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

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6answers
4k views

What will happen if a ball of ice with the mass of sun is thrown into the sun?

The question is a bit unrealistic with its circumstances but lets assume there is a bucket of ice cooled down to about absolute zero and is about 1000 km away (all around the sun) from sun and moving ...
1
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3answers
700 views

Does lithium-6 “decay” when hit by a neutron?

I am talking about the nuclear reaction $$ ^6\text{Li} + n \rightarrow\ ^4\text{He} +\ ^3\text{H} + 4.78\text{MeV} $$ A neutron hits a lithium-6 nucleus and together they form an alpha and triton ...
3
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3answers
267 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 ...
31
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5answers
4k views

Why do all the atoms of a radioactive substance not decay at the same time?

Why does the substance decay at a rate which is proportional to the amount of the substance at that moment? As all atoms are in hurry to become a stable atom and as their decay do not depend on any ...
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1answer
135 views

Can only radon-222 decay into polonium-218?

Is radon-222 the only element that can decay into polonium-218?
2
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2answers
278 views

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
0
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0answers
198 views

Asymmetry Term in the Semi-Empirical Mass Formula

Could someone explain to me in simple terms what the asymmetry term means and how it is derived. I don't really want a full fledged mathematical derivation, but more the basic principle and idea ...
1
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0answers
74 views

Klein-Nishina for estimating X-ray cross section

I'm looking at interaction probability for X-rays with water and DNA, and recently have starting reading up on the Klein-Nishina identities for differential cross section. When integrated over all ...
1
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1answer
81 views

Proton-Uranium collision

I am looking for references or numbers regarding what happens when one bombards Uranium with Protons. In particular: How to calculate how often does a collision occurs? Can a collision lead to a ...
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3answers
206 views

What triggers a nuclear chain reaction?

A nuclear fission works by spliting atom's neutrons by neutrons which release energy but how is the chain reaction triggered because at first the nucleus is bond by a strong nuclear force so what ...
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2answers
1k views

Energy from 1 gram of fuel in a nuclear power plant?

It might go without saying, but I am asking about a fission reactor. I assume the fuel still has mass after it is used. If I am right about that, I can't use e=m*c^2 to answer my question. Hence my ...
-6
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2answers
138 views

BINDING ENERGY OR BINDING ENERGY PER NEUCLEON REMAINS CONSTANT [duplicate]

Which one is constant BINDING ENERGY or BINDING ENERGY PER NEUCLEON? I GOT LOTS OF ANS. BUT I CAN`T UNDERSTAND. IS NEITHER OF THE IS CONSTANT?
4
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1answer
442 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} \frac{S(E_0)}{(...
0
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2answers
73 views

What is an element's “weight” when talking about “elements heavier than iron” being formed in supernovae

I always hear that elements heavier than iron are formed in supernovae. But, what is taken as an element's weight? I had always believed that this meant any elements with an atomic number greater than ...
1
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1answer
61 views

Protons and Neutrons Overshoot Actual Mass? [duplicate]

When I add up the mass of 6 protons and 6 neutrons in amu, I get a mass that is greater than the mass of carbon. I thought that it should be the other way around, because I have not including binding ...
2
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1answer
120 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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0answers
36 views

Regge trajectories for higher spins

I have read that Regge theory did/does predict higher spin meson states, but that at higher spins the data becomes fuzzy for spins greater than 4. Why is this so? In the book "A Brief History of ...
2
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3answers
3k views

Why U235 over U238?

There are 3 isotopes of uranium that can be found in nature[1]: U234, U235 and U238. For a chain reaction to last there must be a high amount of neutrons contents and by comparison, U238 contains 92 ...
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1answer
136 views

Discrepancy problem in lithium?

Why is there a discrepancy between the amount of lithium-7 predicted to be produced in Big Bang nucleosynthesis and the amount observed in very old stars?
3
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4answers
243 views

Can we predict the half-lives of radioactive isotopes from theory?

Is there any way to predict the half-lives of radioactive isotopes from theory (that is, using only theoretical considerations, without using data about the decay)? For example, could we predict that ...
2
votes
1answer
89 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 ...
0
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2answers
131 views

Semi-empirical mass formula

The mass formula is given by $M(Z,A) = ZM_{p}+(A-Z)M_{n}-a_{1}A+a_{2}A^\frac{2}{3}+a_{3}\frac{Z(Z-1)}{A^\frac{1}{3}}+a_{4}\frac{(Z-A/2)^2}{A}+a_{5}A^\frac{-1}{2}$ So I am just wondering here what ...
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1answer
71 views

Mass of an Atom

So the mass deficit of an atom, denoted by $\Delta M(Z,A)$, is given by the following formula, $\Delta M(Z,A) = M(Z,A) - Z(M_{p} + m_{e}) -NM_{n}$ However since the rest mass of an electron is a lot ...
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3answers
229 views

Binding Energy of an atom

I would like to know if there is any difference between the binding energy of a nucleus and the binding energy of an atom and what exactly do we mean when we say Binding energy per nucleon.. Edit to ...
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1answer
32 views

What is the charge/matter distribution?

I am a mathematics student who is doing an introductory course in nuclear physics and since the course is rather elementary a lot of the definitions/derivations are skipped which makes it quite tough ...
6
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1answer
1k views

Can Dark Matter just be clumps of Neutrons

I was wondering about Dark matter, and it occurred to me that why could it not be just nuclei of Neutrons with no electron cloud. Is it possible for such things to exists. Can Neutrons bond to one ...
3
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0answers
125 views

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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0answers
194 views

What is the difference between mass defect and mass deficit?

Is there any difference between the mass defect and the mass deficit? I have read that the mass defect of a nuclide is never negative and have also been told that the mass defect is the same as the ...
1
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2answers
304 views

Sommerfeld Parameter Confusion

In almost every reference site I can find, the Sommerfeld parameter $\eta$ is explicitly stated as $$\eta=\frac{Z_1Z_2e^2}{\hbar \nu}=\frac{Z_1Z_2e^2}{\hbar }\sqrt{\frac{\mu}{2E}}$$ Where $Z_1$ and $...
0
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1answer
102 views

Why can “slow” neutrons trigger fission?

My understanding of nuclear fission is that some massive isotopes such as uranium-235 are unstable and when split via fission there will be a "slow" neutron. This slow neutron will hit another ...
1
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0answers
59 views

What happens to the nucleus energy when it decays?

When an atom decays into another atom, what happens to the potential energy of the nucleus ? I think it will get more negative because, in general, through fission and fusion an atom tries to get a ...
2
votes
1answer
182 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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3answers
605 views

Could the LHC be used for fusion experiments? [duplicate]

Just looking at the beam energy and peak power for the LHC, 360 MJ and petawatts, respectively, dumped in about 100 µs, would this be sufficient to do useful fusion experiments?
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1answer
174 views

Stone vs. Atomic Bomb

What would do more damage, a B53, a 9 megaton uranium bomb, or a medium sized stone (2 kg) stone throw at 90% the speed of light. One thing that I know that will have to be considered is that fact ...
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1answer
148 views

What is the difference between zero background radiation and field background radiation in Nuclear Physics measurements?

Can someone please explain the difference between these two terms (Zero Background Radiation and Field Background Radiation) used in radiometric prospecting measurements?
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0answers
274 views

Mirror nuclei: accounting for the difference in mass between nuclei

I was wondering if anyone here could guide me in the right direction with respect to the following problem: Two nuclei are considered mirror nuclei if interchanging the neutrons and protons turns ...
0
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0answers
55 views

The Internal Structure of A Nucleon [duplicate]

Just like, in a Bohr model, the atom has a particular structure, what is it like inside of a nucleon? Like, are there particular ways the quarks are arranged, and what about the binding energy that ...
2
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0answers
116 views

Electron Beam Welding equation

I am studying for a nuclear physics course right now and came across a question and topic that sparked my interest - Electron Beam Welding. As I understand it, the process heats up the metal by ...
1
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1answer
184 views

What is the energy threshhold to produce Cherenkov radiation?

I am in a nuclear course right now and am getting some misleading information from different sources. I am trying to figure out what the minimum total energy is that a proton must have in order to ...
0
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1answer
61 views

What is the “penetrability factor”?

I have read/heard this term a few times in nuclear physics papers. I'm guessing it has something to do with the Coloumb barrier of a nucleus. Could you maybe explain what this "penetrability factor" ...
1
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1answer
69 views

Are nuclear processes the only processes that release more energy than is input?

Are the nuclear processes of fission and fusion the only known processes or events that release more energy than is input to create those processes? I know I am being a little vague; I do not know the ...
0
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2answers
245 views

The semi-empirical formula and $E=mc^2$

The semi-empirical formula is used to find the binding energy of a nucleus. But if you know the mass of a nucleus and the number of neutrons and protons that this nucleus consists of (and you know ...
2
votes
1answer
383 views

What was Feynman's famous formula?

In Welton(1983), Memories of Feynman, Welton mentions two formulas which he denotes as Feynman's Famous Formula (FFF) and FFF #2. Which famous formulas is he talking about? Is he maybe talking about ...
0
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3answers
323 views

Is a nuclear bomb in some sense a bullet travelling at the speed of light, but along time rather than along space?

Apologies if this is a silly or perhaps obvious question, but $E=mc^2$ just looks so much like classical kinetic energy (except for the factor of 2). So I'm thinking of the to-be-fissioned-away ...
0
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1answer
33 views

Electric Field inorder for Fusion to occur

If I want to do D-D -> He + n fusion in an electric field - what potential would I need? So I know the coulomb barrier is at $U=k^2 \frac{e^2}{10^{-15}} = 1.44 MeV$ This is when the strong force ...
-1
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1answer
52 views

Electricity should deform the conductor then why doesn't it?

In electric current both negative particles and positive particles flow but in opposite directions. So why doesn't the conductor's shape deform because its particles are moving here and there? OR is ...
4
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1answer
211 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 ...
0
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0answers
107 views

Effective Coulomb barrier for deuteron

What is the effective Coulomb barrier for a Deuterium-deuterium fusion reaction? I am seeing temperatures of about $40 \times 10^7 K$ online, but have no idea how they are getting this. If we have $...
0
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1answer
113 views

What is the reduced width amplitude of an unstable state?

Particularly used in nuclear physics when describing the lifetime (i.e. partial decay width) of a resonant state (a.k.a resonance) is the term "reduced width amplitude". I have searched online, and ...
3
votes
2answers
519 views

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 “as-...