physics: The study in physics of the atomic nucleus.
Nuclear physics deals with the nucleus of the
atom and the neutrons and protons within it. It also deals with
how these particles interact with each as well as external
influences. The nucleus of an atom is a relatively small dense
positively charged mass at the atom’s center consisting of two
types of particles. These particles are the positively charged
protons and neutrally charged neutrons that are bound together
in the nucleus by way of the residual strong nuclear force
between these particles.
|The simplest atomic nucleus is that of hydrogen-1 and
it is made of a single photon with no neutrons.
||Other atomic nuclei are more complicate including
helium-4 which consists of two photons and two neurons.
The nucleus is the densest part of the atom. Now the element of each atom is determined by the number of protons in the nucleus. The number of protons in the nucleus of an atom is called the atomic number (Z) and it is unique to each element, while it is the number of neutrons that determin isotopes of an element.
Isotopes: The variations within atoms
of the same element distinguished by the number of neutrons in the
Each isotope has its own unique properties. The particle
number is the total number of protons and neutrons in the nucleus as contrast to the atomic number
which is unique to the element is
number of protons in the nucleus. The atomic weight is
the mass of the isotope in atomic mass units. The half-life of an isotope the time is takes half of a
radiometric isotope to decay with stable isotopes having an infinite half-life.