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PH 122 (46)

Nuclear physics, nucleus, stability, alpha/beta/gamma decay, radiation

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PH 122
Brian Jones

7 April Nuclear Physics The forces holding together the nucleus are large. And so are the energies involved. Radioactivity is a natural process. Certain nuclei fall apart and emit ionizing radiation as they do. Radiation and radioactivity are dangerous but useful. They can cause illness, but they can cure or diagnose as well. Duke was here. Remember: Particles have a wave nature A classical particle of mass m bounces back and forth between two boundaries. Matter waves moving in opposite directions create standing waves. Only certain wavelengths meet the boundary conditions, so only certain energies are allowed. hn 2 1 2L h 2 E n 2m ¿ = 8mL 2 n ¿ The Nucleus Confining neutrons and protons in the “box” of the nucleus means that their allowed energies are enormous. Number of protons determines the element, number of neutrons the isotope Most elements have more than one stable isotope. Notation Z = # of protons N = # of neutrons Mass number A = Z + N Atomic number: Z
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