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

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What does the exponential decay constant depend on?

We know the law of radioactivity: $$N=N_0e^{-\lambda t}$$ where $\lambda$ is the exponential decay constant. My question is: This constant depends of what?
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316 views

Is it possible to split baryons and extract useable energy out of it?

Since baryons (e.g. protons, neutrons) are composite particles it should be possible to split them apart. If so, is it then possible to extract useable energy out of the splitting of baryons in ...
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428 views

Electrical neutrality of atoms

How is it that atoms with equal numbers of protons and electrons are described as "electrically neutral" when the proton is 1,800 times more massive than the electron?
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342 views

How many years will the nuclear resources of Earth last for generating electricity?

We have plenty of nuclear reactors around the world. They are consuming nuclear resources of the Earth. Nuclear elements are scarcer than the other elements, aren't they? When are we going to run out ...
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446 views

Nuclear physics problem, Why do we use high weight atomic elements?

So as far as I know, nuclear fission uses high weight atomic elements to manufacture power. If the risk of runaway reactions are a major reason for not expanding this technology, why don't we use ...
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82 views

What's the largest mushroom cloud possible from a coffee cup/grenade sized nuclear bomb?

Assuming the coffee cup is $16$oz = $1$lb = $0.4536$kg or $ \sim 450$mL I did a quick comparison to the W54 assuming there was a linear ratio (wishful thinking perhaps), and got it to be around 8m ...
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149 views

Can Deuterium undergo a nuclear fusion without the presence of Tritium?

I've been reading about fusion fuels for a while now, and I understand that in Lithium-Deuterium fuel, the neutrons from the fission reaction bombard the Lithium to produce Tritium and the D-T ...
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115 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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455 views

Nuclear physics Radioactivity

90Sr has a half life of 28.5y. It is chemically similar to Ca and enters the body through the food chain and collects in bones. It is a serious health hazard. How long in (years) will it take for ...
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274 views

Why can't electrons fall into the nucleus?

I read a book on pop sci book on quantum mechanics and the author said that electrons do not fall into the nucleus due to quantum mechanics- which principles suggest this (I think it was Heisenberg's ...
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127 views

Radioactive decay - What mechanism decides when an unstable nucleus decays?

My first question on Stackexchange (if it is formatted wrong or something please tell me so I know in future) - here it is: Given an unstable nucleus (exactly which nucleus is not particularly ...
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92 views

Advanced Molten Salt Reactor - Is the concept of designing a reactor that uses spent nuclear fuel to generate power technically feasible?

I was going through the concept of designing a Nuclear Reactor that uses Spent Nuclear Fuel(SNF) to generate power as proposed by Transatomic Power . ...
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Copper coils for nMRI

Given the lack of financial efficacy in the medical industry, I was wondering if nuclear magnetic resonance imaging would be possible with a copper/silver coil if the use is short 10 second imaging ...
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62 views

How does a noseblow counter detect alpha radiation?

After working in air fed suits,operatives are required to give samples from their nasal passages by blowing their nose into a tissue,which is then counted in a noseblow counter. How does this work?
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457 views

How much energy can be extracted from hydrogen?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B-L says that the difference between baryon number and lepton number is conserved. Ordinary hydrogen has one of each, but turning it into helium releases only the binding ...
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359 views

Cherenkov radiation in nuclear bomb

Would Cherenkov radiation occur at the explosion of a nuclear bomb? Suppose it would not be occluded by smoke or anything else for that matter.
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23 views

How doesn't an ionization chamber leak?

I'm sure my understanding of an ionization chamber is incorrect, so please point out the error. Suppose we are using an sealed ionization chamber to detect the energies (trajectories) of a particular ...
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66 views

Leakage of X-ray radiation

Suppose a sample of strontium-90 is stored in a lead container with lead walls. It is know that X-ray radiation may be detected outside the lead container. After some discussion with my peers, it ...
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355 views

Water-cooled fast neutron reactors

Can anyone explain why fast neutron reactor designs use sodium/lead/salt cooling, instead of water (heavy/light)? Is that because neutron absorption by water would not allow to break even in fuel ...
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621 views

how to measure activation energy of fission?

i heard that fission activation energy of (235)U is less than of neutron separation energy of (236)U so this must the reason that (235)U is fission able $$E_s+(236)U\to (235)U+n$$ in this interaction ...
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78 views

Boiling water reactor

What are the typical power densities in conventional boiling water nuclear reactor per cubic centimeter of fission material?
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Does the relative angular momentum of the nucleons contribute to the spin of the nuclei?

Imagine we have a nucleus. We do talk about spins of nuclei. Is this spin the total angular momentum of the nucleus, that is, spins and relative angular momentum of all of the nucleons? If so, why? ...
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70 views

Ionization by heating

I would like to ask what happens if an atom exposed to a very high temperature - say millions of degrees (Kelvin). Can we use heating to separate electrons from their nucleus? And what happens to the ...
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1answer
62 views

Characteristic x-ray in energy spectrum

Context: Monte Carlo simulation of a linear accelerator photon beam. The energy spectrum for photons as calculated from the phase space files found in here has a peak somewhere near ...
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1answer
290 views

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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331 views

Measuring background radiation

We tried to measure background radiation using a geiger counter for a experiment at school. The meter showed $0.12$-$0.21$ microSv/h during the day averaging at about $0.14$ mcSv/h. As we tried to ...
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302 views

Radioactive decay / binding energies

If my understanding is correct, the binding energy determines a nucleus' stability and the greater the binding energy, the more stable the nucleus (e.g iron-56). The mass of the sum of nucleons that ...
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67 views

Any FLOSS Monte-Carlo package for reactor physics? [closed]

Any FLOSS Monte-Carlo package for reactor physics? Are there any Free and Open Source software packages for nuclear reactor processes simulation? Maybe, something similar to MCNP?
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58 views

XP Decay mode of radioactive nucleus

The decay mode of Carbon-8 is listed as 'XP' in this table. None of the references I looked at listed XP as a decay mode. What is it>
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1answer
36 views

Why do NNLC and NIST appear to give different values for the mass energy of the deuteron?

There is a problem with data that I've obtained over the internet. Here are the two sources of information from which I'm retrieving my data. NNLC and NIST On NIST, I have read that the mass excess ...
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1answer
28 views

Ambiguity in ordering of isospin states for Clebsch-Gordan coefficients

In studying isospin for nuclear physics, I am confused a bit by an ambiguity I found. If a process that goes from $K^- + p \rightarrow \Sigma^0+ \pi^0$, I can write the isospin for the left hand side ...
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94 views

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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39 views

Radioactive half lifes

What is the typical half life of material released from nuclear fission? This is a question I received for yr 12 physics and I can't find a proper answer telling me what the material released is and ...
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108 views

2 Nucleon Potential

I am looking at a 2 Nucleon potential of the form $$V(r)=V_0(r)[a+bI_1\cdot I_2]$$ Where a and b are constants. $I_1,I_2$ are isospins. $V_0(r)$ is of the square well form. My goal is to find an ...
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Would a matter-antimatter explosion cause fallout?

I know matter and antimatter annihilation release a lot of gamma rays which are considered ionizing radiation if I am not mistaken. But what if the explosion happened on the surface of the earth, ...
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61 views

Reaction of Pu-239 to gradual increase of pressure

The question "Did NASA nuke Jupiter?" while debunked immediately (non-fissile isotope was used) arose many what-if questions. What would happen if a subcritical chunk of a fissile isotope, like ...
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1k 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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1answer
55 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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366 views

Is man-made Carbon Fusion possible?

In a type Ia Supernova, the carbon accumulated in the earlier stages of a stars death fissues to create even heavier elements. Could this be used by humans aswell? Is it theoretically possible to ...
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171 views

Is there a good summary of all nuclear fusion approaches?

I am pretty sure, that during last 60 years of well-funded research a lot of ideas on nuclear fusion were already tried and ruled out. Is there some summary describing all of them and why they ...
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critical density to create macroscopic nuggets of nuclear matter

Is there a critical size that an hydrogen bomb detonation needs to have in order to produce neutron-degenerated matter? Does anyone knows if matter in this state would be stable at ambient ...
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199 views

Why does a coulomb explosion induce fusion?

If you strip the valence electrons apart with a very short intense electromagnetic field the remaining core explodes in a so called coulomb explosion. But experiments have shown that under certain ...
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1answer
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Creation of Nuclear Isomers

As I understand it, if a nucleus is excited with energy exceeding its ground state, it releases energy via gamma radiation. An example would be technitium 99m, a medical tracer with a 6 hour half life ...
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1answer
309 views

How does the internuclear repulsion vary in Hydrogenic atom collision?

Hydrogen fusion requires two hydrogen nuclei to get close enough (typically a few fm) to fuse. Much of the problem of creating a fusion reactor is overcoming the Coulomb repulsion between a pair of ...
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550 views

Iodine isotope question

Quick question for the nuclear engineers/physicists out there Where does I-134 come from? I cant find it in any of the charts of standard decay products of Uranium fission, but there is tons of the ...
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71 views

Why is an electron negatively charged, and what is the difference between negative and positive charges?

Nobody has yet defined the actual meaning of a charge, or why a negative charge is different from a positive charge. Everybody knows that positive charge is due to protons and negative charge is due ...
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59 views

What is the distribution of energy between the alpha, beta and gamma particles emitted in nuclear fallout per one RAD?

I have been trying to find a relation to be able to convert from RAD to REM. What I found is that I need to know the "quality factor" as some sources call it, which is the effect of different ionizing ...
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1answer
27 views

Periodic Table and strong fields at high Z

There is a known "phenomenon" recalled by Greiner et al. in several of his books related to hypothetical elements with Z>172: in some point arount this Z, the nuclear field is strong enough to pop out ...
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Binding energy in fission

In nuclear fission the total rest mass of the products is less than the mass of the original nucleus. But on the other hand, the binding energy of the products is higher. Doesn't the decrease of the ...
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92 views

Angular momenta of photon

$A^\mu$ can have multipole expansions in classical electrodynamics. This gives rise to dipole photon, quadrupole photon etc. For dipole photon $j=1$ (In electrodynamics books they write it as $l=1$). ...