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

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Stability of nuclides in regard to the forces acting upon its nucleus

I am having trouble piecing together some information regarding the stability of a nucleus. I have read that iron-56 is the most stable isotope, because it has the highest binding energy per nucleon ...
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35 views

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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46 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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86 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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386 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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688 views

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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769 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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85 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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734 views

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 ...
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171 views

Orbital angular momentum of nucleus?

For nuclei, I know that it is the $J^{\pi}$ that is usually measured/calculated, which is the spin-parity. I don't see "orbital angular momentum" of a nucleus very often. Now my notion of spin vs. ...
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102 views

Can a nuclear reactor be used as a space-based weapon?

Imagine you have a ship, running on power from a nuclear reactor. We will assume this ship uses some kind of advanced technology that allows nuclear reactors to function in a microgravity environment. ...
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118 views

How would the explosion from a Pure Fusion Bomb differ from the explosion from a Fission Nuclear Bomb?

Suppose we have the technology to create high enough temperatures and pressures inside a confined space to fuse together deuterium and tritium, and create a Pure Fusion Bomb. How would the explosion ...
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47 views

r-process: Is it correct to talk about “primary” and “secondary” r-processes?

This website, written in 1994, makes a differentiation between the "primary" and "secondary" r-processes in the context of astrophysics. As far as I can tell the main difference between the primary ...
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136 views

Mass Defect…cause and origin?

What makes it occur? How do the protons and nucleus know that they have to lose mass to produce energy...? And is the mass of a compressed Spring more than an uncompressed one?? does a body which has ...
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46 views

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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132 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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69 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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662 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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585 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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434 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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83 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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503 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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1answer
621 views

Theoretical power limit of nuclear bomb

Is there any limits of power or power to mass (or any other) limits for nuclear bombs? I found this wiki article: Nuclear weapon yield: Yield limits. Is the information provided is correct? If yes, ...
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498 views

Is there an equation for the residual strong nuclear force?

First of all, note the qualifier "residual". The present question is not the same as that asked, and answered, in the StackExchange question "Is there an equation for the strong nuclear force?" which ...
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414 views

Alpha Decay or Fission

In a quiz contest, I came across the following question: What is the term used to describe the splitting of a heavy nucleus into two lighter nuclei? Two options provided were: a) Alpha Decay b) ...
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60 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
82 views

Why is energy released during decay?

Why is energy released when an atom decays into another atom, even though no energy is added? What does the mass defect mean? Is it because a nucleus which decays is unstable (proton/neutron = 1)? ...
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526 views

Deriving Gamow factor for potential with effective centrifugal potential term

I am looking at deriving an expression for the Gamow factor for $\alpha$-decay. I understand that the potential is the sum of the nuclear, electric and effective potentials: $$V(r) = V_N(r)+V_c(r) ...
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49 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
59 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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178 views

What makes nuclear binding energy so much stronger than chemical energy

The strong force acting between quarks and responsible for holding protons together is 100 times stronger than the electromagnetic force. How come the nuclear binding energy derived from the strong ...
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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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52 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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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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3k views

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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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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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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56 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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467 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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189 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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982 views

What is the strong nuclear force between proton and neutron in deuteron?

The nucleus of deuterium, called a deuteron, contains one proton and one neutron. What is strong nuclear force between them?
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231 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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97 views

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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343 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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581 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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2answers
52 views

Does water absorb neutrons?

Water is used as a shielding material in nuclear reactors. What's its function as a shield? Does it absorb neutrons and is there a reaction between water and neutrons?
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1answer
150 views

Electron scattering to measure the nuclear radius

I have been taught that you can find out the size of a nucleus of an atom by firing electrons at high velocities at the atom. This causing scattering due the positive charge of the nucleus and ...
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107 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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125 views

Why does nuclear waste have to be stored until the constituent elements decay naturally?

Fair warning, I have a bachelors in CS and have chemistry 211/212 under my belt. My understanding of the atom consists of a proton, neutron, and electron quasi-orbiting it in some sort of strange ...