit”? From what I learned in chemistry, the ...
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557 views

Why are breeder reactors not more prevalent? [closed]

I recently learned about breeder reactors, which are able to create more fissile material than they consume. They seem to be superior to the types of nuclear reactors currently in use. What are the ...
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49 views

How is the temperature of a star related to gravity?

As far as I know the Sun gets its energy from the fusion reaction, where Hydrogen is converted into Helium. I was watching an episode of Cosmos: A spacetime odyssey. There Neil deGrasse Tyson said, ...
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181 views

Matter to energy conversion

Okay so I have a question, during a nuclear explosion or particle/antiparticle annihilation, matter is converted into energy. How do I determine if a from a explosion will come lets say a small ...
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383 views

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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96 views

Transmutation with cosmic radiation possible?

Can cosmic radiation (alpha radiation) transmute the material of a space craft, particular carbon, titanium and aluminum? Where can i find transmutation tables or formulas to calculate the ...
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118 views

Is $E=mc^2$ reserved to nuclear physics?

I was wondering, while putting a log in my fireplace, how much energy the piece of wood would give. The most famous formula poped into my head: $E=m \cdot c ^ 2$! Is this formula applicable to a ...
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362 views

Simple PDE as a theory of everything?

For the sake of simplicity, I’d like to believe that there is one master non-linear partial differential equation governing physics. In particular, consider a Klein-Gordon form: $$ \frac{\partial^2 ...
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64 views

Question on matter waves

So,I just started this topic on modern physics in school that contained the concept of"de broglie waves" or "matter waves" and there are a few concepts that are unclear to me. Firstly, does a single ...
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211 views

Can a perfect insulator, i.e. matter devoid of all electrons conduct electricity?

Few weeks ago an article on Nautilus was published on Neutron stars. After reading that, a question was asked by a friend of mine. He asked if matter in neutron star would be able to transfer ...
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699 views

Fission of U-235 produces Cs-137 along with…?

Question about Nuclear fission in general, here. If I have the fission of U-235 and I know that one of the products is Cs-137, is there a way of figuring out the other product? Should there be ...
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597 views

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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Is there a difference in the energy output of a nuclear fission reaction as opposed to fusion?

For example, if I split a Helium atom will I get the same amount of energy as when I fuse Hydrogen into Helium? If there is a difference, what will be the difference (in general not according to ...
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2k views

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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304 views

Questions on beta-decay

According to my textbook, for all the beta decays, it is required that the mass of the original atom to be heavier than the mass of the final atom. Is this due to the fact that all the beta decays ...
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532 views

Temperature Dependence of Fission

I've always heard fusion depends on incredible temperatures and pressures, but I'm curious what the temperature dependence of fission is. For instance, if I had uranium and heated it to a ...
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1k views

Does the fact that protons and neutrons have larger mass than electrons mean they're bigger in size?

and so if a proton is so larger than an electron doesn't that mean it has a shape? What would be the shape of a subatomic particle? are they spherical?
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What are good examples to demonstrate Einstein's mass-energy relation [duplicate]

According to Einstein's mass-energy relation mass and energy are interchangeable. Can you provide some examples where: Mass gets converted into energy. Energy gets converted into mass.
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Could there be a correlation between the Island of Stability and dark matter?

I can only boast of my passion for science and not of any credentials. I ask because I am curious, and it is not the type of question one can easily Google! What if the key to discovering and ...
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306 views

Fukushima vs Thorium [closed]

This is not a question about traditional nuclear power plants vs the thorium based. But about the Fukushima plant itself and the very negative environmental effects from its meltdown of reactors 1 and ...
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272 views

Isotope properties plotting tool?

I'm looking for something that will generate scatter plots comparing different properties of isotopes. Ideally I'd like some web page that lets me select axis and click go but a CSV file with lost of ...
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111 views

Who determined the half-life of Uranium 235 and how?

By Wiki, the half-life of Uranium 235 is as long as 703,800,000 years. This is huge. Therefore, on an human time scale, the decay is very small. This should pose difficulty for determining the half-...
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41 views

Cause of radioactivity

If Uranium-238 is hit by a neutron, it splits into different parts. My question is (a) Why throwing a neutron will destroy the equilibrium? Rather, should it not help maintain it? (As neutron is ...
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67 views

Can we use a particle accelerator to create elements?

i'm a student of 11th grade. i studied about working of particle accelerators, cyclotrons in particular in a chapter of electromagnetism. i also read that the whole periodic table after element number ...
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142 views

Why don't neutrons cluster on their own?

"The answer lies in their one part in a thousand extra mass. Adding neutrons costs a little in mass, and in Einstein $E=mc^2$ implies that mass equates to energy. So it costs energy to add neutrons(...
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101 views

How is an electron “recycled” in a neutron?

A proton is made up, they say, by 2 up and 1 down quark, drowned in a sea of virual paricles: when an electron is captured this process thereby changes a nuclear proton to a neutron and ...
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Question about calculating age of a uranium and lead containing object, based on the ratio of uranium-to-lead

I realize this is probably going to sound so stupid, but... here goes: Radioactive decay: We know that we can calculate the age of a uranium containing object by the uranium-to-lead ratio, due to ...
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46 views

Probability of $\alpha$-decay

In standard Gamow model we assume that $\alpha$ particle is already in the nucleus, i.e. four nucleons are "glued" together and this particle is emitted. So, we assume that the probability of the ...
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109 views

How effective are nuclear weapons in space?

When a nuclear bomb explodes it heats up the air surrounding it and a destructing shock wave is generated. Consider the same bomb exploding in space. This would be the case for example if we tried to ...
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Nuclear transmutation of radioactive waste using high-energy neutrons

How likely does this work: Accelerate neutrons to as high energy as possible (particle accelerators/ cosmic rays ...) and hit (small samples of) our radioactive waste with it such that it is converted ...
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113 views

How do protons and neutrons interchange?

I recently read in a book that a nucleon with +1/2 isospin is a proton and if the isospin is changed to -1/2, it is a neutron, so it is the same particle in different states. If a proton has a ...
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648 views

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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380 views

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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Radioactive decay law and the exponential model, is it always valid?

The law of radioactive decay reads $$ N(t)=N_0e^{-\lambda t}$$ Is it valid when there is less than 1 nucleus or particle to decay? Obviously, it is nonsense to consider that we have 1/2 of nucleus ...
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182 views

Would a Nuclear bomb have any effect on the sun that could damage the earth?

I was asked this recently and wasn't sure. The power of the sun is much more powerful than that of a Nuclear explosion but the question was what is the worst that could happen, we are assuming a ...
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81 views

Falling metal cylinders more devastating than a nuke?

I just saw G.I JOE - Retaliation. In the movie the bad guys (spoiler alert) Could this device cause more destruction than a nuclear weapon? If so, how?
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Is it possible to manufacture Helium?

Helium is a scarce resource, as it escapes the atmosphere over time. If we run out of Helium deposits, will it be possible to manufacture more helium through nuclear fusion or another nuclear process? ...
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2k views

Ba K Lines in a Cs-137 gamma ray spectrum

I'm looking at a spectrum for the gamma ray spectrum of a 137-Cs source and I'm not sure where the peak in the lower energies of ~32keV comes from. I understand that it's to do with some sort of ...
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2k views

Why does mass change in to energy during a nuclear change?

I have been doing some research on nuclear changes and I have found that the energy released during a nuclear change comes from a minuscule amount of mass that is converted in to energy. After making ...
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835 views

Calculate/estimate power of a fission bomb

I have some questions about the released energy and power of a nuclear fission bomb. What are the key dependencies of the power of a fission bomb? Is it true that the power of a fission bomb depends ...
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406 views

Why isn't heavy water much heavier, and what use is it for fission reactions?

With confusion I experienced recently, I'd like to clarify some stuff for myself about nuclear energy, that I find are usually not properly explained. What exactly is heavy water, just water where ...
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161 views

Are there notable cases of anomalies in the mass-decay rate relationship?

As a general rule of thumb, massive particles (both composite and fundamental) tend to decay rapidly through the weak force, while less massive particles tend to be more stable. Hence, taus are ...
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57 views

Atomic bomb explosion [duplicate]

What are those vertical filaments that form in the air whenever an atomic bomb is detonated? They are clearly visible in this movie at 3:08.
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Should I see evidence of neutron induced gammas on a background spectrum?

If I am looking at a background gamma spectrum taken from a neutron spallation source whilst the beam was off (IE in a shutdown period), should I expect to see emissions coming from neutron induced ...
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Safety of Polonium Isotope source

I saw a YouTube video by a guy demonstrating Geiger Counter use and one of his radioactive test sources was a disk with Polonium. He casually mentioned that this was the poison used to kill that ...