Nuclear Physics Homework Help - K-12 Grade Level - College Level Physics

Introduction to Nuclear Physics

Nuclear physics is the branch of physics which studies the interactions and constituents of atomic nuclei. The generally acknowledged appliances of nuclear physics are nuclear power creation and nuclear weapons technology, but the study it has given application in so many areas, containing those in magnetic resonance imaging and nuclear medicine, ion implantation in materials engineering, and radiocarbon dating in archaeology and geology.


The particle physics developed from nuclear physics and is usually taught in close alliance with nuclear physics.

Discovery of the Nucleus

Rutherford's team discovers the nucleus

By the year 1907 Ernest Rutherford published "Radiation of the α Particle from Radium in passing through Matter." Scientist Hans Geiger extent the region of this job in a statement to the Royal Society with experiments; he and Rutherford had done passing α particles by using air, aluminum foil and gold leaf. More research was issued in 1909 by Geiger and Marsden and after that significantly lingering research was issued in 1910 by Geiger. In the year 1911-1912 Rutherford went facing the Royal Society to describe the experiments and advocate the new hypothesis of the atomic nucleus as we now recognize it.

The main experiment following this announcement occurred in year 1910 at the University of Manchester, as Ernest Rutherford's team presented an outstanding research in which Hans Geiger and Ernest Marsden under his direction throw alpha particles (helium nuclei) at a lean film of gold foil. The plum pudding model assumed that the alpha particles be supposed to come out of the foil through their paths being at most slightly curved. Rutherford had the thought to train his team to seek something that stunned him to really observe: some particles were spread through huge angles, even entirely backwards, some times. He compared it to firing a bullet at tissue paper and having it recoil. The invention, starts with Rutherford's study of the data in the year 1911, finally led to the Rutherford model of the atom, where the atom has a microscopic, very thick nucleus containing the majority of its mass and consists intense positively charged particles with surrounded electrons in order to equalize the charge (since the neutron was unidentified). As an instance, in this model (which is not the latest) nitrogen-14 contained a nucleus with 14 protons and 7 electrons (total 21 particles), the nucleus was encircled by 7 more orbiting electrons.

The model of Rutherford worked quite well until studies of nuclear spin was carried out by Franco Rasetti at the California Institute of Technology in 1929. By the year of 1925 it was well-known that electrons and protons and had a spin of 1/2 and in the Rutherford model of nitrogen-14, 20 of the total 21 nuclear particles should have paired up to cancel each other's spin, and the last odd particle should have left the nucleus with a net spin of ½, Discovered by Rasetti. However, that nitrogen-14 had a spin of 1.

Neutron Discovery by James Chadwick

In the year 1932 Chadwick understood that radiation which was observed by Walther Bothe, Herbert L. Becker, Frédéric Joliot-Curie and Irène was actually because of the neutral particle of about the similar mass as the proton, which he called the neutron. In the same year 1932, Dmitri Ivanenko recommended that neutrons were actually spin 1/2 particles and that the nucleus consisted neutrons to describe the mass not because of the protons, and there were no electrons in the nucleus-just protons and neutrons. The neutron spin instantly resolved the issue of the spin of nitrogen-14, same as both one unpaired proton and one unpaired neutron in this model, each one contribute a spin of 1/2 in the similar direction, for a final total spin of 1.

By the invention of the neutron, scientists finally able to analyze what fraction of binding energy each nucleus had, by comparing the nuclear mass with that of the protons and neutrons which formed it. Variations among nuclear masses were considered in this way and when nuclear reactions were calculated; were found to concur with Einstein's result of the uniformity of mass and energy to high accuracy.

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