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

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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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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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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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Can a half life be given in electron volts?

I'm using this link to search for particular energies in which gammas may be emitted (for nuclide identification on a gamma spectrum). If on the above link you go down to the "γ condition #1" line, ...
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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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Nuclear fusion : ion vs atom fusion cross section?

I've read critique on ITER project (in Russian), and one of points was that cross section of ion-ion fusion is much lower than ion-atom and atom-atom, and that's the reason why it likely to not work. ...
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303 views

How would nucleosynthesis be different if the neutron were stable?

If the strong nuclear force were just 2% stronger, the neutron would be a stable particle instead of having a half life of about 13 minutes. What difference would that have made to Big Bang ...
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What is this jump in U235 fission yields?

Is it an artifact? (I have drawn the black line). Or can anybody explain it theoretically? The plot is the "235U Chain 14MeV" provided in the website https://www-nds.iaea.org/ Some sources call it ...
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202 views

Importance of MHV amplitudes

Why are MHV amplitudes so important? How/where are they used and why do people keep trying to rederive them in many different ways?
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What is the heaviest stable element in the center of the sun due to Photodisintegration?

Source that got me curious (page 5): http://astro1.physics.utoledo.edu/~megeath/ph6820/lecture27_ph6820.pdf High energy photons can cause larger, less stable elements to undergo fission. Uranium ...
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Incoherent assumption of the parton model

Consider the scattering process $ep\rightarrow eX$, in the frame of an ultra-relativistic electron, the partons inside the proton are "frozen," and since the time scale of strong interaction is much ...
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Integration & bremsstrahlung calculation

In this paper (relevant pdf section) that I'm reading, involving the calculation of bremsstrahlung in electron proton scattering (diagram below), the author calculates the integral over outgoing ...
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Does quark color contribute to “spin degeneracy” for QGP calculations?

Like the title say, does quark color matter in counting contributions in a early universe plasma (QGP), as when adding up the total plasma energy density, or is it just spin? The book I have (Pathria) ...
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Are atoms made of protons, electrons and neutrinos?

If neutrons decay into proton, electron and (anti)neutrino of electron type, then is it safe to say that atoms are protons, electrons and neutrinos?
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Is it possible to obtain gold through nuclear decay?

Is there a series of transmutations through nuclear decay that will result in the stable gold isotope ${}^{197}\mathrm{Au}$ ? How long will the process take?
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“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 ?
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About mass defect

Here's how my book explains mass defect: Particles inside the nucleus interact with each other - they feel attraction. The potential energy $U$ of such attraction is negative, because in absence ...
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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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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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Is a Plutonium gun-type atomic bomb really “impossible”?

I caught a pretty well done 2 hour documentary on atomic bomb history yesterday on the local PBS station. In it, they go over the paths taken for design of the first bombs, including the Thin Man ...
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Can Dark Matter just be clumps of Neutrons

I was wondering about Dark matter, and it occurred to me that why could it not be just nuclei of Neutrons with no electron cloud. Is it possible for such things to exists. Can Neutrons bond to one ...
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Why is a stellarator-type nuclear fusion reactor so oddly-shaped?

My first impression: It's a mess. Why is it shaped like that? I can't find any info about its shape other than it's a special arrangement of magnetic coils. (link) Here's some more images of it on ...
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Why is Helium-3 better than Deuterium

I see that many websites and magazines with physics thematic are pretty excited about mining Helium 3 isotope on the Moon. But this seems to be a very hard-to-get resource. For more than one reason: ...
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Nuclear fuel pellets - when does the chain reaction start?

Questions about nuclear fuel: Does nuclear chain reaction start in fuel pellets even before they being installed in reactor? If not, why not? My understanding is that since the fuel pellets are ...
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How to explain $E=mc^2$ mass defect in fission/fusion

What is the nature of nuclear energy? This is closely related to the correct explanation of mass defect. I did some research of that topic and cannot come to a single comprehensive and consistent ...
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Mass defect- From where mass is being lost?

As a school student, I have wondered while studying mass defect the following mysterious problem My assumption Just like a car's mass is constituted by each part of it(i.e total mass of car will be ...
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201 views

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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398 views

Why a slow moving neutron is required in nuclear plants?

I came across a line that said "an atom of heavy element is hit with a low velocity neutron, otherwise the required reaction would not achieve result". So, why not a neutron of high velocity is ...
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What is the percentage of useful energy do we get from matter-antimatter annihilation?

This is a theoretical question since we haven't made enough antimatter to try it in reality of course. But I am asking about the physics part in this. Also, by "useful energy" I mean the energy we ...
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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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How do alpha and beta particles ionise surrounding particles?

I've been wondering about this question for a while. If you have alpha and beta particles released from a radioactive core, how do they ionise surrounding particles?
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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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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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What is the the Ehrenfest-Oppenheimer rule on the statistics of composite systems?

Ehrenfest 1931 gives an argument to the effect that the application of the spin-statistics theorem to composite systems is valid, but only as an approximation and under certain conditions. ...
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If there are long-lived elements in the Island of stability, why are they not present in Nature?

To my understanding, some (but not many) physicists speculate that the Island of stability may contain long-lived elements, as in a billion or so years. But couldn't we rule that out just by the ...
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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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Nuclear/quantum physics simulation software

Is there any software which is able to simulate D-T interaction for example and get temperature-crosssection curve without referencing to any experimental data? Do we have quantum-level simulation ...
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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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Why can't Iron fusion occur in stars?

It is said that iron fusion is endothermic and star can't sustain this kind of fusion (not until it goes supernova). However star is constantly releasing energy from fusion of elements like Hydrogen ...
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Why does an atom remain uncharged after emission of an alpha particle?

When an alpha particle is emitted, two protons and two neutrons leave the nucleus but the electrons remain the same in number. Why does the atom remain uncharged although it appears it should have a ...
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Reason why stars do not produce elements heavier than iron

In his book "Origins", Neil deGrasse Tyson says that "if you seek to split iron nuclei apart, you must them with additional energy. On the other hand, if you combine iron atoms they will also absorb ...
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We're all star dust?

OK so we've all heard of this from Carl Sagan, Lawrence Krauss and others and we know the argumentation, I don't refute that. There are other examples, for instance I once calculated (this was before ...
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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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Conversion of mass to energy in chemical/nuclear reactions

Is mass converted into energy in exothermic chemical / nuclear reactions? My (A Level) knowledge of chemistry suggests that this isn't the case. In a simple burning reaction, e.g. $C+O_2\to ...
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Nomenclature of hadronic resonances

I have the Particles Physics Booklet and I noticed that the resonances that decay into a nucleon and pion are indicated by an abbreviation. For example $P_{33}$ is associated to the $\Delta (1232)$ ...
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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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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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Could we prove that neutrinos have mass by measuring their gravitational signature?

It is now said that neutrinos have mass. If an object has mass then it also emits a gravitational field. I appreciate the neutrinos mass is predicted to be small, but as there are so many produced ...
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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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The role of W bosons in the weak nuclear force and beta decay

I am a beginner Physics student and I am studying the weak nuclear force and how particle interactions work. Now, from my book and the Feynman diagram, I learned that a neutron can change into a ...