nuclear physics

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 —

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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