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

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Baryons annihilation

I was wondering if there is a way of calculate the annihilation cross section for two baryons, say $p\bar p\to\pi\pi$ or $p\bar p\to\gamma\gamma$. The problem here is that we cannot use the usual ...
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Why do heavy nuclei have half lives

Why do heavy nuclei have half-lives if they are unstable why do they take millions of years to break down in some cases why don't they simple do it instantly? What makes them stay together?
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80 views

What produces this 477 keV spectral line?

Question about a specific line on a gamma spectrum, here. Below is a background gamma spectrum observed by a Ge[li] detector. I've been able to identify all the lines with mostly certainty, apart ...
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One Pion Exchange Potential properties for a two-nucleon system

I'm going through my Nuclear Physics book, and has come across a section called "Properties of OPEP for the two-nucleon system". It start out by considering the n-p system in a singlet spin state ...
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Can an electron in an atom have insufficient energy to achieve an energy level, or orbital, and what happens to this electron when this occurs?

If a nucleus undergoes a change in Z or Mass due decay or absorption, could this disrupt the electrons from their orbital/shell energy levels? If so, could the electrons that were previously in the ...
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Free neutrons in the sun's core?

In the standard description of proton-proton fusion, the first step of the interaction proceeds through the unbound diproton $\rm^2He$: $$ \begin{aligned} \rm p + p &\to \rm {}^2He^* \\ \rm ^2He^* ...
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129 views

PP Chain and CNO cycle relationship

At what temperature would the energy generation rates of the PP-Chain and CNO cycles be roughly equivalent? The dependences are so vastly different that I am wondering how and by what equations they ...
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576 views

Why are atomic quadrupole moments calculated using nuclear spin?

It's my understanding that electric quadrupoles interact with the gradient of an electric field, and I understand roughly how this works. I am trying to calculate the interaction between an atomic ...
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In nuclear fusion reaction, what is the percentage of mass converted to energy?

I read somewhere that it is about one percent of the mass, but I find this too high. Also I have done some calculations, for example, the Tsar Bomba was 50 MT bomb and weighed about 27 tons. Although ...
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443 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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743 views

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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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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361 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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173 views

How do scientists estimate elemental-abundance in the universe?

I understand how cosmological observations can estimate the amount of 'baryonic matter' in the universe, but what I don't understand is how scientists can estimate the abundance of a particular ...
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134 views

Nuclear fusion and the Sun [closed]

I am working on a science project on the Sun. I have found that in order for nuclear fusion to work, it needs both helium 3 and 4. Why can't nuclear fusion be done with just helium 4? How can we ...
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61 views

Lifetime of undiscovered element and its calculation

Reading about nuclear models, nuclear physics and the mythical ``stability island'' I just wondered about the next question: How can the lifetime of any undiscovered superheavy element be calculated ...
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469 views

Problem with shell model and magnetic moment of Lithium-6

I have a problem with the calculus of magnetic moment of Li-6. The configuration of protons is $1p_{3/2}$, and the neutrons' one is the same. I have to add the magnetic moment of uncoupled proton ...
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Nuclear Spin of Sodium 23

I am actually calculating the nuclear spin of Sodium 23. Here we have 11 protons and 12 neutrons. Now both the nuclei are short of the magic numbers. When I use the shell model for protons and ...
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Why does the addition of paramagnetic ions decrease the spin lattice relaxation time of protons?

My question pertains to NMR (nuclear magnetic resonance). $T_1$, the spin lattice relaxation time of protons in water is about 2.5 seconds. If you add some $CuSO_4$ (copper sulfate) to the water the ...
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266 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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368 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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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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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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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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$\require{mhchem}$ $\ce{\beta^{+}}$ 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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What processes contribute to non-relativistic proton-antiproton collsions (annihilation)

I wonder what the dominant contributions of nuclear interaction to non-relativistic proton-antiproton annihilation are (I mean that the proton and antiproton are non-relativistic. The products might ...
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282 views

Gamow peak and nuclear reaction rate

It's known that the nuclear reaction rate (inside a Star) can be determined with $$R_{ab}=n_a n_b\left<\sigma v\right> \, \approx \, n_a n_b \Big(\frac{8}{\pi m_e}\Big)^{1/2} ...
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Strong force, where is the seperation?

In class I got given a diagram like this: (albeit without the Electrostatic force line) However the teacher told us the nucleons are typically separated when the force is zero. So as the string ...
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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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Why build nuclear reactors on shorelines?

While not directly a physics question, I can't think of forum better capable of answering my question. In discussions over Japan's nuclear reactor situation the observation was made that reactors ...
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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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Russian Doll Teller Ulam?

Can you trigger a thermonuclear explosion from a smaller thermonuclear explosion in a scaling way, so that starting from a small laser ignited fusion within a small fissile container, using the X-rays ...
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757 views

Can I move the atom nucleus only?

I was wondering if it is possible to move the atom nucleus and leave behind the electrons? I can imagine that the electrons will follow the nucleus. But what if the speed of the nucleus is almost the ...
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226 views

What is nuclide notation referring to? Only the nucleus or the whole atom?

sorry that this is an easy question but I am just a bit confused about nuclide notation. When you say e.g. $^{240}_{94}\text{Pu}$, are you referring to the atom of $\text{Pu}$ or only its nucleus? It ...
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Atomic nucleus consisting of only neutrons?

Is it true that the nucleus of all atoms (including radioactive isotopes) contain at least one proton? Is there an atomic nucleus consisting entirely of neutrons? (Let's exclude neutron stars for 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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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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Evidence that nuclei contain neutrons and protons (other than nucleons appearing if a nucleus is smashed)?

This may seem like a silly question, but I believe this to be very fundamental because the Standard Model of particle physics seems based on the axiom or assumption that neutrons and protons exist ...
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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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Tritium decay is spontaneous even if the binding energy of tritium is higher than the binding energy of 3He. Why?

Given this nuclear reaction: $^3_1\mathrm H\to {}^3_2\mathrm{He}+e^-+\bar{\nu}$ and knowing the binding energies: $BE(^3_1\mathrm H)=8.48 \,\mathrm{MeV}$ $BE(^3_2\mathrm{He})=7.72 \,\mathrm{MeV}$ ...
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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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Nuclear reactor control rods

What is the relation between control rods surface exposed into a nuclear reactor and neutron energy? Is it linear? I mean, how do neutron absorbing rate change with the progressive immersion of ...
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What does the g mean after the isotope given?

I'm familiar with notation such as Sc-44m standing for the meta stable state of Sc-44. What does Sc-44g mean? There are a few examples of this notation; here's one: ...
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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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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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Neutron decay and particles

On this picture you can see that this $d$ quark turns into $u$ quark and makes this $W^-$ boson. $W^-$ then apparently turns the anti-electron neutrino, $\bar{\nu_e}$, into an electron, $e^-$. My ...