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

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Fermi's Golden Rule

It is well known that to calculate the probability of transition in the scattering processes, as a first approximation, we use the Fermi golden rule. This rule is obtained considering the initial ...
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Energy balance for beta decay of cobalt-60

I am confused by a simple fact about the $\beta^{-}$ decay of ${}^{60}{\rm Co}$ nucleus. According to Wikipedia, the most likely decay branch is to an excited state of ${}^{60}{\rm Ni}$, see the ...
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Do nuclear reaction cross sections depend on the angle between incident beam and target-crystal?

Shouldn't the absorption rate of a beam of particles strongly depend on the angle between the beam and the target material's crystal-axis (if the target material is a monocrystal)? At certain angles, ...
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$\alpha$ decay to more than one nuclear state

I do not understand how $\alpha$ decay can be a probabilistic process such that there are multiple products from the decay. For example: $^{241}\mathrm{Cm}$ decays to the excited states of ...
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Americium battery

I was curious about a radioactive decay battery. My thought was to place an americium source from a smoke detector in a vacuum sealed borosilicate glass vessel. The Americium source would be "aimed" ...
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Why do we use only nonrelativistic equations in nuclear physics?

What is limit between relativistic and non-relativistic equations? Which conditions do we have to use one of these?
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515 views

Matter-antimatter annihilation

What happens if different size atoms meet? We've just created anti-helium, I think. What if one atom of anti-helium collided with one atom of iron. Would some of the iron be left over as a new ...
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200 views

Coulomb barrier and proton evaporation

Why is it that neutrons evaporate from nuclei more easily than protons do? Intuitively, since protons are electrostatically repelled (in addition to whatever nuclear forces they have in common with ...
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472 views

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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What is an intuitive picture of the motion of nucleons?

I understand the "motion" of electrons within an ordinary atom (say argon at room temperature and pressure). They are moving in "orbits" defined by quantum mechanical wavefunctions where the "orbits" ...
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Relationship between nuclear spin and nuclear magnetic moment?

We know that nuclear magnetic moment can be expressed in terms of the expected value for nuclear spin as: $$\langle\mu\rangle =[g_lj+(g_s-g_l)\langle s_z\rangle]\frac{\mu_N}{\hbar}$$ (Cf. Krane), ...
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125 views

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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100 views

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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Why is a pion so light compared to a neutron or proton?

A pion is made out of a pair of up and/or down quarks. A neutron or proton is three up or down quarks. So naively I'd expect a pion to be about 2/3 the mass of a nucleon. In fact it's less than 1/6 ...
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158 views

How do we know that internal conversion creates no intermediate photon?

I've read, from several sources, that in internal conversion -- an excited electron transferring its energy to another electron which is then emitted -- no intermediate gamma radiation is produced. ...
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345 views

If we assume that protons don't decay, then will all matter ultimately decay into Iron-56 or into nickel-62?

Wikipedia says that all matter should decay into iron-56. But it also says Nickel-62 is the most stable nucleus. So could this mean that in the far future, everything could (through quantum ...
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Effect of pressure increase on electron orbital wave functions

One of my nuclear physics exercises was to find out if increasing the pressure of a sample of $^{7}\textrm{Be}$ would increase the chance of electron capture to $^{7}\textrm{Li}$ occur. My reasoning ...
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69 views

What does the Coulomb barrier really mean?

I realize I'm trying to get a simple answer on a complicated subject, but here goes anyway. I've done some research and I understand (well, mostly) about how Vc is the amount of energy required to get ...
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Are there any established theories as to why dubnium-268 and 270 have such high stability for a trans-actinide?

Dubnium-268 has a half life of 29h and 270, 23.15h. I know of the island of stability but if dubnium is in it, the island is very small as only rutherfordium has isotopes that approach the same ...
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Is there a difference between “two photon absorption” and “double quantum transitions”?

Wikipedia has articles on two photon absorption. And a lot of NMR literature refers to double quantum transitions. But is there a difference? As far as I can tell, a double quantum transition is has ...
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$\require{mhchem}$ $\ce{\beta^{+}}$ decay for $\ce{_9^18F}$, computing $\Delta m$

For the decay: $$\require{mhchem}\ce{_9^18F\to_8^18O +e+ +{v}}$$ To compute $E$, I need $\Delta m$, the provided answer looks like: $$m_i = 18.000938~u$$ $$m_f = 17.999159~u + 2~(5.49 \times ...
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Helium Fusion and the Origin of Elements

In the fifth of his Messenger Lectures Feynman mentions the fact that Carbon-12 has an energy level at 7.82 MeV. He then states that this is what enables the fusion of three Helium-4 ions into Carbon ...
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Why is the Wick contraction in HFB or BCS equal to a single-particle density?

I'm trying to understand how in Hartree-Fock-Bogoliubov (HFB) or BCS theory we can write a product of creation/annihilation operators as single-particle densities under the guise of "Wick's theorem". ...
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Can a nuclear reactor meltdown be contained with molten lead?

If lead can absorb or block radiation, would it be possible to pump molten lead into a reactor core which is melting, so that it would eventually cool and contain the radiation? Is there something ...
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Is Uranium renewable, or will this science fiction scenario become reality?

In my imagination, nuclear power could disapear when we use up all the uranium generating electricity, or exploding nuclear bombs. Is uranium a renewable resourse? if not, can we prove that this ...
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What happens if we put together a proton and an antineutron?

A hydrogen nucleus consists of a single proton. A 2-hydrogen (deuterium) nucleus consists of a proton and a neutron. A tritium nucleus consists of a proton and two neutrons. This makes me wonder how ...
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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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How can the nucleus of an atom be in an excited state?

An example of the nucleus of an atom being in an excited state is the Hoyle State, which was a theory devised by the Astronomer Fred Hoyle to help describe the vast quantities of carbon-12 present in ...
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257 views

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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What is the shielding in nuclear reactors mainly against?

I have a little knowledge about ionizing radiation and I have been confused over why nuclear reactors need these massive shields. So, if I am not mistaken, Alpha and Beta radiation are not that ...
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Does the Nuclear reaction happen inside the fuel rods?

I've been reading up on nuclear reactors, and understand explanations of how it works, how water is heated to steam, which turns the turbines, etc.. I understand all of the safety features, and how ...
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Kinetic energy of alpha-particle in $^{212}$Po decay

Admittedly, Nuclear Physics is not my strength. I'm writing a simulation to model alpha-decay. So far, I have looked up the values of the kinetic energy of the alpha particles that are emitted in a ...
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Einstein's mass-energy relation

Suppose we have 1 kg of wood and 1 kg of uranium and if we need to find out how much energy would each of the substance give, we'd have to use Einstein's mass-energy relation as follows: In the case ...
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Where do electrons get their ever-lasting circulating energy?

We all know (or maybe know) that to move, we need to spend energy. If you want to drive a car, you gotta spend gasoline. We also know that energy can't be created (first law of thermodynamics, and ...
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Question about a nuclear bomb test photo

What are those white lines connecting the ground to the sky on the left side of this photo? I've see these before in the nuclear bomb test films too. They're apparently already in place upon ...
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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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How clean will first generation fusion reactors be compared to fission reactors?

Googling the topic seems to indicate that fusion reactors will produce less waste and less toxic radioactivity, but this fact never seems to be mentioned during the current debate over nuclear power. ...
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How were the heavy elements from iron to uranium made? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Age of the Earth and the star that preceded the Sun How were the heavy elements from iron to uranium made? References: ...
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Strongest force in nature

Possible Duplicate: What does it mean to say “Gravity is the weakest of the forces”? It is said nuclear force is the strongest force in nature.. But it is not true near a black ...
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Effect of temperature on radioactivity?

I'm researching the effect of temperature on uranium radioactivity, however I can't find any solid empirical evidence to prove the notion that temperature does not affect radioactivity. Can anyone ...
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How much radiation exposure in the US was caused by the 105 nuke tests in the Pacific?

Between 1947 and 1962 the US conducted 105 tests of nuclear weapons in the "Pacific Proving Grounds". I'm wondering how much radiation exposure resulted on the west coast of the US. These were part of ...
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How is it possible to calculate the energy liberated by a given fission process?

How is it possible to calculate the energy liberated by a given fission process? For example, in the fission of a $^{235}$U induced by capturing a neutron?
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pp chain gamma decay / intermediate state

Based on the first equation at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proton%E2%80%93proton_chain_reaction $$_1^{1}H+_1^{1}H \to _2^{2}He+\gamma$$ Is it correct to say that in the P-P chain two hydrogen atoms ...
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Stable Nuclei - Deviation from equal protons and neutrons

While studying the semi-empirical mass formula for nuclei, I came across an "asymmetry term" whose function, as far as I understand, is to build in the fact that nuclei "prefer" to have equal numbers ...
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Should the expression for energy conservation in alpha decay include the mass of electrons?

Let $M_P$, $M_d$, $m_\alpha$, $m_e$ and $Q$ the mass of the parent nucleus, daughter nucleus, alpha particle, electron and the disintegration energy, respectively. I understand that applying ...
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The synthesis of $^{254}\text{No}$

How is $^{254}\text{No}$ synthesised? Could you explain the reaction where it is preceded by $^{208}\text{Pb}(^{48}\text{Ca}, 2\text{n})$? References to articles are well enough—I was somehow unable ...
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What is the relationship between earthquakes power and nuclear explosions?

What is the relationship between earthquakes power and nuclear explosions? How to compared power of earthquake with nuclear explosion?
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How do people get the proton number for each element from experiment?

How did people determine the proton number for each element from experiment in each decade of 20th century?
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Why are there photographs of nuclear tests?

I was looking at old photographs of the nuclear tests on the bikini atoll. It dawned on me that you don't want to run film through airport x-rays, as it exposes the film. I've been told that a ...
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Ratio of radiation sources in the uranium cycle

Sorry, I know y'all are probably getting a lot of questions re: Fukushima, but I had a very specific one and no-one has been able to answer it. I am specialised in medical radiation, and have been ...