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

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Isotope with longest decay chain to reach a stable isotope

Which decay chain of a radioactive isotope has the most 'steps' before reaching a stable isotope, i.e. decays into the most other isotopes before becoming stable?
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Complex structures bound by nuclear forces ( nuclear molecules ?)

This is very hypothetical question. Consider all chemistry (even bio-chemistry) is just physics of valence electrons. Because solutions of Schroedinger equation for system of electrons and nuclei are ...
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Nuclear fusion ignited by neutron capture

Does anybody know if there was some attempt to make a hydrogen (fusion) bomb using neutrons released from the fission primary? e.g. using $^{10}\text{B}$ hydrate as a fuel? Assuming reaction ...
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Why ingoing and outgoing impact parameters equal in elastic scattering?

Take the Rutherford scattering, as for example in this picture: What is the easiest way to show that the impact parameter "b" (see picture) is the same for the ingoing and outgoing trajectories? ...
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Underwater nuke - why does the shock wave first become visible at the top of the plume?

Seen at 0:30 seconds in, this video of Operation Crossroads Baker nuclear test the condensation behind the shock wave seem to become visible initially at the top of the plume - why?
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36 views

thresholds for Cherenkov radiation visible to the human eye

In pool-type fission reactors, the beautiful Cherenkov radiation from the beta decay of intermediate products seems to be a well-understood phenomenon. I am wondering what some ballpark figures are ...
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84 views

How to make sure that two electrons collide head to head?

In high energy experiments, people smash particles into particles. But how to make sure that they really run into each other, instead of just passing by?
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175 views

Why are atoms of the same element exactly the same?

Based on what we know about atomic structure all atoms have an electron density function which describes the uncertainty in the position of an electron. Thus theoretically 2 atoms of the same element ...
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94 views

Can a nuclear reactor be used as a space-based weapon?

Imagine you have a ship, running on power from a nuclear reactor. We will assume this ship uses some kind of advanced technology that allows nuclear reactors to function in a microgravity environment. ...
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97 views

How do scientists measure the spin-parity of a resonance?

I have seen many plots and data tables which display the cross-section vs. center of mass energy for a particular nuclear reaction at a given angle. Here is an example. You can see that there are a ...
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29 views

Atomic form factor reduction from Mott Cross-section

as derived it is: \begin{equation}F(q^2) = \frac{3}{x^3} (\sin x-x \cos x),\quad x=\frac{qa}{\hbar}, \quad q=2p\sin(\theta/2)\end{equation} I have \begin{equation} p=400 MeV/c\end{equation} ...
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What's the slowest nuclear decay rate that's been measurably linked with a narrow energy linewidth?

As was explained in the question What is the relation between the half-time and the line-width of a radioactive nucleus?, the half-life $\tau$ of an unstable nucleus is related to the linewidth ...
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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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146 views

Why would two protons repel?

I understand that two protons would repel due to them both being positively charged, however, wouldn't the strong force act on the two protons pulling them together? Would this mean that in this case ...
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30 views

Why is the nucleon axial charge a charge?

Lets take a look at the definition of the nucleon axial charge $g_A$ $\langle p|A^a_\mu|p\rangle = g_A \bar u(p)\gamma_\mu\gamma_5\tau^au(p)$ with the QCD axial current ...
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40 views

Big bang theory

How much energy and heat were produced by the big bang? I'm reading Bill Bryson's Short history.... He mentioned a point that to forage light elements like hydrogen, helium and lithium into elements ...
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132 views

What is an 'S-factor' in nuclear physics?

I have seen the "S-factor" in many places, but I've never read an explanation of what it actually is. I have read that it is related to the cross-section of a reaction, but that's about it.
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47 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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What does 'channel' mean?

I see many plots like the following that graph counts per channel, I know what a 'count' is, but I don't know what a 'channel' is. Could somebody please explain to me? My guess is that it is that ...
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What is a threshold/subthreshold state and resonance?

I understand what a 'state' is for a quantum mechanical system, but upon reading a paper on reducing the error for a particular nuclear reaction rate I saw the following sentence. "The extrapolation ...
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How to express the differentiation of an antisymmetric matrix (the HFB pairing field)?

I'm trying to wrap my head around the differentiation of antisymmetric matrices in the context of Hartree-Fock-Bogoliubov (HFB) mean-field theory (see also e.g. Ring & Schuck, Blaizot & Ripka, ...
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96 views

How would the explosion from a Pure Fusion Bomb differ from the explosion from a Fission Nuclear Bomb?

Suppose we have the technology to create high enough temperatures and pressures inside a confined space to fuse together deuterium and tritium, and create a Pure Fusion Bomb. How would the explosion ...
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118 views

How hot is Plutonium-238 in Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators (RTGs)?

As I understand it, Plutonium-238 is used to provide power through heat generation in radioisotope thermoelectric generators. My question is... how hot is a pellet of Plutonium-238? Does the heat ...
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r-process: Is it correct to talk about “primary” and “secondary” r-processes?

This website, written in 1994, makes a differentiation between the "primary" and "secondary" r-processes in the context of astrophysics. As far as I can tell the main difference between the primary ...
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Proper nuclear reaction notation for arbitrary species

I am wondering the common way to write a nuclear reaction for an arbitrary species. For instance, for neutron capture on a species $X$: $$^{A}_ZX + n \rightarrow ^{A+1}_{\ \ \ \ \ Z}X'.$$ Is this ...
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only one material (meta)stable at extreme pressures?

Is the pressure at the center of a neutron star so high that everything is crushed into neutronium, no matter what the original elements were? What is the highest pressure (at low/moderate ...
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479 views

Deriving Gamow factor for potential with effective centrifugal potential term

I am looking at deriving an expression for the Gamow factor for $\alpha$-decay. I understand that the potential is the sum of the nuclear, electric and effective potentials: $$V(r) = V_N(r)+V_c(r) ...
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41 views

Why does a spinning nucleon generate a magnetic field?

I am trying to understand how NMR works, but I am not sure why a spinning nucleon produces a magnetic field. Is this a consequence of the quark structure inside?
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Could we make things out of newly discovered particles?

Right now, all of the "stuff" that has been created in the world is made of protons, electrons, and neutrons. I'm aware that particles other than these have much shorter lifetimes. But I've also heard ...
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119 views

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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120 views

Mass Defect…cause and origin?

What makes it occur? How do the protons and nucleus know that they have to lose mass to produce energy...? And is the mass of a compressed Spring more than an uncompressed one?? does a body which has ...
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261 views

The original thorium reactor?

With lunar thorium being common, and heavier than iron or nickel, does earth's core have the the occasional nuclear reaction?
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168 views

Charge on the remaining atom after Alpha decay

In radioactive alpha decay, a helium atom is shown to be released. However, I was told that only thing released is a helium nucleus. If so, then it should leave two of its electrons in the atom ...
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187 views

Do all isotopes have a half life? [duplicate]

I understand that some isotopes of an element have a shorter half life, and decay more quickly into other elements. Other isotopes are described as stable and no half life is stated. For elements that ...
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Energy needed for exoergic nuclear reaction

To initiate endoergic nuclear reaction (negative Q Value)minimum energy is supplied which is slightly more than Q value. Then what will be the energy needed for intiating exoergic nuclear reaction ...
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References or resource recommendation for the mathematics concerning fission

I am working on a statistical problem that appears similar (in some respects...) to nuclear fission. I am interested in the properties of a system undergoing fission around, or near, delayed ...
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31 views

Gain of entropy

Can we really interpretate third thermodynamic law as unconditional gain of entropy of closed system? For example, when they separate U 235, they drive the mix on the pressure barrier, so heavier U ...
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Relativistic non-linear Walecka model

What is meant by a relativistic non-linear Walecka model? What are some various sources to study it? [And why cannot Google show a satisfactory result to such a simple question?]
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How much pressure would be needed to contain a 1 gigaton nuclear bomb explosion within a sphere of one meter radius?

How much pressure would be needed to contain the largest human exploitable nuclear bomb within a sphere of one radius? Also would it be possible to create a magnetic field that controlled some ...
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Why is there not much research into nuclear physics with plasmas?

There is a lot of research and theory around fusion reactions with plasma, but is there a reason why plasmas cannot be used for researching other nuclear reactions, either in the lab or from ...
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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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Why spin-$\frac{1}{2}$ nuclei have zero electric quadrupole moment?

Why spin-$\frac{1}{2}$ nuclei have zero electric quadrupole moment? How to calculate in general?
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64 views

Would it be possible to “recycle” nuclear warheads into nuclear energy? [closed]

The number of nuclear warheads in the world is estimated (!) to be over 16,000. [0] Surely, this stockpile represents a massive threat to humanity. My question is simple. Can we repurpose these ...
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86 views

What is the main thermal energy source for a protostar, the contraction or the deuterium burning energy?

According to the virial theorem, when a protostar contracts, half of the gravitational potential energy is radiated and half is kept as kinetic energy of the falling material which in turn heats the ...
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Rotational wave funtion of a nucleus

The rotational hamiltonian of an axially symmetric rotor is, in the intrinsic frame of the body, where the moment of inertia is diagonal, $$\mathcal{H} = \frac{\hslash^2}{2I} \left(J^2 - I_3^2\right) ...
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29 views

Where can I find a list of approximate excitation energies?

I would like to know the excitation energies for the known states of various nuclides. Is there a list somewhere that has this documented? I can't seem to find them easily for many nuclides. Maybe I ...
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905 views

What happens to Protons and Electrons when a Neutron star forms?

What happens to Protons and Electrons when a Neutron star forms? At some point gravity overcomes the Pauli Exclusion Principle ( I assume) and they are all forced together. What happens in the ...
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209 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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Why does U-235 split into barium and krypton in nuclear reactors? [duplicate]

For my chemistry project I have found the typical fission reaction which occurs in nuclear power plants is when nuclear fuel rods are bombarded with neutrons, splitting U-235 into isotopes barium and ...
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Why is 0 $\nu \beta\beta$ decay often written with electron emission and not positron?

According to http://www.cobra-experiment.org/double_beta_decay/ I can see that double $\beta$+ decay is possible, but I often find neutrinoless double beta sources with the double $\beta$- decay ...