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

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Fusion vs. Fission

I understand why fission generates large amounts of energy when the nucleus is split, but then why does fusion generate such large amounts of energy. If fission releases energy when some mass is lost ...
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169 views

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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On the theoretical aspects of the development of the first nuclear bombs

I've just read that 68 years ago Little Boy was dropped on Hiroshima, which made me wonder about some rather historical facts about the development of the first nuclear bombs; they seem to be several ...
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Why does it take so long to make a nuclear bomb?

So as I know nuclear bombs are derived from fission reactions: By providing the nucleus with enough power to trigger a chain reaction. If uranium was present why does it take so much to make a nuclear ...
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Can open, unsafe nuclear fusion reaction burn the atmosphere?

I happened to hear people saying that the nuclear fusion bomb tests could set the atmosphere on fire. I have some serious doubts about that - but I have no facts. Nuclear fusion reaction requires ...
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When did the first carbon nucleus in the Universe come into existence?

I am a chemist with a passion for astrophysics and particle physics, and one of the most marvellous things I have learned in my life is the process of stellar nucleosynthesis. It saddens me how my ...
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Why does the Walecka model not include pions?

The Walecka or $\sigma$/$\omega$-model is an effective theory describing nucleon-nucleon interaction by an exchange of $\sigma$/$\omega$-mesons. Why does it not include interactions by pions?
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How did Enrico Fermi calculate the classical Fermi Problem?

From Wikipedia: Fermi was known for his ability to make good approximate calculations with little or no actual data, hence the name. One example is his estimate of the strength of the atomic bomb ...
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How do we know that the nucleus isn't a quark-gluon plasma?

The standard picture of the nucleus of atom is that is several distinct nucleons, which themselves are composed of quarks. However, it seems to me like a much simpler picture is that the nucleus is ...
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Is there no radioactive decay between nuclear fusion and solid material formation?

I'm aware my question might be considered a duplicate of this one: Radio-dating and the age of the earth I read that one and I looked everywhere and I still can't find my piece of mind. I would ...
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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 ...
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What is so special about iron?

I remember reading something about how iron was a highly stable element. Ever since then, I have looked at iron fry pans with new-found respect. However, in a recent discussion I was unable to ...
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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 doesn't the deuterium nucleus have spin 0?

A deuterium nucleus is composed of a proton and a neutron. Both have spin 1/2 so I would expect the deuterium to have two possible spins: 1 for the triplet and 0 for the singlet. But apparently ...
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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. ...
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Adding many more neutrons to a nucleus decreases stability?

If you take any large nucleus and add protons to it, the electrostatic repulsion between them will make the nucleus more unstable, because the electrostatic force between them is more repulsive at a ...
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nuclear fission and half life

Why is the alpha, beta or gamma decay of an unstable nucleus unaffected by the chemical situation of an atom, such as the nature of the molecule or solid in which it is bound? The chemical situation ...
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Why are synthetic elements unstable?

So far 20 synthetic elements have been synthesized. All are unstable, decaying with half-lives between years and milliseconds. Why is that?
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Spherical ground state of nucleus

If a nucleus has spin-parity 0$^+$ in its ground state (even-even nucleus), does this necessarily mean that the ground state is a spherical one? Or does this apply only to closed shell nuclei? E.g. ...
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Why can't electrons be found inside the nucleus if there are infinite number of orbitals?

If there are an infinite number of orbitals, we can assume, that they can be present in any point in space. If that is correct, why do we not find electrons in the nucleus? I study in high school. ...
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Electron scattering to measure the nuclear radius

I have been taught that you can find out the size of a nucleus of an atom by firing electrons at high velocities at the atom. This causing scattering due the positive charge of the nucleus and ...
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What prevents an atom's electrons from “collapsing” onto its protons? [duplicate]

Forgive me if the answer to this is obvious. I have no formal physics training, and I remember that when I asked my physics teacher this, she just frowned and said "Good question." An electron is ...
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Predict decay chain of a radioactive element

I know there are tables of decay chain of radioactive elements. Is there a way to predict the whole chain from the first radioactive element?
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670 views

Anti-neutrons, anti-quarks, isospin: What is observed and what is derived?

I would be a little more restrained with the existence of antineutrons. First at all - if I understood right - the existence of antiquarks is hypothetical. If one not agree with this please refer to ...
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Nuclear Binding energy

The nuclear binding energy, is the energy that is needed to seperate the nucleons in a nucleus. And binding energy is also defined as the energy given out when a nucleus forms from nucleons. Also ...
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How does Positronium exist?

I've just recently heard of Positronium, an "element" with interesting properties formed by an electron and positron, and I was shocked to hear that physicists were actually working with this element, ...
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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?
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Can we excite a nucleus by means of very intense low energy gamma-photon irradiation?

The phenomenon of multi-photon ionization of atoms has been studied, both theoretically and experimentally, for several decades. Intense laser beam devices are the apparatuses used for the ...
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Why is the spectrum of the $\beta$-decay continuous?

the spectrum of the Gamma and Alpha decays are both discrete, i.e. the $\alpha$-particles and the $\gamma$-rays take on only discrete values when emitted from a decaying nucleus. Why is it then, that ...
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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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Do some half-lives change over time?

I was recently doing some physics tuition on radioactivity and the student claimed her chemistry teacher had said that radioactive substances can be grouped into two divisions: those whose half-life ...
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Is the long range neutron-antineutron interaction repulsive or attractive?

I can model this interaction as Zee does in "Quantum field theory in a nutshell". In chapter I.4 section "from particle to force" he uses two delta functions for the source. The integral gives ...
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Binding energy and mass

I’ve been told that a greater binding energy means the nucleus is more tightly bound, and therefore that decreases the mass of the nucleus with respect to its nucleons when separated. But why does a ...
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Parity of proton is 1?

I have found from Wikipedia that "a parity transformation is the flip in the sign of spatial coordinates". Now when we operate parity operator, does that mean we are taking any physical entity at ...
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Is it possible that nuclear fission contributes to climate change?

This is probably a really stupid question, please forgive me. Is it possible that the use of nuclear fission on earth contributes to the increased energy in the Earth's system as according with the ...
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How massive can an atom get?

After reading this thread, it appears to me that creating a new element is a game of chance some sort of an art. It also appeared to me that the higher you go, the harder it is to make an element. ...
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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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Peaks in binding energy per nucleon

Looking at the the binding energy per nucleon chart: I observe peaks for N=4,8,12,16,20,24 while I expected to observe peaks for 2, 8, 20, 28, 50, 82, and 126 because I have heard that in ...
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Can Antimatter undergo nuclear fission/fusion?

I was curious if antimatter could undergo nuclear fission/fusion with other antimatter. It makes sense, I was wondering if it would work?
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How much iron would I have to shoot into the sun to blow it up?

My understanding--though it's from a Science Channel show so I'm not sure if it is correct--is that there is a fusion reaction happening in the center of the sun. Atomic nuclei are being created and ...
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What is the lowest possible theoretical temperature that nuclear fusion can occur at?

I am not talking about the pseudo-science of so called cold fusion I am interested in what temperature you can get away with to produce fusion reaction. I was thinking in terms of micro-fusion or at ...
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Is there an equation for the residual strong nuclear force?

First of all, note the qualifier "residual". The present question is not the same as that asked, and answered, in the StackExchange question "Is there an equation for the strong nuclear force?" which ...
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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 $n\to p + e + \bar{\nu}_e$?
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Which nucleus is the most resilient against gamma-induced fission?

To state the title question perhaps more precisely: What is the largest photon energy $E_{\gamma}$ and the corresponding mass number $A$ and atomic number $Z$ of a suitable nucleus ${}^A_ZX$ ...
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Hamiltonian Nuclear collective model

Let $\mathscr{I}_3$ and $\mathscr{I}$ are the moments of inertia for rotations about symmetry axis 3 and about an axis perpendicular to it , and I is the angular momentum operator with components ...
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Please explain C14 half-life [duplicate]

I understand that C14 decays at a given rate. I also interpret this to mean that 100% of the atoms of C14 in an object will all decay at the same right, individually. So if I have 4 C14 atoms, will ...
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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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Does Uranium-235 always split into Krypton and Barium in nuclear fission?

In most nuclear fission examples and exercises, the products of a nuclear fission of Uranium-235 are two light nuclei of Krypton and Barium: $$\mathrm{ _0^1n + U \longmapsto Kr + Ba + energy }$$ Is ...
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What is the half-life threshold for an isotope to be considered stable?

What minimum half-life an isotope should have to be considered stable?
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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 ...