This image shows how nuclear reaction proliferates. Nuclear reactions are induced externally as opposed to nuclear decays which are spontaneous processes.

If you would like to become a nuclear physicist, what you would like to know about the nucleus first?

Lectures on nuclear physics series. All nuclear physics lecture of this series can be accessed here — https://mdashf.org/category/nuclear-physics/.

Topics covered in this lecture 

A. structure of the nucleus

B. properties of the nucleus

A. structure of the nucleus

Every atom consists of a dense positive central core of mass, known as nucleus. Its size is much smaller compared to the size of the atom, nut nonetheless it contains almost all of the mass of the atom.

The nucleus is made of only neutrons and protons. — These are collectively known as nucleons. 

Nucleons are not the smallest constituents of matter. — In-fact nucleons are made of different combinations of 3 quarks, of which only two of the quarks can be of the same type. 

Combinations of 3 quarks which form into a bound state of material system are known as baryons. We will study about baryons in the last part of this lecture series.

Thus baryons are a naturally occurring collective matter, built from 3 quarks, where the 3 quarks interact among each other, but can’t escape this bound state of formation, even under the impact of tremendous force.

This fact is known as asymptotic freedom, such freedom is only a dream for them, and for us. This is possible in principle, when the distance of separation between them can be made infinite, in order to weaken the existing attractive force between them, to zero.

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    Topics covered in this lecture

    A. Conductors

    B. Semiconductors

    C. Holes

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    Conductors: A conductor is the name of a material which is a good conductor of electricity. Copper ( Cu ), Silver ( Ag ) and Gold ( Au ) are examples of materials which are good conductors of electricity, in other words they are known as conductors. 

    A natural question arises as to why copper is a good conductor of electricity. Such a fact can be understood from its electronic configuration.

    Electronic configurations are a good way to understand the physical as well as chemical properties of materials. A great deal of our modern understanding of materials and their properties are based on the detailed electronic configuration facts of the same.  

    The copper has 29 electrons in its atom. That means it has an equal number of protons. It has two isotopes, one has 34 and the other has 36 neutrons. Isotopes are the same chemical element having 2 or more than 2 different types of nuclei, due to difference in the number of neutrons. As a whole copper atom is electrically neutral. 

    The 29 electrons are distributed into shells or orbits. Consequently the first orbit has 2, 2nd orbit has 8 and 3rd orbit has 18 electrons. There is only 1 electron in the outermost orbit of the copper atom. 

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