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

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Why doesn't a nuclear fuel pool become irradiated?

Why doesn't the volume of water in a nuclear fuel pool become irradiated? Why wouldn't the water around the pool become radioactive and circulate around making the whole thing deadly? My question ...
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351 views

Xray compression of secondary in hydrogen bomb

Accounts of the "secret" of the hydrogen bomb describe Xrays from a primary fission explosion reflecting off of the bomb case (occasionally passing through polystyrene foam) and compressing and ...
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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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383 views

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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405 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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225 views

Does the Strong Nuclear Force follow Superposition?

I have just started the study of nuclear physics in my high school, and while reading about nuclear forces and binding energy per nucleon, I found out that the nuclear forces are highly short ranged ...
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131 views

Is there still mystery about spin crisis?

The gluon is a vector boson; like the photon, it has a spin of 1. If this is true and if we know the spin of protons and neutrons then why the news SPIN COMES FROM GLUONS? is telling that, we ...
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255 views

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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If quarks didn't have mass, could protons (and neutrons) exist?

I read here (mass of a proton) that the mass of a proton is mostly (99%) due to the energy of the strong nuclear force which binds the quarks together, and not the actual mass of the quarks. My ...
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531 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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958 views

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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500 views

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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110 views

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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461 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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Quadrupole moment of 3- state in 208Pb?

$^{208}$Pb is a spherical nucleus, so its transition to the first 3$^-$ state is an octupole vibration. Why does this state then have an associated quadrupole moment, as mentioned by several authors? ...
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98 views

Why do excited states in $^4$He not decay by photon emission?

Here's a level scheme for the $^4$He nucleus (source; click image to see full size): Notice that all of the confirmed decay modes are by disintegration — emission of a neutron, proton, or deuteron. ...
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179 views

Number of decays in a chain reaction

It is widely known that the probability of $n$ decays from one system to another $A \rightarrow B$ (e.g., electrons decaying from one atomic energy level to another or muons decaying into neutrinos ...
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71 views

what general physical arguments discredit induced emission of nuclei?

trying to read a bit about "quantum nucleonics", i've encountered this rebuttal from people at Livermore that induced radiation stimulation of Hafnium nuclei is possible. Something that catches my eye ...
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269 views

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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80 views

Reaction of uranium and neutrons emits neutrons, or is it photons?

So we had this test in nuclears physics today, and part of one of the quesitons was the following: When $\rm U^{235}_{92}$ nuclides are bombarded with one neutron, they can decompose to krypton ...
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136 views

Unknown peaks on RBS spectrum

I was given a sample, that it is supposed to be a medium thickness Rhodium on top of an infinite silicon waffer. The experimental RBS spectrum along with the simulation looks like that Apparently, ...
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377 views

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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Why does strong interaction increase with distance?

I read numerous times that strong interaction increases with distance. But how can one actually derive the force-distance relation from the lagrangian (quark field + gluon field + gauge coupling)? ...
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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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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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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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356 views

What has $E = mc^2$ to do with nuclear powerplants?

In life, when you talk about nuclear energy, there always happens to be a guy who says that famous Einstein's equation. "Yeah, they just convert mass to energy, $E = mc^2$ ya know?" When I think ...
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Why are nuclear reactors dome/bell shaped?

Just what the title states. What is the reason that a Nuclear reactor has a characteristic dome/bell shape?
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Why is binding energy $\Delta mc^2$?

As we know the mass-energy equivalence relation $E=mc^2$ originally came from special relativity. And the binding energy is $\Delta mc^2$. How do we know that the extra mass coming from theoretical ...
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251 views

Is a Betelgeuse supernova able to neutralise earth's nuclear arsenal?

According to an article on newscientist.com, a neutrino beam could neutralise nuclear bombs by inducing a slow meltdown of the nuclear fuel. The neutrino generator would need to be more than a ...
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For which temperatures are the ENDF cross-sections given?

In ENDF there are cross-sections given for different types of nuclear interactions. For example, this file gives the cross-sections for different neutron energies. However, it is not clear, which ...
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169 views

Radiation exposure to a child who was briefly in the presence of an adult who had received a 18FDG PET scan

I am a physician who thought she was good at math, but apparently am not as I cannot figure out this mathematical/physics question. (My background is obviously NOT nuclear medicine!) A family friend ...
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414 views

Why is the excited state of 116 Indium more stable than ground state?

Why is the excited state of 116 Indium more stable than ground state? Both undergo beta decay, but the ground state has a half-life of 14 seconds, while the excited state has a half-life of 54 ...
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307 views

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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Theoretical Stability of “AB-matter”

Alexander Bolonkin has proposed the possibility of manipulating nucleons to produce stable, macroscopic structures of nuclear matter at zero pressure (which he calls "AB-matter"), by analogy with the ...
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Why don't we have more elements?

By looking at the number of subatomic particles there seem to exist, there should be thousands of element configuration combinations possible. But we have found just over hundred elements to exist. ...
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Does a Photon leave trace in a silicon tracker?

I am having this image from ATLAS Detector. In gray you can see the ATLAS's Si Tracker.In Green you see the Electromagnetic Callorimeter. In red there is the Hadron Callorimeter and in Blue there ...
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What is the required thickness of concrete needed to entomb a leaking reactors emissions?

What is the minimum thickness of an aggregate concrete membrane to prevent radioactive particles from escaping a broken reactor? I am interested in calculating the amount of concrete required to ...
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Showing that $\lambda$ is the probability per unit time that one particle will decay in 1 second

My textbook says that $\lambda$ is the probability per unit time that 1 particle will decay in one second. This makes absolutely no sense to me - I can see that it is related to probability but cannot ...
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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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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 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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About Nuclear magnetic resonance

I'm trying to understand the basic principles of Nuclear Magnetic Resonance reading this link but I have some doubts: 1) I have ever known that when protons aren't in a magnetic field, their spins ...
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Computer parsable table of nuclides

I am looking for an computer parsable (CSV, XML, JSON, since I didn't find anything, I am happy with almost everything) file (or collection of files) that contains the information you can find in a ...
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171 views

A naive look at the band of stability suggests a stable isotope of every element. Why is this intuition false?

Looking at the band of stability, my first intuition is to conclude (erroneously) that there is a stable isotope of every element that lies close to the belt of stability. Why is this false? (For ...
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Can the earth's magnetic field be generated by heat from a natural nuclear reactor?

I've come upon Dr. J. Marvin Herndon's theory that the earth's magnetic field is generated by a hot nuclear reactor operating in the center of the earth. This is backed by various papers, some of them ...
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118 views

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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391 views

Velocity distribution in ion source (electron bombardment) for Bainbridge mass spectrometer

Consider the following schematics of a Bainbridge mass spectrometer (Source: ...
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379 views

Why 3He(n,p)3H nuclear reaction proceeds but 3He(n,gamma)4He heavily suppressed?

The neutron capture reaction 3He(n,p)3H is very useful for neutron detection as the Q value of ~700keV is converted to kinetic energies in the produced p and 3H. These charged products can then ionize ...
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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 ...