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2
votes
1answer
65 views

Why is the isotope of lead-206 stable against alpha decay?

The mass of Lead-206 is larger than that of Mercury-202 + Helium-4. Why is then Lead-206 stable against alpha decay? I have heard that the beta-decay can stabilize a nucleus against alpha decay, and ...
22
votes
5answers
3k views

Why do unstable nuclei form?

Why do unstable nuclei form? Is it that we simply find unstable nuclei in nature and understand what these nuclei do in order to become more stable? I feel like textbooks gloss over this question ...
0
votes
1answer
70 views

Why do boron 11 and boron 12 isotopes have difference in stability ?(boron 11 is stable and 12 is unstable ) [closed]

Any nucleus will stable if it has neutron number= proton number. Or Even mass number=even atomic number or proton number.(maximum stability ) Or neutron number /proton number less than 1.6(not sure). ...
0
votes
0answers
33 views

Why does stability come from binding energy and not mass

The mass of a nucleus is given by: $$ Mc^2=n M_n c^2+zM_pc^2-B(z,n) $$ And we were told that nuclei want to maximise the binding energy per nucleon. However, I don't see why they don't want to ...
0
votes
2answers
63 views

Strong force and radioactivity [duplicate]

Why does adding more neutrons to an atom unstabilise it? Won’t adding more neutrons increase the strong force and thus knit the nucleus more tightly? Or is it because it’s being added in a particular ...
2
votes
1answer
110 views

Why Don't All Heavy Elements Decay into $^{62}\rm Ni$?

I read the question If we assume that protons don't decay, then will all matter ultimately decay into Iron-56 or into nickel-62?, but I have a different question concerning the decay that has ...
2
votes
1answer
84 views

Stability in Nuclear Shell Model

As far as I understand , a particular sub-shell is filled with either protons or neutrons, $2*(2l+1)$ number of them, and never both together since protons and neutrons fill up levels separately in ...
3
votes
1answer
109 views

Nuclear stability [duplicate]

Why does increasing the number of neutrons in a nucleus make it more unstable? I know that adding more protons increases electrostatic repulsion, therefore the nucleus is more unstable, but as ...
2
votes
1answer
198 views

Why is Helium 4 so stable?

I've been looking at stuff to do with binding energies and was wondering why Helium 4 is so stable. The fact everything up to carbon is less stable seems a bit odd. Is there a reason for this or ...
1
vote
3answers
138 views

Binding Energy and Instability

I believe that I am correct in saying that: (1) a nucleus constitutes a preferred configuration for nucleons as compared to a disassembled array of nucleons; and (2) nuclei decay so as to achieve more ...
1
vote
2answers
1k views

About the Stability of hydrogen Isotopes

Shouldn't tritium be more stable than a hydrogen atom with no neutrons? Why does tritium do alpha decay but not hydrogen atom with no neutrons? I suppose that when the number of neutrons increases the ...
3
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
15
votes
4answers
2k views

Why are alpha particles such a prominent form of radiation and not other types of nucleon arrangement?

It is said in many textbooks that alpha decay involves emitting alpha particles, which are very stable. Indeed, the binding energy (~28.3 MeV) is higher than for $Z$-neighboring stable isotopes. But ...
6
votes
2answers
3k views

If we assume that protons don't decay, then will all matter ultimately decay into Iron-56 or into nickel-62?

Wikipedia says that all matter should decay into iron-56. But it also says Nickel-62 is the most stable nucleus. So could this mean that in the far future, everything could (through quantum tunneling)...