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

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Origin of elements heavier than Iron (Fe)

In all the discussions about how the heavy elements in the universe are forged in the guts of stars and especially during a stars death, I usually hear that once the star begins fusing lighter atoms ...
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Why doesn't the electron fall into the nucleus? [duplicate]

Electrons move around the nucleus, which contain protons and neutrons. I know that quantum mechanics tells us that the nucleus is made up of fundamental particles, but why (quantum mechanically ...
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162 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 ...
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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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Why some nuclei with “magic” numbers of neutrons have a half-life less than their neighbor isotopes?

It's easy to find the "magic" numbers of neutrons on the diagrams of alpha-decay energy: 82, 126, 152, 162. Such "magic" nuclei should be more stable than their neighbors. But why some nuclei ...
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nuclear physics- Energetics and Mechanics of Nuclear Reaction Homework

A sample of $^{24}_{12}\mathrm{Mg}$ is bombarded by a monoenergetic proton. If the resulting nucleus in a $^{24}_{12}\mathrm{Mg}(p,\gamma)$ reaction; $^{24}_{12}\mathrm{Mg}(p,\gamma)$ has its ...
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134 views

Does energy conservation not hold in fission and fusion processes?

I have read that during fission and fusion processes, there is some kind of equilibrium between the single nucleus and the disintegration products, so they are constantly being converted into each ...
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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} ...
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551 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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Why can Hiroshima be inhabited when Chernobyl cannot?

There was an atomic bomb dropped in Hiroshima, but today there are residents in Hiroshima. However, in Chernobyl, where there was a nuclear reactor meltdown, there are no residents living today (or ...
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41 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 ...
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38 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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147 views

Why is Silver-108 unstable

Why is Silver-108 unstable if silver-107 and silver-109 are stable? I found it on crash course but no answer was given.
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35 views

How long remains a boron control rod?

I was wondering today, how long boron control rods remains in a nuclear power plant? When a boron atom absorbs two neutrons, it becomes the unstable isotope boron-12 and and the boron nuclei starts ...
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26 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 ...
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97 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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37 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?
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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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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 ...
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628 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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32 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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166 views

Proof of Bethe-Bloch stopping power

I want to prove the Bethe-Bloch stopping power formula but I don't know where to start. Any one can offer a book or paper? Related: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bethe_formula
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100 views

How hot is Plutonium-238 in Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators (RTGs)?

As I understand it, Plutonium-238 is used to provide power through heat generation in radioisotope thermoelectric generators. My question is... how hot is a pellet of Plutonium-238? Does the heat ...
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Why doesn't a nuclear reactor's filament deform?

Why doesn't a nuclear reactor's filament deform? The filament in the core of a nuclear reactor is usually made of uranium rods. So in the nuclear reactions the neutrons constantly move from filament ...
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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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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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21 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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26 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 ...
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846 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 ...
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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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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 ...
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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 ...
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69 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 ...
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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 ...
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60 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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In an all-out nuclear war, how long should remain sheltered? [migrated]

Fairly common in sci-fi literature is the scenario where the Earth is destroyed by an all out nuclear war. Typically, the protagonist have survived by remaining in underground shelters for decades ...
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488 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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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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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 one ...
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Why does the Walecka model not include pions?

The Walecka or $\sigma$/$\omega$-model is an effective theory describing nucleon-nucleon interaction by an exchange of $\sigma$/$\omega$-mesons. Why does it not include interactions by pions?
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The Interior of A Nucleon

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 ...
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44 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 ...
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Why do nuclear weapons create a blast wave?

As far as I know, in a nuclear explosion the energy is released in the form of radiation (neutrons, gamma rays, alpha particles and electrons), light and heat. There isn't a chemical reaction that ...
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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 ...
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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" ...
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Is an atom charged after undergoing beta emission?

After beta emission, an atom's mass number remains the same while the number of protons increases by one. As far as I know, the beta particle (electron) is too energetic to be recaptured. If this is ...
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30 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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...