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

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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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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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Why is the binding energy per nucleon not zero for hydrogen atom?

The lone proton has not to be worked on against any electrostatic force. So where does the energy come from? What is mass defect for a hydrogen nucleus?
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gamma ray lasers?

Is it really possible in the foreseeable future to create a gamma ray laser? I've read these two articles on Wikipedia: the Hafnium controversy Induced gamma emission It sounds pretty amazing, ...
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Decay of Cobalt-60 isotope

How does the Gamma decay of Cobalt-60 occur? Motivation: A research team led by D. Habs made contributions to our understanding of the gamma decay of Ca-40 and Zr-90: ...
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What are nuclear isomers? What is isomeric energy?

Can someone explain nuclear isomers to me, and in particular what the energy involved is? I understand generally that we're talking about moving from a less to more stable configuration of nuclear ...
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Why must the deuteron wavefunction be antisymmetric?

Wikipedia article on deuterium says this: The deuteron wavefunction must be antisymmetric if the isospin representation is used (since a proton and a neutron are not identical particles, ...
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nuclear fusion scaling with reactor size

Thinking about physics of thermonuclear fusion, I have always intuitive sense, that making fusion feasible is matter of reactor size. In other words I feel like: if the fusion reactor is big enough ...
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Why is the nucleon axial charge a charge?

Lets take a look at the definition of the nucleon axial charge $g_A$ $\langle p|A^a_\mu|p\rangle = g_A \bar u(p)\gamma_\mu\gamma_5\tau^au(p)$ with the QCD axial current ...
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References or resource recommendation for the mathematics concerning fission

I am working on a statistical problem that appears similar (in some respects...) to nuclear fission. I am interested in the properties of a system undergoing fission around, or near, delayed ...
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physical intuition behind quasi-bound state formation in feshbach resonance

In Feshbach resonance, by scattering theory formalism it is found that the resonance in cross-section happens when bound state energy of the closed channel is near to the scattering state energy of ...
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how is feshbach resonance potential term physically produced?

In Feshbach resonance model, a 2*2 potential term with space dependent diagonal and non-diagonal terms is written $\left(\begin{array}{cc} V_{11}(\mathbf{r}) & V_{12}(\mathbf{r})\\ ...
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Geometric quantization AND nuclear physics

Classical mechanics has a natural mathematical setting in symplectic geometry and it may be asked if the same is true for quantum mechanics. Geometric quantization is one formalization of the notion ...
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Irradiation of electronic memory circuits

I am investigating the radiation hardness of electronic memory circuits (EEPROM). The following measurement has been performed: Beam set-up: Irradiation occurred perpendicular to the DUT (device ...
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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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Energy Levels of 3D Isotropic Harmonic Oscillator (Nuclear Shell Model)

One simple way of detailing the very basic structure of the nuclear shell model involves placing the nucleons in a 3D isotropic oscillator. It's easy to show that the energy eigenvalues are $E = ...
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Why do nucleons feel a repulsive force when less than 1 fm?

My Modern Physics textbook by Taylor states that when nucleons are less than 1 fm apart, there is a strong repulsive force between them. I am fairly certain that it is not the Pauli Exclusion ...
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Why do almost all nuclear reactions release energy?

I'm just wondering why almost all nuclear reactions release energy, in a typical way, the mass defect is transformed into energy ? Is there a nuclear reaction that gains mass (resp. energy)? or most ...
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Would it be possible to detect nuclear explosion on exoplanet?

How strong would have to be nuclear explosion on exo-planet that orbits some other star for it to be detectable outside of that system. Or it would be impossible due to amount of radiation coming from ...
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Nukes with cup-sized mushroom clouds

A few sequential questions: Is it possible for a nuclear explosion to be small enough to produce a 250-ml (one cup) mushroom cloud? If so, how much uranium would that take? How close to the ...
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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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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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Neutron decay and electron anti neutrino $n\to p + e + \bar{\nu}_e$

Why do we need neutrino to explain neutron decay? Is there any evidence regarding existence neutrinos in the context of $n\to p + e + \bar{\nu}_e$?
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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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Can an element decay into an infinite loop?

I've been working on a problem and have been wondering is there any isotope of any element that beta decays under certain conditions but then under differing conditions the daughter nucleus electron ...
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Do hadrons only interact via strong interaction?

According to my revision guide baryon and mesons always interact via the strong interaction. Does this hold for baryon-baryon interactions? meson-meson? Thanks
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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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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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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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Charge on the remaining atom after Alpha decay

In radioactive alpha decay, a helium atom is shown to be released. However, I was told that only thing released is a helium nucleus. If so, then it should leave two of its electrons in the atom ...
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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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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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Can antimatter be used as fuel for nuclear reactors?

I completely understand the difficulties of making and storing antimatter, so I am not talking about the mechanism or the way of doing it here, I am just talking about the concept. As far as I know, ...
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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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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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What Happens to electrons after Alpha Decay and Nuclear Fission?

Where do the electrons go? In alpha decay do 2 electrons follow the alpha particle and make stable Helium or does the larger daughter nucleus become an anion? Also what do the electrons do in the ...
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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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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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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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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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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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Carbon-14 formation in atmosphere

Wikipedia says Carbon-14 is formed in the atmosphere by the reaction: 1n + 14N → 14C + 1p This looks like neutron capture. However, I would expect neutron capture to result in 15N. However, "proton ...
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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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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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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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Complete list of nuclear fusion reactions

Could anyone suggest good source of all fusion reactions and their cross section vs energy graphs, including ones which were ruled out for nuclear fusion reactors (i.e. including endothermic and ...
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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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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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What are the average matter, antimatter, and binding energy composition of protons and neutrons?

For a free baryon at rest at room temperature, how much of its ~1Gev (rest) mass can (on average) be considered as matter, as antimatter, and as binding energy? For a baryon in a nucleus, I assume ...