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

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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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129 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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202 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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3answers
2k views

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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175 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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542 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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105 views

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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89 views

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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467 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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372 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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21 views

Gamma spectrum: Question about cross sections

If I have a gamma spectrum and I suspect that I should have an isotope, Fe-59 for example, present in the environment, I will then look here: ...
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124 views

What is meant by mass defect of a single neutron or a single proton?

As per my understanding The mass defect of a nucleus represents the mass of the energy binding the nucleus, and is the difference between the mass of a nucleus and the sum of the masses of the ...
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53 views

Why are heavier nuclei unstable?

If you have more neutrons than protons, then there will be more strong force present to counteract the repulsive forces between protons. Why is it that above bismuth, no nucleus is stable, regardless ...
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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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63 views

Why do nuclear bomb explosions create an array of visible electric discharges in the form of lightening in the upper atmosphere?

I've seen videos on the internet, showing nuclear bomb test explosions, and there appears to be a large amount of visible lightening discharging numerous times over the development of the mushroom ...
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40 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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49 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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96 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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391 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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731 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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786 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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89 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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856 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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263 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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111 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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171 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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49 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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160 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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159 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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730 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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628 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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457 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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84 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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515 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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731 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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521 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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437 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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61 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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36 views

Fission producing Cs-137

This is I suppose quite a precise question about Nuclear fission. What produces, aside from U-235, via a fission process, Cs-137? Does any isotope of Actinium, for example, undergo a fission process ...
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20 views

Should I observe single/double escape peaks for all energies above 1022 keV

I have already asked a question similar to this, but that question was specifically relating to the case of K-40. I'm going to generalize it to any case My question is to do with the field of gamma ...
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128 views

Are there more photons than nuclei within the Sun?

Are there more photons than nuclei within the Sun? Is there a good way to estimate what the ratio would be?
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90 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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545 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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50 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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63 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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196 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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53 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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163 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 ...