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NUCLEAR PHYSICS GLOSSARY: DEFINITIONS, TERMS, MEANING, EXPLANATION


Alpha Particle

A highly energetic positively charged particle emitted by the radioactive nuclei.


Atomic Number

The total number of protons present in a nucleus.


Binding Energy

The minimum energy required to break the nucleus into its constituent nucleons.


Binding Fraction

The binding energy of a nucleus is divided by its mass number.


Deuterium

An isotope of hydrogen with mass number 2.


Differential Scattering Cross Section

The cross-section of the scattering per unit solid angle.


Electron Volt

The energy gained when a single electron is accelerated by a potential difference of 1 volt.


Femtometer

A unit of measurement of length frequently used in nuclear physics, equal to 10-15 meters, is also known as Fermi.


Fermi Distribution

The distribution indicates the nuclear charge density in the nucleus.


Form Factor

In scattering, the ratio by which the scattering cross section is reduced when the charge is spread out over a finite volume.


Ground State

The lowest energy state in which the nucleus is present.


Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle

It is a fundamental limit restricting the accuracy of the measurement of canonically conjugate variables simultaneously.


Hydrogen

The lightest element present in the Universe consists of only one proton in the nucleus.


Impact Parameter

The perpendicular distance from the nucleus to the asymptotic line of the trajectory of the positively charged particles as it is scattered towards the nucleus.


Ionization Energy

The minimum energy required to remove an electron from the outermost orbit of an atom.


Isobars

Nuclei with the same mass number.


Isotones

Nuclei with the same neutron number but different atomic numbers.


Isotopes

Nuclei with the same atomic number but different mass numbers.


Magic Number

The particular values of neutron number or the atomic number for which the nuclei are found to be extremely stable.


Mass Defect

The difference in the measured mass of a nucleus and the atomic mass of a nucleus or the difference between the mass of the product and parent nuclei in a nuclear reaction.


Mass Number

The total number of protons and neutrons present in the nucleus.


Matter Waves

The waves of the matter according to de Broglie’s hypothesis.


Mean Radius

The radius of the nucleus at which the density of the nucleus reduces to half its value at the center.


Mirror Nuclei

The pairs of isobaric nuclei are known as mirror nuclei.


Neutron

An electrically neutral particle about the size of a proton is present in the nucleus.


Neutron Number

The total number of neutrons present in the nucleus.


Neutron Scattering Experiments

Experiments in which monoenergetic beams of fast neutrons get scattered by the nuclei.


Nuclear Charge

The total of all the charges of the nucleons present in a nucleus.


Nuclear Radius

The radius of the nucleus.


Nuclear Radius Parameter

A constant of proportionality in the equation relating nuclear radius and mass number.


Nucleon

Protons and neutrons present in the nucleus are together known as nucleons.


Nucleus

A region is present in the center of all atoms, consisting of protons and neutrons.


Packing Fraction

The mass defect of an atom is divided by its mass number.


Photoelectric Effect

The spontaneous emission of electrons from the surface of a material when the radiation of suitable frequency is incident on it.


Proton

A positively charged particle is present in the nucleus.


Quanta

Particles of light, formally known as Photons.


Q-Value

The difference in the mass energies of the product and parent nucleus in a nuclear reaction.


Radioactivity

Radioactivity is the process by which an unstable atomic nucleus disintegrates and emits energy by radiation.


Radioisotopes

Unstable isotopes are artificially produced in nuclear reactions.


Relative Abundance

The proportion of an isotope of an element in the mixture of different isotopes of a particular element.


Rest Energy

The energy possessed by a body due to its mass is equal to mass multiplied by the square of the speed of light.


Rutherford Atomic Model

In the first model of the atom in which the atom was structured as a positively charged nucleus in the center surrounded by revolving electrons.


Schrodinger Wave Function

Mathematical description of a wave packet.


Skin Thickness Parameter

The distance over which the nuclear density reduces from 90% of its central value to 10% of its central value.


Tritium

An isotope of hydrogen with mass number 3.


Unified Atomic Mass Unit

A unit of mass used in nuclear physics is equal to 1/12th the mass of a Carbon-12 atom.


Uranium

Heaviest naturally occurring element with atomic number 92.


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