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

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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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Fusion vs. Fission

I understand why fission generates large amounts of energy when the nucleus is split, but then why does fusion generate such large amounts of energy. If fission releases energy when some mass is lost ...
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955 views

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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Theoretic Mass Energy Conversion?

say you had a large quantity of a heavy element such as uranium... AND you put a massive amount of energy into it, so that it began to undergo nuclear fission and transformed to a significantly ...
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1k views

Can open, unsafe nuclear fusion reaction burn the atmosphere?

I happened to hear people saying that the nuclear fusion bomb tests could set the atmosphere on fire. I have some serious doubts about that - but I have no facts. Nuclear fusion reaction requires ...
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100 views

One body harmonic oscillator states expressed in terms of creation operators

I am reading trough chapter one of Moshinsky's "The harmonic Oscillator in Modern Physics". However i am having some trouble with the mathematics in section 8 of chapter 1. I will sketch a summary of ...
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224 views

Proton mass and Weizsäcker's formula

I'm so confused in the use of nuclear masses and atomic masses. I have two questions. From the book "Outline of Modern Physics" by Ronald, I understand that the semiempirical mass formula ...
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208 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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350 views

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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124 views

What's gonna happen if a nuclear bomb explodes nearby? [closed]

I live in the capital, 10 km from its center on the 9th floor, my windows facing the opposite direction will I still see a flash? Will I hear something? How loud will it be? How fast would I die? If I ...
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135 views

$Q$-value in nuclear reaction $^{9}Be\left(\gamma,n\right)^{8}Be$

I have two questions. First, I understand that in a nuclear reaction $$Q:=K_{after}-K_{before}\equiv E_{0,before}-E_{0,after} \qquad (1)$$ where $K$ is the total kinetic energy, and $E_0$ is the ...
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101 views

Harmlessness of a pure alpha decay particle

From my high school physics class I remember that there are some particles which exhibit pure alpha decay (i.e. alpha decay to there stable isotope), like Po-210, Po-211 and Bi-209. What I also know ...
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63 views

Calculate energy from an reaction [closed]

I'm trying to calculate the released energy from a reaction. The radioactive substance polonium decays according to this formula: $$^{210}_{84}\mbox{Po} \rightarrow \mbox{X}+^4_{2}\mbox{He} $$ At ...
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317 views

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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173 views

Electric potential energy after nuclear fission

We have a uranium-236 nucleus that fissions into two equal fragments, and I'm supposed to find the electrical potential energy just as the two fragments split apart. No other information is provided. ...
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270 views

What is the magnetic quadrupole moment of a nucleus in cylindrical coordinates?

What is the magnetic quadruple moment of a nuclei in cylindrical coordinates? The quadrupole moment of a nucleus is zero in spherical coordinates but in the cylindrical coordinates it can't be ...
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90 views

Containement system of a nuclear reactor: role of the water moderator

In a modern nuclear reactor for example a PWR there are multiple containment systems which prevent the release of radioactive material into the environment and shield the environment from the ...
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70 views

Finding radioactive nucleus given table of values

Question Measuring the number of decays per minute $N(t)$ of a radioactive source every four days we have that: $N(t=0):=N_0=200$, $N(t=4)=141$, $N(t=8)=100$, $N(t=12)=71$, where $t$ is measured in ...
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231 views

Speed of neutrons in a nuclear reactor

How fast (in $\frac{\mathrm{m}}{\mathrm{s}}$) are typical neutrons before and after slowing down in a nuclear reactor (with U-235 and $H_2O$ as moderator)? Do you have any reference for the values?
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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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193 views

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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217 views

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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191 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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245 views

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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209 views

Energy conservation in nuclear reactions and radiactive decay

Reading "Fundamentals of Nuclear Physics" by Atam P. Arya, I understand that in a nuclear reaction, let say $x+X \to y+Y$ meaning that "when a particle $x$ strikes a target nucleus $X$, the outcome of ...
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Which pion is mediator in nucleon-nucleon interaction

In nucleon-nucleon interactions of n-n, p-p, n-p how do you determine which pion is the mediator?
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374 views

Why the pion does not get mass under Spontaneus breaking of chiral symmetry, but the quarks do?

Some sources state that when the mass of a quark goes to zero, it allows for Spontaneous Breaking of Chiral Symmetry and gets a constituent mass of about $200\, \mathrm{MeV}$. Other sources state ...
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131 views

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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804 views

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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149 views

Does the strong (nuclear) force ever contribute to decay?

Does the strong (nuclear) force ever contribute to decay ? Or is the weak nuclear force the only decaying force ?
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71 views

Interaction photons-matter and dimensional analysis

I know that when photons pass through matter, the law that describes the intensity in function of the thickness is: $$I(x)=I_0 e^{-\mu x}$$ where $\mu = \rho \frac{N_a}{A} \sigma$ and ...
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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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650 views

Alpha particle and helium nucleus

The symbol for the alpha particle is α or $α^{2+}$, it can be written as $He^{2+}$. What I want to know is that, are they same? I mean alpha particle and helium nucleus are same or any subtle ...
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434 views

Ratio of Size of Atom to Size of Nucleus

I have the following problem: In nuclei, nucleons exists in nuclear energy levels and in atoms, electrons exist in atomic energy levels. The order of magnitude of nuclear energy is 1MeV whereas ...
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216 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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Why are alpha particles such a prominent form of radiation and not other types of nucleon arrangement?

It is said in many textbooks that alpha decay involves emitting alpha particles, which are very stable. Indeed, the binding energy (~28.3 MeV) is higher than for $Z$-neighboring stable isotopes. But ...
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235 views

Bremsstrahlung: why is electron slowed/stopped by the positive nucleus?

I can't understand why the electron is slowed/stopped by the nucleus. The electron is a negative charge and the nucleus is positive... they should attract each other...
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Is speed of electrons in atoms a constant during explosions? [closed]

E.g. in exploding nuclear bomb or some other big explosions. I mean if the speed of electrons as waves/particles is a constant or changes according to other "forces" involved?
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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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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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136 views

Ground states in the shell model for odd-even nuclei

I understand that even-even nuclei (Z and N number) have zero spin because of pairing. Even-odd nuclei have the spin of the odd nucleon, and parity is given by $(-1)^L$ - so my question is, ...
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308 views

Gamma Ray LASER Theory and Technology

I am aware that a similar question has been asked by someone else in the past, but in a very general form. Due to the physics interest and technology, in this question I put emphasis on the detail of ...
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191 views

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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236 views

Why is the total interaction cross section larger for incident particles with lower energy?

The cross section of a nuclear interaction is a measurement of the probability of that interaction occuring. These probabilities are typically presented in terms of barns ($10^{-28}$ m$^2$) as a ...
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248 views

How to superimpose Wood-Saxon and Coulomb potential?

I have just written a simple simulation that models the tunnel-effect of alpha-particles for $^{212}$Po and $^{238}$Ur. In this simulation, I approximate the potential of the nucleus by a simple ...
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47 views

Why did Otto Hahn use neutrons to generate transuranium?

In physics textbooks with chapters about nuclear fission there is often a historical introduction about Otto Hahn. That he tried to generate transuranium but discovered the nuclear fission. If you ...
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87 views

Can an Anti nuclear atom be synthesised so it can neutralise the effect of nuclear atom [closed]

as we have studied that if the number of electron becomes equal to number of proton then that particle becomes neutral. so what will the energy or procedure required to break the chain reaction in ...
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458 views

What does the Atomic Form Factor means?

I was reading about Nuclear Physics and the autor mentioned something about the Atomic form factor, something relationated with the Fourier Transform of the espacial distribution of the electric ...
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What fraction of nuclear excited states are known?

I was reading a paper today claiming observation of a new $2^+$ state in $^{12}\mbox{C}$, which would correspond to a sort of rotationally excited Hoyle state. Looking at NuDat reveals that this ...
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Developments originating from $E=mc^2$

What kind of significant impacts have originated from $E=mc^2$. Generally, it is regarded as the most famous equation of all time. Except for nuclear energy (fission and fusion) I do not know any ...