Properties of the nucleus

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    Robin Vrielynck

    – A nucleus consists of protons (Z) and neutrons (A-Z).
    – A proton and neutron has some properties that are the same: e.g. energy (order of MeV), mass,… There is one main property that differ them: a proton is positively charged, while a neutron is not charged.
    – In the nucleus, there are some forces that act. On long distance range, there is the Coulomb force that repel the protons. On the short range, there is a strong nuclear force that keeps the nucleus together.
    – Weak interactions are responsible for beta-decay.
    – There are three decay processes: alfa-, beta- (+/-) and gamma-decay.
    – Binding energy is the energy needed to add/substract a nucleon to the nucleus. Iron (Fe) has the highest binding energy, and so is the most stable. Nuclei can undergo fission and/or fusion.
    – The nuclei can be described by using nuclear models. One well-known is the shell model. The most stable nuclei in this model are the ones that contains the amount of a nucleon of a magic number.

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