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

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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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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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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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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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What elements can be created in the fusion process of different types of stars?

As I understand it fusion inside a sun can produce heavier and heavier elements until some sort of "nucleus size limit" is reached. As far as I understand, the limit is thought to be reached with the ...
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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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How was Be-8's Half-Life of 7E-17 Second Determined?

Radionuclides occur with half-lives in a vast range of over 37 magnitudes as listed in this site. In question 7584, Lubos Motl explained how Gyr half-lives were determined. This method doesn't appear ...
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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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65 views

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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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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356 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 $n\to p + e + \bar{\nu}_e$?
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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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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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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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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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1answer
108 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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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 ...
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Radioactive nuclear fuel?

I suppose this is a not-too-bright question but, in a nutshell: why are nuclear fuels radioactive? With this I mean, which is the connection between being a fissile (or fertile, for that matter) ...
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726 views

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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Is there any reproducible tested evidence for Ni-H cold fusion?

The main replications of cold fusion, the ones that are beyond reproach, used Pd/d as the system. But commercial developers have often claim to use Ni-H to achieve similar effects. The claims include ...
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Does the “Energy Catalyzer” by Andrea Rossi et al. generate energy by converting Nickel to Copper?

From Wikipedia: The Energy Catalyzer is an apparatus built by [...] Andrea Rossi, [and] Sergio Focardi. The 2009 patent application claims "a method and apparatus for carrying out nickel and ...
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Turned to steel in the great magnetic field

This is obviously a "fun" question, but I'm sure it still has valid physics in it, so bear with me. How great of a magnetic field would you need to transmute other elements into iron/nickel, if ...
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An atomic bomb explodes inside of an “unbreakable” container which is on a scale. Does the “weight” of the container change?

I read that most of the "mass" in the proton was actually energy from the quarks and gluons, as opposed to the actual mass which was coupled to the Higgs field. This made me start thinking about ...
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What is the most stable nuclide of an isobar?

From the semi-empirical mass formula, the mass of an atomic nucleus is $$M\left(A,Z\right)=Zm_p+(A-Z)m_n-\frac{E_b(A,Z)}{c^2}$$ I've been told (at first) that for a given mass number $A$, the most ...
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What causes radioactivity? Is it a quantum mechanical effect?

I'm just curious what causes radioactivity. I've been told that in the case of alpha decay, since the nucleus is quantum mechanical, there is a probability that the configuration of protons and ...
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How many times has the “stuff” in our solar system been recycled from previous stars?

Is there a cosmologist in the house? I've got a basic understanding (with some degree of error) of some simple facts: The Universe is a little over 13 billion years old. Our galaxy is almost that ...
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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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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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Where does the energy from a nuclear bomb come from?

I'll break this down to two related questions: With a fission bomb, Uranium or Plutonium atoms are split by a high energy neutron, thus releasing energy (and more neutrons). Where does the energy ...
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Gaseous fission: Has it even been demonstrated experimentally?

I've been reading quite a bit about gas-core reactors, a theoretical reactor design where the fissioning of Uranium(along with Plutonium & possibly Thorium)occurs in gas phase. The result is that ...
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Would being underwater help survive a nuclear bomb?

If I jump in my pool, on the river near my house knowing that a nuclear bomb, or atomic or H-Bomb exploded around 10 km from my house, would I survive? The way I see it is that water will protect me ...
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Why must the deuteron wavefunction be antisymmetric?

Wikipedia article on deuterium says this: The deuteron wavefunction must be antisymmetric if the isospin representation is used (since a proton and a neutron are not identical particles, ...
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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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How much energy can be extracted from hydrogen?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B-L says that the difference between baryon number and lepton number is conserved. Ordinary hydrogen has one of each, but turning it into helium releases only the binding ...
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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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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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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 ...
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Obtaining isotope stability

For a given isotope, one can obtain the binding energy using the semi-empirical mass formula. For example, has a binding energy of 1782.8 MeV. From this information, how can the likelihood of the ...
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Radioactive Decay

Problem:Nuclei of a radioactive element $\Bbb X$ having decay constant $\lambda$ , ( decays into another stable nuclei $\Bbb Y$ ) is being produced by some external process at a constant rate ...
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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 ...