I'm trying to understand the physical basis of decay half-life (understanding there may be different bases for different types of decay...) and I came across this article:
Quoting from that article:
A nucleus consists of protons and neutrons held together by powerful forces. Certain combinations are more stable than others. It has to do with ratios and “gluons,” but I will try to avoid that part of the explanation. Within one element—and to be careful, let's assume we are talking about one nuclide (or one isotope of one element)—every atom has exactly the same combination of protons and neutrons. It would appear that all the nuclei are identical, but the particles have some combination of “jiggles” inherent in them, like siblings in the back seat of a car.
For a nuclide with a long half-life, most of the time the total jiggling stays inside the limit of the binding force that holds the nucleus together: the nucleus doesn’t break apart. Every once in a long while, however, the jiggles might line up or form a resonance that sends the nucleus across the limit of its cohesion, and the nucleus splits.
What are the "jiggles" that this author is referring to? I assume that it refer to oscillations of some type...what is oscillating though?. Can someone point me to references for the "ratios and gluons" that form the part of the explanation that the author avoided?
I speculate that perhaps there's something behind this explanation like the formation and annihilation of gluons (for a strong-force mediated decay) or W,Z bosons (for a weak-force mediated decay)...but I haven't been able to confirm my suspicions.