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I want to self-study nuclear physics in order to understand nuclear reactors and nuclear weapons, what books can you recommend?

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  • $\begingroup$ What physics and mathematics knowledge do you have now ? $\endgroup$
    – StephenG
    Oct 30 '18 at 9:54
  • $\begingroup$ My background in physics is meh, I know mathematics relatively well, calculus 3 level+real analysis+topology+complex analysis and some amount of group theory. $\endgroup$ Oct 30 '18 at 10:20
  • $\begingroup$ You can learn nuclear physics, but I don't think there are comprehensive resources for its prized applications like nuclear reactors, and definitely not for nuclear weapons which are secrets. $\endgroup$
    – Avantgarde
    Oct 30 '18 at 10:36
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I have a Ph.D. in nuclear physics. Krane was what we started with. It's a very widely-used textbook.

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Here are some available references. The Atomic Nucleus by Evans. Nuclear Reactor Theory by Lamarsh. The Los Alamos Primer by Serber. Building the Bombs by Loeber. Most of the details for nuclear weapons are classified or at least limited distribution. You can also search the web for articles by Drell and Peurifoy related to nuclear weapons. Much of the information on the web related to nuclear weapons is incorrect.

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Besdevant et al. Fundamentals in Nuclear Physics is a pretty clear book for those who have not been exposed to nuclear phsyics, but already have solid knwoledge of physics in general (EM, QM, a bit of QFT, etc.).

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