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1

RUTHERFORDS SCATTERING AND ESTIMATION OF NUCLEAR


SIZE
Lets estimate the Nuclear Radius bv by considering Rutherfords -scattering.
An -particle trajectory can be specified by its impact parameter as shown in
figure.

b>R=> Scattering is from outside of the nucleus


b<R=> Scattering is from inner region of the nucleus
b=R=> Head-on collision
Consider a small angle scattering i.e. ~0.
The electrostatic repulsion close to target nucleus is given by
F=

1 ( 2e ) (Ze)
(1)
4 o
b2

The force acts for a small interval of time in the vicinity of impact parameter b,
hence
t=

b
v

The impulse received by the -particle is


P=Ft=

1 2 Z e2
1 2 Z e2 b
t=
(2)
4 o b2
4 o b2 v

()

Hisham Shah

Look at the fig (2), from the figure


tan =

P
(3)
P

For small angles ( 0 )


tan =

sin
( 4)
cos

So the deflection (small angle) is given by


=

P
(5)
P

From (2), dividing by P

"All science is either physics or stamp


collecting". Ernest Rutherford (who went
on to win a Nobel Prize for Chemistry)

P
1 2 Z e2 b 1
1 2 Z e2 b 1
1 2 Z e2 1
=
=
=
(6)
P 4 o b2 v P 4 o b 2 v m v 4 o m v 2 b

()

()

()

Comparing (5) & (6) gives us


b=

1 2 Z e2 1
(7)
4 o m v2

Equation (6) is a good estimate between impact parameter and the deflection
angle . Using for gold (Z=79) as the target, we have for Z=79
m=6x10-27kg (mass of alpha particle)
v 107m/s for alpha particle
e=1.6x10-19C
=1 radian
14
Then the equation gives R 10 m(8) .

Hisham Shah

Compare this with the atomic radius 10-10 m; nuclear radius is smaller by a
factor of the order of 104. The gravitational force inside the nucleus is very much
smaller (by the order of 10 36) as compared to the Coulombs force between
protons inside the nucleus (with the dimensions of 10-14 meters). This gives rise
to the big questions as to how the protons in nucleus stay together in the
presence of Coulombs repulsion as compared to rather naive gravitational
attraction.
This gives rise to the introduction of another force; we call it the nuclear force
or nuclear interaction between protons and neutrons i.e. between nucleons to
overcome the Coulomb repulsion between the closely-packed protons. Since the
attractive force due to these nuclear interactions is confined in the region with
dimensions as small as 10-14 meters and does not affect the region larger than
these dimensions i.e. the extra nuclear atomic structure, this is why it is
commonly known as short range force. The size of this region is studied with
very high-energy particles obtained by using accelerators. When such particles
are sent through thin foils, the analysis of the distribution of the scattering
angles leads to estimate the radius of the nucleus. The radius R of the nucleus
is proportional to the cube root of the mass number of the scattering nuclei i.e.
R=R o A 1/3 = R A1 /3 (9)

Hisham Shah

MEASUREMENT OF NUCLEAR RADIUS


Just like Rutherfords scattering of -particles from gold foil which gives the idea
of so-called Nuclear radius, an experiment was performed by Hofstadter and
his colleagues in 1956 to measure the nuclear radius. Electrons were chosen as
bombarding particles because of their electromagnetic interaction in the
coulombs field by protons. The elastically scattered electrons are observed by a
detector as a function of angle as shown in figure.

Incident electrons of energy up to 200MeV has de Broglie wavelength


c c 197
= = =
(10)
p E 197 200
Remember

1015 m 1013 cm=1 Fermi


Were used for different thin
target of different A
number.

=e /c=1/ 137
and

13

c /197 10

cm

At present, electrons of energy 20,000 MeV (20 GeV) are used for high energy
accelerators like SLAC (Stanford Linear Accelerator Centre) with =10-15 cm
i.e.

=10-17m and these are very sensitive probes.

A more accurate method of analysis consist of trying out many expressions for
the charge density P(r) and comparing the result thus obtained to
experimental results. The form of P(r) is retained which represents the best
analogue to the experimental data on experimental angular distribution.
The analysis thus carried out on different forms of charge density for large
number of variety of Nuclei leads us to adopt:
P ( r )=

Po
1+ exp

r Ro
0.228 a

(11)

Hisham Shah

With

R0=r 0 A

1 /3

r 0=1.11013 cm=1.1 F (12)


13

a=2.210

cm=2.2 F
Walt Disney

The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.

Hahn and others (1956) evaluated the scattering for the trapezoidal density and
for density:
2

P ( r )=P0 [1+ e

r Ro
2
a

](13)

Other forms which have been used in literature are

and lighter nuclei like Be9, Li6, Li7) and

P=Po e

r
2

( ar ) e (14)

P=Po 1+

(for C12

(15)

for He4.

H. Fregeau (1956) used for C12; assuming a central core in the nucleus: the
following for
r2
P=Po 1+ 2 e

r
2

(16)

; with

4
3

It is interesting to calculate an order of magnitude for the Nuclear Density. The


volume of nucleus is

4
4 3
3
R = r o A . So the number of nucleons per cubic
3
3

centimetre is:
n=

A
4 3
r A
3 o

3
4 ( 1.21 013 )

1038 nucleons
(17)
c m3

As compared to Avogadros number (6.023*10 23), this number is 2*1014 times


greater. This corresponds to density of approximately 2*1014g/cm3 Nuclear
Density.

Hisham Shah

NUCLEAR MASS AND MASS SPECTROSCOPY


In Nuclear Physics, it is the mass of Nucleus itself which is usually of primary
interest. The Nuclear mass MN is given by:
M N =M [ Z m o B e ( z ) ] (1)

where m

is the rest mass of one electron and total

binding energy of all the electrons in an atom is given approximately by


Thomas-Fermi model as:
Be ( Z )=15.37 z

7/ 3

eV ( 2)

The technique of accurately measuring the masses of the nuclei is known as


mass spectroscopy. This technique is capable of measuring masses upto an
accuracy of one part in 107.
In order to determine the mass M of an ion of charge Ze, it is enough to
measure the ratio Ze/m. This is done by the use of electric and magnetic fields.
A magnetic field exerts a force on an ion of charge Ze moving with a velocity V
given by (in e.s.u. units)
Ze
)(3)
F b = ( V x B
c
Where B is the magnetic induction & c is the velocity of light. If the same
particle is injected in an electric field E, it experiences the electric force given by
E=(Ze) E (4)
F
If we have electric and magnetic field perpendicular to each other & the velocity
of the particle i.e. a right handed perpendicular system (E, B, V) in such a way
that

Hisham Shah

||

V E
= (5)
c B
Then the particle moves in a straight line, since the magnetic and electric forces
compensate each other. In a magnetic field, the path of the particle is deflected
continuously giving rise to the circular orbits. Here one can measure the radius
r described by the particle by equating magnetic force to the centrifugal force
i.e.
mv 2
Ze
mv
Ze
P Ze
=B
v=
=B
= =
B (6)
r
c
r
c
r
c

( )

( )

( )

Where P=mv is the momentum of the ion of mass m.


The momentum P and the velocity v yields the mass

||

m=

P
v

. This is the non

relativistic mass. Relativistically,


m=

with

P
(7)
c
v
= , = 1 2 (8)
c

The main application of the mass spectroscopy is the measurement of exact


masses of radioactive isotopes and identification of these isotopes. The quantity
directly measured is the mass difference between two ions of approximately the
same Ze /m .

Don't let me catch anyone talking about the Universe in my department. Ernest Rutherford
Multiverse gets grief, but Rutherford banned the word "universe" in his lab, and Comte insisted we
stick to the Solar System!

CONSTITUENTS OF THE NUCLEUS


Neutrons and protons are nuclear constituents. Theoretically one way to reject
the idea of existence of electrons in nucleus is by using Uncertainty Principle.
The uncertainty in the position of electrons is x, let it be the order of nuclear
size 10-14 m. This will permit electron to stay inside the nucleus with
corresponding Uncertainty in momentum P which is given by;

Hisham Shah

h 6.621034 J . s
20
1
=
=6.6210 kg .ms
14
x
10 m

Now it is reasonable to assume that momentum P must be at least equal to P.


Then using the relativistic relation between total energy E and total momentum
P,
2

2 2

20 2

E = p c + m o c = ( 6.6210

) . ( 310 8) + m2o c 2

Using 1eV=1.6*10-19 J
1MeV= 1.6*10-13 J
and moc2=0.511 MeV
The equation gives us

E=124 MeV , which is very large for electrons to have, as

it is a well-known fact that electrons emitted in the -decay process have


energies of the order of a few MeV. Hence it is concluded that electrons cant
exist
as
sitting
entity
inside
the
nucleus.
In -decay process, it is created momentarily and is emitted. So in -decay, the
electrons are created spontaneously and are emitted momentarily just like
photons from the excited atoms or -ray from excited nucleus.
Mass of Proton and Neutron: One atomic mass unit (1 amu) is defined as
1/12 of the mass of the carbon atom (C12), whose mass is taken as 12.00000000
a.m.u. In terms of mass unit kg, 1 amu is
27

1 a .m .u .=1.66053110

kg

On this scale, the rest masses of protons and neutrons as below


m p=1.00727663 amu

>m p=1.671027 kg

>m p=938.26 MeV


and

mn=1.0086654 amu

>mn=1.67481027 kg

>mn=939.55 MeV

If we ask, for instance, whether the position of the electron remains the same, we must say 'no'; if
we ask whether the electron's position changes with time, we must say 'no'; if we ask whether the
electron is at rest, we must say 'no'; if we ask whether it is in motion, we must say 'no'.
Robert Oppenheimer

Hisham Shah

THE LIQUID DROP MODEL OF A NUCLEUS


A model of the atomic nucleus in which nucleons are considered as analogues to
the molecules of the liquid drop. The interaction among which maintain the
droplet shape (spherical) by surface tension. This model was called liquid drop
model. This model of nucleus was proposed by Bohr in 1937 due to the fact that
there are similarities in the properties of nucleus and liquid drop. These
similarities are given as follows.
1. The liquid drop is spherical in shape due to surface tension. Same is the
case for nucleus which is also assumed to be spherical in shape due to
presence of nuclear forces among them.
2. The decay of the nucleus by emitting of a particle (or nucleon) is similar to
the evaporation of molecule from the surface of liquid drop.
3. When a liquid drop is allowed to oscillate, it breaks up into two small
droplets. Same is the case for nucleus which breaks into two comparable
nuclei in nuclear fission process.
4. The molecules of the liquid drop interact through a short range and same
is the case for nucleons which atoms interact through a short range
distance and hence forces present among them are called short range
forces.
5. The condensation process in the drops of liquid is analogous to the
formation of compounds nucleus and absorption of bombarding part. The
liquid drop model is useful for explaining the various phenomena like
formation of compound nucleus.
MAGNETIC MOMENT: A single odd on due to its spin also contributes 1-Bohr
magneton moment to nucleus. Since the nuclear moments are very much
smaller than this ratio, the small magnetic moments of atomic nuclei cannot
understand em were its constituents. As the em have large magnetic moments
due to their smaller mass, then the magnetic moments of proton i.e.
e N

; me<<mp,n

MASS AND BINDING ENERGY OF NUCLEI


Binding Energy B of the nucleus is the energy required to break it up into free
neutrons & protons or The amount of energy liberated at the time of formation
of
a
nucleus
is
called
Binding
Energy.
Experimentally it has been observed that the nucleon separation energies are
approximately constant at about 8 MeV. So for complex nuclei, the Binding
energy is about 8MeV times the number of nucleons, or

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10

B
8 MeV (1)
A
When nuclear masses are measured, it is formed that they are less than the
sum of the masses of neutrons and protons of which they are composed. This is
explained on the basis of Theory of Relativity that the mass of system bound by
an energy B is less than the mass of its constituents by B/c 2. A nucleus contains
Z number of protons and N number of neutrons. The total mass of these
constituents is then (ZMp + NMn). If the observed (or measured) mass of a
particular nucleus is , say M, then according to Theory of Relativity, the Binding
Energy is
B=[ ( Z M p + N M n )M ] c 2 (2)

The term

[ ( Z M p + N M n )M ]

is commonly known as the mass deficit in the

actual mass of the nucleus.


Knowing the masses in terms of the atomic masses and remembering that 1
a.m.u = 931.5 MeV; one can easily calculate the Binding Energy of a given
nucleus of the measured mass M is obtainable with sufficient accuracy.
The following figure indicates the way in which the Binding Energy per nucleon
B/A varies as a function of mass number A. It reaches a peak or maximum at

about A=60, the gradually decrease. This gradual decrease in B/A implies that it
approximately remains constant.
Looking at the above graph, one can say that
1. B/A is approximately constant, i.e. B/A is approximately independent of
the overall size of a nucleus i.e B/A doesnt depend on A.
2. B/A falls off at small values of A, because very light Nuclei have a larger
fraction of their nucleons residing on the surface rather than inside. This

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11

reduces the B/A value as surface nucleon is surrounded by fewer nucleons


compared to nucleons residing in the interior.

3.
4.

5.
6.

7.

It is analogous to the Liquid Drop for which the surface molecules are less
bounded as compared to molecules interior of the liquid drop. The above
figure illustrates it.
B/A falls off at the large values of A. This is clearly Coulomb effect; due to
every pair of protons. This repulsion increases as Zz.
B/A has maximum value around A=60, so we can increase the binding
energy by breaking heavy nuclei into smaller parts or by fusing light
nuclei together. So the decrease in M will correspond to the conversion of
mass into energy. This leads to fission and fusion.
The peak is at Fe [A=54-60]; this explains the large abundance of Fe in
nature.
From the plot, it is obvious that the binding energy is strong for a group of
four particles. The first ever such unit is -particle (2 protons + 2
neutrons). The peak is at 8, 12, 16, 20 and 24 indicate the same effect.
This effect is due to pairing force which exists between pairs of neutrons
and pairs of protons.
The discontinuities at neutron or proton number values 2, 4, 8, 20, 50, 82
and 126; indicate that at these values of neutrons or protons numbers,
the binding energy is found to be unusually large. Large binding energy
indicates high stability. The high stability indicates the high abundance of
the isotopes with these protons and isotones (same neutron number).

WEIZSACHERS SEMI-EMPIRICAL MASS FORMULA


Weizsachers mass formula for the nucleus came in 1935. He showed that his
mass formula based on liquid drop model explains the basic understanding of
the
nuclear
binding
energies.
A liquid drop has volume energy and surface energy. There are many
contributions towards the binding energies as follows.

1. Volume Term, Bv:


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12

Starting with the simple fact that when a liquid drop evaporates completely, the
energy required for this evaporation is the product of the latent heat of
vaporization and the mass of the droplet. This heat energy is utilized to
overcome all the bonds of the liquid drop, B. i.e. it is equal to the binding energy
of the droplet. We write,
B V =Q V M m A (1)
Where
BV = Energy required, or total energy
QV = Heat of vaporization
Mm = Mass of molecule
A = Number of molecules
Since QV and Mm are constants, hence
BV
A

B V =( constt ) A

or

BV
=constant ; i.e.
A

is independent of the number of molecules in the system and we can

expect this for any system in which the range of interactions between particles
is small compared with the dimensions of the system. So for the Volume term,
we can write:
Volume term Bv =C v A
Where Cv is a constant corresponding to QvMm.
2. Surface Term:
The surface molecules in a liquid drop are not as tightly bound as the molecules
inside of the liquid drop. For light nuclei, the number of nucleons residing on the
surface is quite large and that is why we see a sharp drop in B/A curve. From
this, we say that the surface term Bs is proportional to surface area:
2

B S 4 R (3)
Where R is nuclear radius. The negative sign indicates that BS decreases the
total binding energy:
Since:
So

R=R o A

1/3

1.07 A

1/ 3

Fermi

B S 4 R 2 ( 4 ) (1.07 )2 ( A )2 /3 or

BS =C S A

2/ 3

( 4)

Hisham Shah

13

Cs is the constant of proportionality called surface coefficient.


A rough estimate to Cv and Cs can be made as follows:
A single nucleon occupies space inside the nucleus and is given by,
4
R3
Total volume of the nucleus 3

=
(5)
Mass number
A
The thickness t of the nuclear surface region is then
1
4
R3 3
3
t=
(6)
A

( )

The surface region then contains:


2

4R t
4
=3
4
3
3
R
3
A

1/3

( )

4
R3
3
A
3 tA
>
=3
R
R

( )

2 /3

(7)

1
3

A=3

1
3

( )A

2 /3

=4.8 A

2/ 3

(8)

The surface region contains 4.8A2/3 nucleons.


The nucleons dont get attracted from all sides and approximately 1/4 th space of
surface nucleon would have no neighbours. This enables us to have a quick
estimate of Bs i.e.

( 14 ) C ( 4.8 A

Bs=

2/ 3

) (9)

>C S A 2 /3=

( 14 )C (4.8 A
V

2/3

C S 1.2 CV CV C S (10)

3. Coulomb Energy Term

Hisham Shah

14

This is due to the electrostatic repulsion of protons. To assemble a nucleus


numerically Bc, the amount of work done is needed to bring protons together
against
the
Coulomb
repulsion.
We consider the nucleus as a uniformly charged sphere of radius R with a
constant charge density, say up to radius R and zero outside i.e. when r>R
(r )=

; constt r<R

= 0 ; r>R
=

Then inside the nucleus:

Ze
4
3
R
3

(11)

The amount of work done required to bring charged shell of radius r with
charge density is then
dW =

1
4 3
r 4 r 2 dr
4 o r 3

1
4 3 Ze
Ze
1 3 Z2e2 4
r .
4 r 2 .
dr =
r dr (12)
4 o r 3
4
4
4 o R6
R3
R3
3
3

Integrating from r=0 to r=R, gives;


3 2 2
Z e
1 3Z e R
5
W =BC =
=
(13)
4 o R 6 5 4 o R
2

For one proton Z=d, we have the coulombs term;


3 2
e
5
(Bc ) proton =
(14)
4 o R
Since there are Z protons, therefore the true Coulomb term is given by:

( )]

3 2 2
3 2
3
Z e
e
Z ( Z1 ) e 2
5
5
5
Bc=
Z
=
(15)
4 o R
4 o R
4 oR

Hisham Shah

15

Putting

R=R o

1
3

1
3

A =( 1.3 A ) Fermi

BC ( 0.6 MeV ) Z ( Z1 ) A

1
3

gives;

(16) i.e.

BC C C Z ( Z1 ) A

1
3

(17)

withC C =0.60 MeV (18)


4. Assymetry Term, Ba:
This is the term depending on the neutron excess given by N-Z. We consider a
medium or heavy nucleus of mass number A and charge number Z, then
M =Z M P + N M nB=Z M P + ( AZ ) M nB (19) Here M & B are measured in same
units.
Using all the previously calculated terms, we can write then;
M = A M nZ ( M nM P )C V A+C S A 2 /3 +C C

Z ( Z1)
(20)
A1 /3

In equation (20) there are two Z dependent terms both opposite in sign.
Differentiating equation (20) w.r.t. Z and putting

dM
=0
dZ

gives the value of Z

for which M is minimum. This gives the maximum stability of M at that value of
Z. For example putting A=235 gives the minimum value of M at greatest
stability at Z=3 (which is not acceptable Ze is absurd). It means we are still
missing some term in equation (20) which is stable if Z=112 for A=235 =>
dM/dZ=0.
In comparison with the liquid drop and the nucleus, we have not taken into
consideration the quantization of energy states (as nucleus is small ~ 10 -14m)
dimensions quantum system with bound energy states).
Look at the figure below. If we put Z protons & N neutrons into a nucleus, we
first fill up the lowest Z energy levels. By Paulis Exclusion Principle, the excess
neutrons (N-Z) must go to unoccupied quantum states, as the first Z quantum
states are filled with protons & neutrons. Those N-Z neutrons will occupy high
quantum states & will be just less tightly bound, than the preoccupied deep
lying energy levels. This is shown schematically as follows:

Hisham Shah

16

The neutron asymmetry gives rise to the disruptive term in nuclear binding
energy expression & this is known as asymmetry term Ba.
Asymmetry Term Ba: The number of excess neutrons is N-Z & the neutron
excess per nucleon is

N Z
. The total deficit in nuclear binding energy is
A

( N Z )2
( A2 Z )2
Ba=C a
=C a
(21)
A
A

; N=A-Z

Ca is known as the asymmetry coefficient & its empirically evaluated value as:
C a=19.8 MeV (22 a)
Then the binding energy equation becomes
M = A M nZ ( M nM P )C V A+C S A

2 /3

Z ( Z1)
( A2 Z )2
+C C
+C a
(22b)
A
A1 /3

Now setting dM/dZ=0 & then for A=235, Z=112, which is quite reasonable. This
transition from ordinary liquid drop model to inclusion of quantum effects makes
the situation much better to understand.

5. The Pairing Term:


Now if we see B/A vs A curve, it shows several kinks & this indicates evidence
for favoured pairing. (Also, whenever N or Z becomes equal to 2, 4, 8, 20, 50, 82
and 126, the corresponding nuclides have large binding energies). We did not
account for this fact in the liquid drop model; & shell effects. This is partly
corrected by adding a pairing term Bp to the binding energy. From the table of
stable nuclides we see the following:
A

Even

Even

Even

Number of
Stable Nuclides
165

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17

Odd
Odd
Even

Even
Odd
Odd

Odd
Even
Odd

55
50
4

We see that even-even nuclei are the most abundant & hence the most stable.
Odd-odd are the least stable. Odd-even have intermediate stability. The pairing
effect was satisfied by Fermi and is represented as
B P=C P A

3 /4

(23)

The value of Cp as given by Fermi is:


A
Even
Odd
Even

Z
Even
Odd
Odd

Cp
-33.5MeV
0
+33.5 MeV

Putting all the terms together, we have then:

> M ( Z , A )= A M nZ ( M nM P )C V A+C S A 2 /3 +C C

M
( nM P )B
M ( Z , A ) =A M nZ

Z (Z1)
( A2 Z )2
+C
+C p A3 / 4 (24)
a
1 /3
A
A

This is Weizsacher Semi-Empirical Mass Formula with


Cc=0.6 MeV
Cv=14 MeV ;
Cs=13 MeV ;
Ca=19 MeV ;
Cp=Pairing Term

Volume Term Coefficient


Surface Term Coefficient
Asymmetric term Coefficient
Coefficient as given in above table.

Express equations i.e. 8O16, 7N14,

11

Na23,

13

Al27.

dM
( A . Z )=0, then we get
dZ
M nM p +4 C a +

Cc
A

=2 Z
1 /3

Cc
A

+
1/ 3

4 Ca
(25)
A

ANGULAR MOMENTUM OF THE NUCLEUS


From Classical Mechanics, it is an established fact that the angular momentum
of an Isolated system is conserved and from ordinary Classical Physics If no

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18

torques are acting on a system, the total angular momentum of the system is
conserved.
Nucleus is an isolated system as there are no external torques acting on it.
Hence its angular momentum is a constant quantity. If l is the total orbital
angular momentum quantum number, then the eigen values of the square of
the angular momentum operator 2 are
given

l ( l+1 )

. Quantum mechanically, we

write:
^L2 lm =l ( l+1 ) 2 lm (1)
Where 2 is the operator for the square of
the angular momentum & lm is the
eigenfunction. The z-component z of the
total angular momentum is then
Lz lm =m lm (2)
The magnitude of the total angular momentum is
thus quantized & is restricted to:

|L|= l ( l+ 1 ) ; l=0,1,2,3 (3)


The z-component of as given by equation (2) has the values
l m li .e . m=0, 1, 2 (4 )
There are (2l+1) values of m for a given l & (2l+1) is known as degree of
degeneracy of the orbital angular momentum state.

THE TOTAL ANGULAR MOMENTUM VECTOR


The total angular momentum of the nucleus is then the sum of orbital & spin
angular momentum as the intrinsic spin is taken into account. Then the angular
momentum is:
J =
L S (5)

L + S when
L is S

L S when L is antiparallel S

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19

Since S=1/2; J can take not only integral but half integral values also:
1 3
5
J =0, , 1, ,2, (7)
2 2
2

NUCLEAR SPIN, MOMENT AND STATISTICS


Nuclear experiments have shown that:
1. Nuclei with even mass number A have zero or integral spin.
2. Nuclei with odd mass number A have half integral spin.
3. In particular, even-even nuclei have zero spin.
For a particle with spin S (S=1/2 for nucleus) the quantum number is either half
integral or integral depending on the nature of the particle. The quantum
number Ms describes the orientation of S with respect to some chosen axis (say
z-axis). For a given value of S, there are 2S+1 orientation. Stern-Gerlach and
Hyperfine Atomic Spectroscopic types of experiments are used to determine the
atomic angular momentum.
1
1
For S= ; ms=
2
2

1
2 S+1=2 +1=2 (8)
2

is the multiplicity or degeneracy.

For nuclear particles, the spin S can be found because there are 2S+1 possible
orientation. So we can determine the number of possible orientations. Let us
now consider electromagnetic moments associated with nuclei and nucleons.
Insanity is doing the same thing, over and over again, and expecting different results.
Rita Mae Brown

MOMENTS (ELECTRIC & MAGNETIC)


Magnetic Dipole Moment: A current carrying loop enclosing an area A and
current I has a magnetic moment in a current carrying loop is given by:
=i A(9)

Hisham Shah

20

For an electron in a circular orbit of radius r with a period T can be viewed as


a loop carrying current I, then
e
e
eV
i= =
=
( 10)
T 2 r 2 r
V
A= r 2 (11)
> =

eV
e
2
r = Vr (12)
2 r
2

classically =

or

e
e
( mvr )=
L (13)
2m
2m

Where L is the orbital angular momentum quantum number. From (13), we can
say that the angular momentum L gives rise to a magnetic dipole moment for
a charge particle. Generally we write:
=

e
gL (14)
2m

Where g is called the gyromagnetic ratio or g-factor.


We also write (14) as:
=

e gL 0 gL
=
(15)
2m

0=

eh
2 mp

is called the nuclear magneton with mp

as the mass of proton.


In atomic physics for 1

as the mass of electron,

B =

e
2 mo is the called the

Bohr Magneton.

So,

B =

e
23 Joule
=0 . 927 10
(16)
2 mo
W
m2

Hisham Shah

21

e e /2 mo 0 . 927 10
=
=
2 mp m p /mo
1836

23

0=

=5.051027

Joule
(17)
W
m2

The nuclear magneton is about 2000 times smaller than the Bohr Magneton.
The g- factor measures the deviation of the actual magnetic moment from the
simple value

e
2 mp

Proton magnetic movement was measured using the NMR techniques and its
value is
proton =2.79276 N (18)
The measured value of the neutron magnetic movement is
neutron =1. 191315 N (19)

ELECTRIC MOMENTS
In course of electromagnetism, it is usually shown that any charge distribution
produces an electric potential V at a distance R (say in the Z direction), such
potential V can be expanded as:
dV +

1
1
zdV + 3 ( 3 z 2r 2 ) dV +...
2
R
R
1

1
V (r)=

4 0

Where P is the charge density. The integral is over the region containing the
charge distribution.
Equation (1) is a convergent series and as R increase, only the first two or three
terms are important. The integral of 2 nd term is called the dipole movement and
the third term is called the quadruple movement.
From quantum mechanical consideration it turns out that a nucleus must have a
zero electric dipole movement; so the lowest order contribution to V due to a
point charge arises from the quadruple movement.

Hisham Shah

22

The four-charge (quadrupole) system has net charge and dipole movement zero
and so the entire field is produced by the electric quadrupole movement. See
the following figure.

An ellipsoidal charge distribution corresponds to a highly deformed nucleus; it


has a quadrupole movement; however, its dipole movement is zero.
The charge density at a point

r =(x , y , z)

is given by

( Ze ) (r )

where Ze is the

nuclear charge. The quadrupole moment Q is then


1
3 cos 2

( r ) d 3 r (2)
( 3 Z 2r 2 ) ( r ) d 3 r=Ze r 2
Q=Ze
For spherically symmetric

( r ) , the quadrupole moment vanishes.

For a prolate nucleus the charge is concentrated along the z-axis and so Q is
positive. Q is negative for an oblate nucleus.
Q has dimensions of area and is given in
2

26

F (fermi =10

m2 or in Barns ( 1024 c m2 ) or

cm ) .

Hisham Shah

23

If an external electric field is applied on a nucleus with quadrupole movement Q,


it acquires an energy that depends on the orientation of the nucleus with
respect to the field gradient. This interaction enables us to determine the
quadrupole movement Q. For example, the quadrupole movement of deuteron
is
Q=0.282 f m 2 (4)
The measurement of quadruple moment also makes it possible to determine the
nuclear deformation. The nuclear deformation is related to the quadruple
moment by

4
1
Q= Z R2o 1+ + (5)
5
2
Where Z is the charge number and R0 is the nuclear radius.

STATISTICS
Nuclear particles (nucleons) either potions or neutrons are a set of identical
particles. The probability distribution; quantum mechanically given by

||

remains unchanged by an exchange of particles coordinates. If

x1

are the

general coordinates of one particle (which may include spin) and

x2

are the

general coordinates of the other then we have,


2

| ( x1 , x2 )| =| ( x 2 , x 1 )| (6)
> ( x 1 , x 2) = ( x 2 , x 1 ) (7)
The sign we choose depends on the type of particle we are considering. For
electrons, protons etc. we must choose the negative sign, and the eigenfunction
for the two electrons is antisymmetric for an exchange of coordinates. Such
particles are said to satisfy Fermi-Dirac statistics and are called Fermions. On
the other hand, for photons, we must choose the position sign so that the
eigenfunction of the two photons is symmetric for an exchange of coordinates.
Photons are said to satisfy Bose-Einstein statistics and are called bosons.
For two fermions, the antisymmetric state function is,

Hisham Shah

24

( x1 , x2 )=

1
[ ( x ) ( x ) ( x1 ) ( x 2 ) ] (8)
2 1 2

If two fermions in the given equation are in the same quantum state, the RHS of
equation (8) vanishes, and the state function becomes equal to zero. Thus

(where & indicate quantum states) and no two protons can be in
the same quantum state. This is Paulis exclusion principle for particles with halfintegral spin.

PARITY AT NUCLEAR LEVELS


Classical idea: Classically parity means the reflection symmetry. Consider the
following picture in which reflection of two words TOMATO and EGGS is shown

The word TOMATO looks the same while EGGS look inverted under the
reflection property. Consider another physical example when a string is struck at
the origin, it will assume a shape as shown in fig (a).

If we invert the x-axis i.e. put a mirror on O perpendicular to the x-axis, there is
no change the shape of the sign of amplitude, this is called the Even Parity.
When the same string is struck away from the centre, the string assumes the
shape as shown by fig: (b) If we invert the x-axis i.e. see the mirror image while
putting the mirror perpendicular to x-axis, we see a dotted line which is an antisymmetric image of the wave function. This is termed as the Odd Parity State of
the wavefunction.
Quantum mechanically, We define the parity of the wave function to be even
or odd (+1 or -1) depending on whether the wave function does not change sign
upon space inversion. i.e.

Hisham Shah

25

( x , y , z ) (x , y ,z)
The physical description of the quantum system particularly the probability of
finding the particle at a position and with spin orientation given by the
coordination (x, y, z, s) (s-for spin) is proportional to the square of the absolute
value of the wave function

|| = =

(* being the complex conjugate of

). The probability of finding the particle or the system of particles can not

depend on the inversion of coordinates; and hence must be the same in


coordinates (x, y, z, s) as in coordinates (-x, -y, -z, s). When reflection of the particles
at the origin does not change the sign of the wave function , the motion of the
particle is said to have even parity. When reflection changes the sign of the
spatial part of the wavefunction , the wavefunction is said to have odd parity.
Thus
(x , y ,z , s )= ( x , y , z , s ) : Even Parity
(x , y ,z , s )= ( x , y , z , s ) :Odd Parity
The parity of nucleons in a potential is fixed by its orbital angular momentum. If
L denotes the orbital angular momentum quantum number, the parity of the
l
quantum state of the particles is determined by =(1 ) , so that for even L

the parity is even and for odd L the parity is odd.


For a system of particles (nucleons in the nucleus) the total wave function is
approximately the product of the wave function of all the individual particles i.e.
= 1 2 3 n
or a linear combination of such product. For such a system, the
parity is then denoted by

(1 ) li

where

li

particles L quantum numbers corresponding to

is the sum of all individual


1, 2. 3

which describe the

motion of the particles in same sort of potential. So the system will have even
parity if

li

is even and odd parity if

li

is odd. A system containing an

even number of odd parity particles and any number of even parity particles will
have odd parity.

Hisham Shah

26

Notation: Usually we denote the state with ) sign as superscript on the total
angular momentum quantum number I or J i.e.

I J

and the parity is

donated by .
Change of parity:
Parity is conserved in interactions
between nucleons. The parity of a
Wilhelm Roentgen (1845-1923) was a German
system e.g. a nucleus can only
physicist who detected and produced X-rays in
changed by the capture of photons or 1895 which facilitated countless human beings.
particles having odd total parity, or by After this revolutionary discovery, he became the
the emission of photons or particles first person to receive the Nobel Prize in Physics
having odd total parity. Usually in in 1901. Dr Roentgen refused to patent his
literature, yes denotes that parity has discovery so that the entire humanity could
benefit from it.
changed
during
some
nuclear
interaction and no denotes that the
parity did not change during the interaction i.e. initial and final nuclei have the
same (no) parity or different (yes) parity. The intrinsic parity of electron is
defined arbitrarily as even the intrinsic parity of protons and neutron, and
neutrinos is also even. The parity of particles and antiparticles is opposite to
each the other.

"Our story is the story of the universe. Every piece of every one, of everything you love and
everything you hate, of the thing you hold most precious, was assembled by the forces of the nature
in the first few minutes of the life of the universe, transformed in the hearts of the stars, or creates in
their fiery deaths. And when you die, those pieces will be returned to the universe in endless cycle of
death and rebirth. What a wonderful thing it is to be a part of that universe. What a story, what a
majestic story."
Brian Cox

RADIOACTIVITY
Historical Background
In 1895, Roentgen discovered X-rays. The French scientist Henry Becquerel got
interested in Roentgens work about the same year. Becquerel was of the
opinion that the production of x-rays was always accompanied by fluorescence
from the material of the X-rays tube (glass). He thought that X-rays existed
whenever there was fluorescence. To investigate this problem, Becquerel took
uranium sulphate, which fluoresces (glows) under the action of sunlight. He
found that fluorescent uranium sulphate did give out rays, which affected the
photographic plate packed in the dark thick black paper. Becquerel concluded
that the fluorescent salt (uranium sulphate) had given rise to X-rays which
penetrated the black paper and affected the photographic plate.

Hisham Shah

27

But sooner he noticed that he was mistaken. During one such experiment in
1896, the sky was happened to be overcast and uranium salt was hardly
fluorescent. On developing the photographic plate, Becquerel was surprised to
see a dark spot on it, as before. He had obviously stumbled on new kind of Xrays which could penetrate the thick dark black wrapping paper and affect the
photographic plate. Soon after that it was established that any salt of uranium
emitted these rays and initially they were named as Becquerel rays. These rays
were emitted in a spontaneous manner.
Is uranium the only substance emitting Becquerel rays? Marie Curie found out
that pitchblende, the ore from which uranium is extracted, emits Becquerel rays
with much stronger intensity than what its uranium content would. After a long
and laborious process of chemical separation, Marie Curie and her husband
Pierre Curie discovered two new elements, polonium& radium, which emitted
Becquerel rays. They gave the name radioactive to all these substances of
emitting Becquerel rays and the phenomenon itself came to be known as
radioactivity , The discovery of radium brought another great revolution in
studying the radioactivity. Radium was about a million time more radioactive
than uranium.

RADIOACTIVITY
It is a process in which a radioactive substance emits three types of radiations
i.e. , , .
In 1899, Rutherford showed that radiations emitted from radioactive elements
are of two types, which he called -rays & -rays, which are different in their
penetrating power. In 1909, Villard discovered a third type of radiations which
cannot be deflected in the magnetic field and called it -rays.
But when you talk about destruction, dont you know that you can count me out . . . in.
John Lennon

Basic properties of radioactive rays:


1. By calorimetric experiment, Curie estimated that one gram of radium
librates about 140 calories in one hour. Though small, this energy is
released continuously over a long period of time.
2. Radioactive rays ionize the surrounding air and affect the photographic
plates.
3. Fluorescence is produced in substances like zinc sulphide ZnS.
4. Rutherford (1909) found that a beam of radioactive rays from radium
samples split into these components in strong electric or magnetic field
they were named as , , & -rays.

Hisham Shah

28

A. Rutherford found that rays were the nuclei of helium atom. From the rays emitted from radon and analysed by spectroscopic method,
Rutherford saw the following.

86

218
Rn222
2 He + 84Po (1)

The element on the left side was named as the parent & a birth of new
element (Po218) as the daughter nuclei. During such a radioactive
transformation, the mass number and the charge number are conserved.
Radioactivity is a nuclear phenomena i.e. the radioactive rays come out of
the nucleus. Other examples are:

234
U 238
2 He + 90 Th

222 (2)
Ra226
2 He + 86 Rn

Po218 2 He4 + 82
Pb214

92

88

84

-particles are emitted with velocities 1.5*107m/s to 2.2*107 m/s. They


carry definite energy & cause ionization in air. They have a finite range in
the material they travel.
B. -rays are identical with electrons. A -particle has a mass ~1/1836 the
mass of proton. For example; -decay is given by the following examples

234
Th234
e
91 Pa +
210

210
Bi 84 Po + e (3)
14
14
e
6C 7 N +

90

83

-particles (or rays) travel with the velocities almost to the velocity of light
i.e. VB0.99c with c=3*108 m/s.
Beta particles are emitted with energy spectrum between zero & certain
maximum. The maximum is known as end point energy.
C. The -rays are electromagnetic in nature. Their wavelength is smaller
than X-rays and hence they are more energetic than X-rays (almost 100
times more than X-rays). Their wavelength is between 1.7*10-8cm to 4*106
cm.
Due to their large energies, they can knockout electrons not only from
outer orbits but from inner orbits of the atom too.
The -rays are neutral particles. Therefore they are neither deflected by
electric field, nor by magnetic field. -rays cant produce the direct
ionization in gases but can produce indirect ionization due to photoelectric

Hisham Shah

29

effect. -rays when coming out from nucleus, its mass number A and
charge number Z remains same, but only excited in nucleus i.e.

zX A [ z X A ] +

THE LAW OF RADIOACTIVE DECAY


Consider at time t=0 that the radioactive sample contains No nuclei. The
number of nuclei of a given radioactive sample disintegrating per seconds is
called the activity of that sample i.e.
dN /dT =Rate of decrease of nuclei with time= Activity at time ' t ' (1)
Activity at any time t is directly proportional to the number of the present
nuclei a time t i.e.
dN /dT N ( t )

dN /dT = N (t )(2)

Where >0 is known as decay constant which depends on the nature of the
radioactive element. The negative sign shows that the rate of disintegration
decreases with the passage of time.
dN
dt
=
(3)
N (t)

So is defined as fractional change in N(t) per unit time; sometimes also known
as Probability of Decay per unit interval of time. Integrating equation (2) gives,
N

= dt (4)
dN
N N
0

lnN|No = t

N ( t )=N o et (5)

So the equations give the radioactive decay law. The law of radioactive decay is
exponential in character. If

t= , then

1
e t=e = =0 . Hence

N ( t )=N o et =N o0=0 . It means that for large time, the radioactive element
becomes stable.

Hisham Shah

30

The decay constant in eq (5) is characteristic of radioactive substance.

HALF LIFE
The interval of time during which half of a given sample of radioactive
substance decays or The time during which number of radioactive nuclei N
becomes half of initial value is called half life of that element.
Let T1/2 denotes such time, and then from (5), putting
T
No
No e
2

1 T
> =e
2
> ln

1
2

1
2

N ( t=T 1 /2 ) =

No
2

gives;

or

or

( 12 )= T

1
2

> ln ( 1 )ln ( 2 )= T 1

> ln ( 2 ) = T 1

>T 1 =
2

ln ( 2 ) 0.693
=
( 6)

Mean Life: The mean life is defined as;


T = =

Total life time of all nucleia given sample


(7)
Total number of nucleithat sample

or

tdN
=

No

(8)

dN
No

Using

dN
= N
dt

or

dN = Ndt = N o et dt (9)

Hisham Shah

31

Equation (8) gives:

( N o ) e t dt

= 0

(10)

( N o ) e

dt

tet dt

= o

dt (11) Evaluation

of integrals give,

t e

| |

()

d t
d
d et
d 1
1
t
dt = e dt =
e dt=
=
= 2

d 0
d o d

0 d

| |

e t
1
dt =
=
0

Putting in (11) gives us


1
2

1
= = (12)
1

Equation (12) shows that the decay constant is the reciprocal of the average
or mean life time of an element where or <T>=1/
UNITS OF ACTIVITY
The unit of activity most commonly used is the Curie. It is based on the rate of
decay of one gram of radium (Ra 226). There are about 3.7*1010 disintegrations
per seconds per gram of radium. This standard is called One Curie. So,
OneCurie =3.710 10 disintegrations per second (13)

Hisham Shah

32

The subunits are;


1 milli Curie = 1mCi = 10-3 Curie = 10-3 Ci
1 micro Curie = 1 Ci = 10-6 Curie = 10-6 Ci
One other unit of activity is Rutherford
1 Rutherford = 1 Rd = 106 disintegrations/sec
1mRd = 10-3 Rd
1 Rd = 10-6 Rd
N (14)
|dNdt |= N= 0.693
T

Activity=

Example: Calculate the activity of one gram of


years.

88

Ra226 for which T1/2 = 1622

The Curies declined an invitation to take


out a patent on the techniques to extract
radium because they believed that,
Physicists always publish their research
completely. If our discovery has a
commercial future, that is an accident by
which we must not profit.
N=1 g

. mol
( 2261 ggrams
)(6.02310

23

atoms
=2.6610 21 nuclei
g . mol

0.693
0.693
1
11
1
=
sec 1.35510 sec
T
1622365246060

Activity= N =( 2.661021 ) ( 1.3551011 ) nuclei/sec=0.974 Ci 1 Ci Example 2: Calculate


the activity of Gold 79Au200 with T1/2=48 minutes.
Given weight is 3x10-9 kg
N=( 3109103 ) g .

g .mol
.6 .021023
200

N=9.041015 atoms ( nuclei )

0.693 0.693
1
4
1
=
sec 2.40610 sec
T1
4860
2

Activity= N =( 2.406104 ) x ( 9.041015 )=58.9 Ci

RADIONUCLIDES WITH MORE THAN ONE MODE OF DECAY

Hisham Shah

33

For radio nuclides with more than one mode of decay (two or more), then more
than one disintegration constants are involved. If the radionuclide decays say by
& -decay, then for the given N, such nuclei;

( dNdt )

N
dN

dt
=
N

( )

(1)

And the disintegration constant is

t = + ; t total disintegrationconstant (2)

For example: Bi222 decays by alpha emission to Th208 with 34% of the
disintegration and to Po212 for the remaining 66%. The Half Life is 60.5 minutes
for the decay; then

=0.66 ; =0.34
t
t

and T1/2=60.5 minutes=3630 seconds


(0.693)
4
=
=0.66= =1.2610
t
3630

(0.693)
=
=0.34= =0.65
t
3630

CHAIN DISINTEGRATIONS
We consider species 1 decay into species with disintegration constant ; let the
species decay into species 3 with disintegration constant . Let N 1(t) and N2(t)
be the number of species present at time t. For N1:
1 t

N 1 ( t )=N 1 e
O

(1)

The net rate at which N2 changes is the difference between the rate at which it
is produced

( ddtN )
1

and the rate at which it decays (-2N2), then

d N2 d N1
=
2 N 2= 1 N 1 O e t 2 N 2 (2)
dt
dt
1

Solving (2)
d N2
+ 2 N 2=1 N 1o e t
dt
1

Hisham Shah

34

I . F=e
>e t
2

2 dt

=e

2 t

dN 2
) t
+ 2 e t N 2 (t )= 1 N 1 o e (
dt
1

d t
e N 2(t) ) = 1 N 1 o e( ) t
(
dt
2

( 1 2) t

e t N 2 ( t )= N 1o e
2

2 t

> N 2 ( t ) e = 1 N 1 o

> N 2 ( t ) =

dt

e ( )t
+C
( 12 )
1

1 N 1 o ( t )
e
+C e t (3)
12
1

At t=0; N 2=0, gives

0=

1 N 1 o
N
+C= C= 1 1 o
12
1 2

Equation (3) gives:


N 2 ( t )=

1 N 1 o t t
( e e ) (4)
1 2
1

If species 1 is short lived than species 2, then

1 2

N 2 ( t )=N 1 o e t (5)
2

FAMOUS QUOTES ON FAILURES


We should not get afraid of failing; we should embrace failure with open arms.
Its only through failure that we learn. Here are some my favourite quotes on
failure.
Ive missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. Ive lost almost 300 games. 26 times Ive been trusted to
take the game's winning shot and missed. Ive failed over and over and over again in my life and that's why I
succeed.
Michael Jordan, NBA Hall of Famer.

Hisham Shah

35
"When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not
with it."
Henry Ford, Ford Motors.
If you can't fly then run, if you can't run then walk, if you can't walk then crawl, but whatever you do you
have to keep moving forward.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Dont be embarrassed by your failures, learn from them and start again. Richard Branson, Virgin.
"I have not failed. Ive just found 10,000 ways that wont work."

Thomas Edison

If youre not embarrassed by first version of your product, youve launched too late. Reid Hoffman
You have to be willing to be misunderstood if youre going to innovate.

Jeff Bezos, Amazon.

Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.

Winston Churchill

TRANSIENT EQUILIBRIUM
It can also happen that for

1 2

, the period of 1 might not be long compared

to the time during which we observe the sample. Then we cant assume

1t

to be constant but can leave this factor as function of time t. This is called
N2
Transient Equilibrium. Here
varies with time but exhibits the period of 1.
Example: The decay of (3.64) day Ra224 from the 54.5s Tn220. Starting with pure
Ra224 sample the activity due to Tn220 would increase for several minutes & then
would decrease steadily within 3.64 days period.

SECULAR EQUILIBRIUM
This is another limiting case of equation-(4). If species 1 is very long lived or
t
1 2
, then for the long enough time ( t , we can neglect e
& then
1

1 t

N 2=

1 N 1 o e
(6)
21

; for large t

If period of 1 is not only much larger than that of 2 but also is large compared
with the time during which we make one observation, then
change appreciably during the experiment &

N2

1 t

will not

will approach to constant

secular equilibrium value:


N 2 ( ) =

1
N (7)
2 1

Hisham Shah

36

Secular equilibrium occurs when a radioactive substance is being made at a


constant rate or by the decay of its long lived parent. In either event after passing
N 2 will approach its equilibrium value at which its decay
through few half life of 2,
rate

( N 2 2 ) will be equal to its production rate 1 N 1 .


Secular Equilibrium Idea for U240 Pb208

U 240
N 1 N 2 N 3 such that


N p 240
1 N 1= 2 N 2= 3 N 3

Pu 240 U 236 T h232 R a228

A c 228


Th

228

Ra

224

Em

220

Bi

Po

216

212

Pb

212


212

Po

Pb

208

ALPHA DECAY
In -decay, a helium nucleus emitted from the radioactive nuclide and its atomic
weight decreases by four units, but atomic number decrease by one unit.
Note: Whether equilibrium is secular or transient
depends on the duration of our observation of
sample.

Alpha decay by a radioactive


nuclide

z X A is given by

Hisham Shah

37

A 4

X z2 X + 2 He +Q (1)
Q

Where

is the disintegration energy or the total energy released in the -

decay process.
The -disintegration energy

is the sum of energies of -particles and the

recoiled daughter nucleus. If E is the Kinetic Energy of the -particle & E is


the energy of recoiled (daughter) nucleus, then
Q =E + E (2)
In terms of mass difference, we write
A 4
Q =[ M z X A (M z2
X +m 2 He 4 ) ]931.5 MeV (3)

Following is the -decay scheme for radioactive nucleus ZXA. The mass &
velocity of daughter nucleus are (M ,V ) while that of -particle is (m , v)

Applying the laws of conservation of energy and momentum, we have then:


1
1
Q = m v 2+ M V 2 ( 4)
2
2
m

0=mvMV (5)

( 12 m v )=M ( 12 M V ) (7)
2

1
1
> m2 v 2= M 2 V 2 (6)
2
2

m E =M E (8)

The mass of daughter nucleus is

M = A4 a .m .u .

& for -particle:

m 4 a . m. u.

Hence from (8)


4 E =( A4 ) E E =

4 E
( 9)
A4

So
Hisham Shah

38

Q =E + E

E +

4 E
4
A
= 1+
E=
E (10)
A4
A4 A4

) (

This gives the equation (10) is the -disintegrating energy.


E =

4
Q (1 ) Q (11)
( A4
A )
A

In equation (11), the term R.H.S is constant which means that

is constant

which means that -articles should be monoenergetic.


It was shown by Rosenblum (1930) by a 180 o magnetic spectrograph, that infact
the energies of -particles were not monoenergetic.
1. The accurate measurement of -particles energies made it possible to
determine the energies which differ only by small amounts & then led to
the discovery that some radionuclides actually emit the spectrum of particles.
2. The knowledge of the energies of the components of -particle spectra
makes it possible to determine energy levels with confidence.
3. The methods for determining the energies of -particles are also used for
protons and deuterons (velocity of -particles).
When charged particle moves in a magnetic field, its orbit is a circle whose
radius is determined by:
Hq v=

M v2
(12)
r

' M ' ' q '

are mass and charge of the charged particle & H is the strength of

magnetic field and r is the radius of the orbit. From Equation (12), then we
have,
v=

q
H r (13)
M

The velocity can be determined if the strength of the magnetic field is known;
and if the radius of the orbit is measured; since the value of

q
M

for -particle

is known as

Hisham Shah

39

( Mq )

=4850 a . m. u . (14)

particle

The -particles emitted from a radioactive sources pass through a narrow slit. A
magnetic field of known strength acting in a direction perpendicular to the plane
of diagram is applied. The fields bend the -particles through the angle of 180 O.
The chamber slit helps to reduce the scattering of -particles from top, bottom
and walls of the chamber. Particles with the same velocity have a circular path
of the same radius r. This instrument is called magnetic spectrograph.

In 1948, a Chinese physicist Chang using Po as the source of -particles of r=30


cm & H=1100 G measured the velocity of -particles as

v 1.610 cm/ s . This is

non-relativistic velocity.

The -spectrum and Fine Structure


The emission of -particle is a result of energy transition between two definite
nuclear energy states. The initial state is that of parent nucleus & the final state
is that of daughter nucleus.
Following the decay scheme of Th228, which emits fine groups of -particles with
energies 5.42 MeV, 5.34 MeV, 5.21 MeV, 5.17 MeV, 5.14 MeV along the cascade
of -rays as shown.

Hisham Shah

40

"In the beginning, the universe was created. This made a lot of people very angry and has been
widely regarded as a bad move."
Douglas Adams

THEORY OF ALPHA DECAY


Main assumption of the theory is that it takes -particle to be formed in the
nucleus and get out. So the interaction is between the -particle and daughter
nucleus. We have to consider in what potential well the -particle lies.
Alpha decay is a barrier penetration problem. Thus potential energy is given by:
V ( R )=

( Ze ) (2 e)
(1)
R

The maximum energy for Rutherford scattering should be the potential energy:
V ( R )=

( Ze )( 2 e )
(2)
R
12

For R=10

10

cm ; Z=92; e=4.810

e. s.u

292( 4.81010 )
V ( R )=
30 MeV (3)
10121.6106

Hisham Shah

41

Rutherfords -scattering is just opposite to emission of -particles & its


separation from daughter nucleus. From the viewpoint of this consideration, we
conclude that -decay is a wave mechanical problem.
Although only nucleons exist in the nucleus, we can think of two protons and
two neutrons coming together and forming an -particle within the nucleus.
There will be a constant interchange of energy between -particle & the rest of
the nucleus. These forces on -particle are
1. Repulsive force due to protons
2. Strong attractive nuclear forces
The net effect of these will be that -particle has a negative potential energy U o
for r<R. R is the nuclear radius & r is the distance between centres of particle and the nucleus. For r>R, only the Coulombs repulsive forces act on the
-particle and the potential energy is given by:
P . E .=

( Z2 ) ( Z ) e2
(4)
r

This region is called Potential barrier. In the region R < r < R, the potential
E
energy is more than -disintegration energy
. Classically -particle cannot
penetrate in this region.
When

r > R ' , then

E >V ( r )

and potential barrier offers no hindrance to the -

particle. For U238, the height of the barrier B is about 30 MeV where E is about
4.1 MeV. So -emission under these circumstances has to be wave-mechanical
phenomena called the Barrier Penetration Problem.

Hisham Shah

42

Example: 83Bi212 has half life of 60.5 minutes by emitting 5 groups of particles with energies:
E 1=6.08 MeV
I.
II.

E 2=6.04 MeV

E 3=5.76 MeV

E 4 =5.62 MeV

E 5=5.60 MeV

What are -disintegration energies?


Sketch the level scheme and identify the daughter nucleus.

Solution: From Equation (11) Page (30)


E =

A
Q = Q =(
E
( A4
)
A
A4 )

A
6.08=6.20 MeV
( A4
) E =( 212
208 )

Q 1=

A
6.04=6.16 MeV
( A4
) E =( 212
208 )

Q 2=

A
5.76=5.87 MeV
( A4
) E =( 212
208 )

Q 3=

Q 4=

A
5.62=5.73 MeV
( A4
) E =( 212
208 )
4

A
5.60=5.71 MeV
( A4
) E =( 212
208 )

Q 5=

The decay is given by:

208
4
B i 212
83 T e 81 + H e 2 +Q

Hence the daughter nucleus is

81

Te208.

"I think it's important to question your sanity because at the point which you stop questioning your
sanity, you're probably insane."
Elon Musk
Example 2: Show that

94

Pu236 is unstable against -decay.

The decay is given by:


232
4
Pu 236
94 U 92 + H e2 +Q

Hisham Shah

43

236

232

>Q = M ( P u 94 ) M ( U 92 )+ M ( H e 2 ) 931.5 MeV


[ ( 236.04607 )(232.03717+4.00260) ]931.5 MeV
>Q =5.87 MeV
Since Q is positive, therefore

94

Pu236 is unstable and will decay by -emission.

BETA DECAY
If an atom undergoes -particle decay, its atomic weight decreases by only a
very small fraction of a unit. But its atomic number increases by one unit and in
a -decay, a negative electron is emitted. -decay is represented as follows

A
X A z +1
X + +Q (1)

Where Q is the disintegration energy. In the -decay either a negatron or


positron is ejected from nucleus or an orbital electron is swallowed up by
nucleus. This is known as Electron capture. This was discovered by Yukawa and
Sakata.
The question arises as How to account for the emission of electrons from the
nucleus when we say that there are only neutrons and protons within the
nucleus.
A well suggested solution is to imagine that the electrons are created
spontaneously and we emitted momentarily; just like photons from excited
atoms.
Thus -decay corresponds to the effects of following processes taking place
within the nucleus.
electron emission
+ positron emission

n p+ e p n+e p+ e nelectron capture (2)

Since neutrons are little heavier than protons, the first process i.e

n p+ e

can actually take place spontaneously outside the nucleus. We may say that
neutrons and protons are two different states of single particle called nucleon
with the electron playing role like photon.

Hisham Shah

44

"There are two possible outcomes: if the result confirms the hypothesis, then you've made a
measurement. If the result is contrary to the hypothesis, then you've made a discovery."
Enrico Fermi
Disintegration Energies:
1) Consider an atom of mass mz & a free electron both at rest. The total
energy of the system is

m
( z c2 +m c 2) . If electron emission occurs the

atomic number changes to (Z+1) and the original free electron drifts
towards the positive ion so created & combines with it filling up its outer
shell.
The total energy of the system is then

(Q +m c2z+1 +m c 2) . Equating the two

expressions, we get:

(Q +m c 2z +1+ mc 2 )=mz c 2+ mc 2 (3)


m
( zm z+1 )c 2 (4)
Q =
2) Again consider an atom at rest of mass m z. Its rest mass energy is mzc2. If
positron (+) emission occurs, a negatron (-) can be removed (with no
mz 1
energy expenditure) from the atom
. The total energy of the system
is

( mz 1+2 m ) c 2+Q . Hence the conservation of energy gives:


+

(5)
2
2
2
m z c =m z1 c +2 mc +Q

+=m z c2 m z1 c 22 mc2 (6)


Q
3) For the electron capture then, the nucleus m z with rest energy mzc2

captures and electron. The total energy is then mz 1 c + Q e .

Hisham Shah

45

(7)
m z c =m z1 c 2 +Q e
2

=m z c2mz1 c 2 (8)
Q e
The masses of radionuclides are usually not known however, so that we
must apply the equations indirectly. In electron emission, we find in so
doing that Q is just equal to the maximum energy of the -spectrum i.e.
Q=E (9)

Measurement of energy of -Particles from the Source


The velocity or momentum of -particles can be measured by means of
deflection of the path of the particles in the magnetic field.
The instrument which is often used is the semi-circular or 180O focusing
magnetic spectrograph similar to that used for alpha particles.
The designing of two instruments is different because of the different properties
of the and -particles. For example the

q
m ratio for an electron is much

greater than that of -particles and so much smaller magnetic field will be used
to deflect the -particles. A field of about 1,000 gauss is used
velocities or
momenta of -particles emitted from the source are measured. Once these
quantities are measured, it is easy to calculate the energy of the -particles.
In early experiments, it was found that the -particles may have velocities of
about 0.99c.
In general, the energies of the -particles (both positive and negative) are
smaller than those of the -particles emitted by radioactive nuclides. Most of
the -particles have energies less than 4 MeV, while energies of -particles are
greater than 4 MeV.
At the same kinetic energy -particles because of their small mass travel with
high velocity, this velocity is much greater than that of -particles.

Hisham Shah

46

Because of their high velocities, -particles are treated relativistically. The


governing equation in the magnetic spectrograph is:
mv 2
=evH ( 10 )
r
> v=

erH
(11)
m

m=

We have

>V =

mo

; where =V/c

1 2

erH
2
1 (12)

mo

The -particle energy is the Kinetic Energy of -given by


T =m c2 mo c 2=

T =mo c 2

mo c 2

v
c2

m o c2

1
1 (13)
1 2

In equation (12) & (13) mo is the rest mass of -particles while e is the charge
of electrons (-). From equation (12), then
Hr=

mo v
1/ 2
( 1 2 ) (14)
e

The dimensions of Hr are Gauss-cm. or


1 /2
mo v
m c v
v2
v2
Hr=
1 2
= o . 1 2
e
e c
c
c

1/2

( )

v
v2
=1704.5 1 2
c
c

1/ 2

( )

(15)

From equation (13) we have then


T =mo c 2

[ ]
1

v2
1 2
c

1 (16)

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47

Since moc2=0.511 MeV for electron, therefore


T =0.511

[ ]
1

v2
1 2
c

1 (17)

Equation (15) and (16) give the velocities & energies in terms of v/c.

Continuous -Spectrum & the End Point Energies:As discussed earlier on page 5-6 with a very good reasoning (using Uncertainty
Principle) that the electrons do not reside inside the nucleus and it must be
formed at the time of its emission by -decay process. Unlike the alpha particle
spectrum (line spectrum), the -rays spectrum happened to be a continuous
spectrum. This gave rise to the serious difficulties in understanding of the decay. The main problem is that just like the -decay; -decay is an energy
transition between two definite energy states. The + emitter ZXA emits a particle to form the daughter nucleus

z1

Y . So monoenergetic

are

expected. However, the spectrum observed is continuous i.e. the electrons


emitted in -decay do not have the same kinetic energies.

"Science seems to be at war with itself. Naive realism leads to physics, and physics, if true, shows
naive realism to be false. Therefore naive realism, if true, is false; therefore it is false."
Bertrand Russell, An Inquiry into Meaning and Truth.
The continuous spectrum of -particles energies for RaE is shown in following
figure

Hisham Shah

48

In this case no line spectrum is found. The maximum energy is when 1.17 MeV.
When line spectrum is present, the lines appear as distinct peaks

Peaks superimposed on each other as in fig (2)


Energy continuous -spectrum has a definite maximum, the height and position
of which depends on the nucleus emitting the particles. There is also a definite
upper limit of energy for the particles emitted by the nucleus. This is known as
end point energy, and is different for different nuclei.
Shapes of curves at lower energies are not known with certainty because it is
hard to make accurate measurements on the low energy particles.
Those properties for continuous -spectrum are for both natural and artificial emitters. These - may be electrons & positrons.
One other noticeable aspect of the -spectrum is that most of the electrons
(corresponding to the peak of the curves) are emitted with only about

1
rd
3

of

the Maximum Energy (or End Point Energy). The question is where does the
missing

2
rd
3

energy go? This violates the Law of Conservation of Energy. One

way to account for this missing energy was that it was carried by gamma rays.

Hisham Shah

49

However, careful measurements with sensitive calorimeters did not confirm any
such Hypothesis. Clearly the theory needs to be reconsidered for gamma
emission hypothesis.

Angular Momentum and the Neutrino Hypothesis:


From the previous discussion, the two main points are
1. Particles do not reside inside the nucleus as an entity. It is just a result
of some interactions which take place inside the nucleus.
2. Energy non-conservation as seen by the -spectrum
Another serious difficulty presented by the -spectrum is that it appears to
violate not only the Conservation of Energy but also the Conservation of Angular
Momentum.
Earlier, we assumed that -emission is a result of the following interactions.

n p+ p n+ p+ e n (18)

The role of -particles is just like that of photons in the atomic structure.
Consider the simplest -process:
(19)

n p+ e

The initial angular momentum is just that of associated with the spin of neutron
equal to /2. The proton and electron have spin

1
2 . So for angular momenta,

we have

n p+ e

Hisham Shah

50

( 12 )+( 12 ) :1
1
1
( )+ (
:1
2
2 )
(20)
1
1
( )+ (
:0
2
2 )
1
1
(
+ ( ) :0
)
2
2

So the spin on the right hand side of (20) be either 1 or 0; indicating that the
spin is not conserved.
Consider another example:- Tritium (1H3) is a -emitter. The decay is given as:

0 (21)

H 2 He4+ 1
e
3

The charge and mass number are conserved. However, angular momentum of
1

H is

1
2

and that of 2He3 is 0 or 1 from their spins. Since both He 3 & electrons

are fermions and sum of their spins is either 0 or 1. Moreover, (He 3+e) is a
Boson system whereas 1H3 is a Fermion system.
In both cases, given by (20) & (21), there might also be a contribution due to
orbital angular momentum on the right side of (20) & (21). Thus the final
angular momentum should be integrated & therefore cannot be equal to initial
angular momentum which is
process: i.e.

2 . A similar difficulty occurs for electron capture

=n
p+ e .

To remove these difficulties of Non-Conservations, Pauli (1927) suggested a way


out of these troubles. He postulated that a new particle Neutrino is created &
emitted during each -process. He assumed it having rest mass almost equal to
zero, a spin of and zero charge. Such a particle would not interact strongly
with matter & is very hard to detect.
The energy is shared between the electron & the neutrino. So the neutrino have
energy spectrum simply related to the electron spectrum. After the introduction
of Neutrinos, the -decay is then written as:

Hisham Shah

51
++

p n+
(22)
+
n p+

Where

is called anti-neutrino. In electron capture, the neutrino carries away

all the disintegration energy except for the recoil and the X-ray energy, both of
which are small. The neutrino spectrum is thus monoenergetic.
It has been observed experimentally that the neutrinos show hardness like
Sv
v
screws. A neutrino has its spin
anti-parallel to its momentum
while
the anti-neutrino has spin
words,

S v

is always parallel to its momentum

is a left handed particle while

, In other

is a right handed particle.

DETECTION OF NEUTRINO
Due to zero charge and zero rest mass, it is extremely difficult to detect the
neutrino. The -decay is a three body problem. The Conservation of Momentum
thus requires that after the emission of a -particle & neutrinos, the daughter
nucleus recoils in a direction not exactly opposite to the emitted -particle. If

Hisham Shah

52

one can detect this recoil of the daughter nucleus, then it will prove an indirect
evidence of the existence of neutrinos.

Above figure indicates that the recoil of the daughter & the momentum triangle
for the -particle, the daughter nucleus & the neutrino. A rough estimate of the
recoil energy is made as follows.
Let the neutrino carries all the energy in the -decay, then its momentum is
Pv ( max )=

E v (max)
(23)
c

Ev (max)

Where

is the End Point Energy in the -spectrum. Consider a light

nucleus like 8O14, this decays by -decay as:

O14 7N14 + + + (24)

The End Point Energy is


Pv (max )=

Emax =E v ( max )=1.812 MeV

. So

1.812
=PN (by conservation of momentum)
c

PN=Momentum of daughter nucleus. This gives


E N=

PN
; M =mass of N 14
7
2M

E N=

( 1.812 )2 Me V 2 /c 2
=0.000125 MeV =125106 MeV =125 eV
2
( 26087.73 ) MeV /c

Hisham Shah

53

This shows that even for a very light nucleus, the recoil energy is 125 eV,
proving that its experimental measurements on the recoil nucleus are very
difficult.
The recoil experiments have been performed on many -emitters like n, He 6,
Be7, Ne19, Al35.
For He6, the recoil nucleus has been observed in the low pressure cloud
chamber. The cloud chamber photograph shows that the daughter nucleus does
not recoil in just the opposite direction of the -particle, but one thing that it
proves is that -decay is a three body problem and thus indicates the existence
of neutrino.

Cowan and Reines Experiment


In 1953, Cowan and Reines observed the direct interaction of free neutrinos,
which proved the real physical presence of neutrinos. The basic principle was
the same as:
n1o p11 + e01 + (25)
In the neighbourhood of the Nuclear Reactor, there is always present a large
amount of neutrinos giving rise to large flux (~10 13/cm2/s) of antineutrinos. They
used the antineutrinos from the reaction (25) & bombarded them on protons
provided by water in large plastic tank. The reaction produced is thus:
+ (26)
+ p11 n 10+
The positron (+) in (26) interacts with the electron resulting in a pair of -rays
(pair annihilation) emitted in opposite direction.

Hisham Shah

54

Each of these -rays carry energy equal to the electron rest mass (0.511 MeV).
These -rays are detected by Liquid Scintillators given by (1) & (2). The
neutrons diffuse in water (dissolved with CdCl 2) and after many collisions with
protons slows down to thermal energies & get captured by Cd nucleus. This
capture of the neutrons take place much later than the emission of annihilation
of -rays. The neutron pulse due to capture of -rays and the annihilation of ray pulses were observed on the oscilloscope & were photographed each time
the sequence of annihilation -rays pulse and the neutron pulse was displayed.
They were able to record 30 events per hour.

Cowan and Reines performed the same experiment in 1957 with improved
equipment and thus proved the real physical existence of the neutrinos.
Example 1: Calculate the energy of -rays emitted in the -decay of Al28
(Emax=2.86 MeV)

Hisham Shah

55

Solution:

28

28

A l Si +

>Q=[ M ( Al 28) M ( Si 28 ) ]931.5 MeV


>Q=( 27.98190827.976927 )931.5 MeV =4.64 MeV
E =4.642.86=1.78 MeV

Example 2:

X e 131
54 +
131
C s 55 + e

The total energy released in the process = 355 KeV and the Binding energy of
electron is 35 KeV
> E =35535=320 KeV =0.32 MeV

What is Science? Science is a way to teach how something gets to be known, what is not known, to
what extent things are known (for nothing is known absolutely), how to handle doubt and
uncertainty, what the rules of evidence are, how to think about things so that judgments can be made,
how to distinguish truth from fraud, and from show.
Richard Feynman
The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple
pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.
Carl Sagan

NUCLEAR REACTIONS
In 1919, Rutherford found that when nitrogen is bombarded with -particles
from Polonium, protons are produced and these protons are capable of
penetrating about 28 cm of air. This was first nuclear reaction performed in
laboratory and this gave birth to the phenomena of transmutation of non
radioactive nuclei. This is sometimes termed as artificial radioactivity.
The apparatus used by Rutherford is seen schematically as follows:

Hisham Shah

56

The chamber was filled with nitrogen & alpha particles from Po 212 source were
made to incident on nitrogen nuclei. A thin sheet of silver foil is placed on one
side of gas chamber to absorb -particles. A ZnS plate is placed outside this
opening and a microscope M could observe the scintillation produced on this
screen. Scintillations were observed when the chamber was filled with nitrogen.
Rutherford concluded that the scintillations were produced by particles which
were ejected from nitrogen nuclei as a result of -particle bombardment. These
particles were later on identified as protons having range of the order of 50 cm
in air.
14

17

N 7 + H e2 O8 + H 1
In 1930, Bothe and Becker showed that Beryllium bombarded by energetic particles from Po212 source gave rise to another penetrating radiation, which was
later on identified as neutrons by Chadwick in 1932.
In 1934, Curies bombarded light elements by -particles. They found that
bombarded substances continued to emit radiations even after the source had
been removed. These emitted radiations were later on identified as positrons.
All these experiments & their analysis led to the opening of a new field of
nuclear reactions in nuclear physics. A typical nuclear reaction is written as
a+ X Y +b(1)

Where
a Projectileincident particle

X =Target Nucleus

b emitted particle as a result of Nuclear reaction

Y =Residual nucleus after reaction

Generally we write a Nuclear Reaction as:


X ( a , b ) Y (2)
So one can write the experiment by Rutherford as
4
17
1
N 14
7 + H e2 O 8 + H 1(3)

Hisham Shah

57

The experiment by Bothe & Becker as


1
H e24+B e 94 C 12
6 + n0(4 )

The experiment by M. Curie as


++ (5)
1
13

H e + B e N 13
7 + n0 decays C 6 +
4
2

10
5

Some more examples of artificial radioactivity or nuclear reactions are as under:

1. -Particle Induced Reactions: a = Alpha particle (2He4); b =


Proton (1H1)
4

H e2 + X z C z+2

A +4

A+ 3

Y z +1 + H 1 +Q

14
13
1
H e24+B e 10
5 N 7 C 6 +H 1 +Q

23
22
1
H e24+F 17
9 N a11 N e 10 + H 1 +Q

2. a = Alpha; b = Neutron
A+ 4

H e24+ X Az Cz+2 Y Az++32 +n 1o+ Q

18

17
1
H e24+ N 14
7 F9 F 9 +n0 +Q

13

1
H e24+ B e 94 C 6 C 12
6 +n 0+Q

3. a = Alpha; b = (radioactive capture)


A +4

H e24+ X Az Y z +2 Y zA+2+4 +

4. a Proton; b Alpha

Hisham Shah

58

A+1

3
H 11+ X Az C z+1 Y Az1
+ H e 42 +Q

H 11+ Li73 Be4 H e42 + H e 42 +Q


10

H 11+ B e 94 B5 Li 73 + H e24 +Q

5. a Proton; b Deutron
A+1

H 11+ X Az C z+1 Y Az +1 + H 21 +Q

10

H 11+ B e 94 B5 B e 84 + H 21 +Q

6. a Proton; b (proton radioactive capture)


A+ 1

H 11+ X Az C z+1 Y Az+1+1 +

H 11+ Li 73 Be4 B e 84 +

7. Deutron: a Deutron 1H2; b 1H1


H 21+ X Az C Az+1+2 X Az +1 +H 11 +Q

H 21+ Li 62 Be4 H e 42 + H e 42 +Q
H 21+ Li 62 B e84 Li 73+ H 11+Q

8. a 1H2; b=0n1

Hisham Shah

59

H 21+ X zA X z+1+2 X zA++11+n 10+ Q

H 1+ Li 3 Be4 L i 3 + H 1

9. a ; b 0n1 Photo Nuclear Reactions


A

+ X Az X z X Az 1+ n10

+H 21 H 1 H 11 +n10

10.

a 0n1 ; b (2He4)

Neutron Induced Reaction


A+ 1

A3
n10 + X zA X z X z2
+ H e24+ Q

n10 + L i63 Li 73 H 31 + H e 42 +Q

11.

a 0n1 ; b 1H1
A+ 1

A
n10 + X zA X z X z1
+ H 11 +Q

15

14
1
n10 + N 14
7 N 7 C6 H 1 +Q

12.

a 0n1 ; b

Neutron Radioactive Capture


A+ 1

n10 + X zA X z X zA+1 +

66

66
n10 +C u 65
29 C u29 C u 29 +

Hisham Shah

60

In 1900, the British physicist Lord Kelvin is said to have pronounced: "There is nothing new to be
discovered in physics now. All that remains is more and more precise measurement." Within three
decades, quantum mechanics and Einstein's theory of relativity had revolutionized the field. Today,
no physicist would dare assert that our physical knowledge of the universe is near completion. To the
contrary, each new discovery seems to unlock a Pandora's box of even bigger, even deeper physics
questions.

MEASUREMENT OF NUCLEAR REACTIONS


The measurements in nuclear reactions can be made on the following
quantities.
1. Charge, mass number, masses & energies of the projectile a, target X &
the emitted particle b. Applying the Conservation Laws to these physical

quantities lead us to know about the state identification & nature of Y


(residual nucleus).
2. One can measure the angle between the trajectories of a & b.

3. The X-section for occurrence of a particular reaction can be measured.


4. The Threshold Energy: This is the smallest value of incident energy at
which the reaction will be possible to initiate.

5. Gamma rays from the residual Nucleus Y which may be left in an


excited state, their energies and angular correlation with the trajectories
of b can be measured.

Hisham Shah

61

TYPES OF NUCLEAR REACTIONS


The classification of nuclear reactions is made on the basis of projectile a,
particle & the emitted or detected particle b. We classify these as:
1. Scattering: In the scattering reaction, the projectile & the emitted particle
are same. The scattering is elastic if the residual nucleus is left in a
ground state; whereas it is inelastic if the residual nucleus is left in the
excited state, which comes to ground state by the emission of -ray
photon. When the incident particle emerges out of the target nucleus
w/out having energy & momentum is called Elastic Scattering reaction.
The chemical reaction is given by a+ X X + a & its inverse is called
inelastic scattering reaction i.e.

a+ X X +b .

2. Pickup Reactions: When the incident projectile gains nucleons from the
target nucleus, the nuclear reaction is called Pickup reaction e.g.
18
15
3
H 21+ O16
8 F 9 O8 + H 1

(1H3 is born when 1H2 picked up a neutron from 8O16).

Hisham Shah

62

3. Striping Reactions: When the projectile looses nucleon(s) to the target


nucleus: e.g.
20
18
2
H e24+O16
8 N e10 F 9 H 1

(1H2 is born when 2He4 left one proton & one neutron inside the
nucleus or two nucleons got stripped off from 2He4).

O16

4. Direct Reactions: When the nucleons involved in the process enter or


leave the target nucleus without distributing the other nucleons. These
types of reactions are referred to as Direct Reactions
5. Compound Nuclear Reactions: When the projectile & target form a
compound Nucleus, having lifetime of the order of 10 -16 sec. The
compound nucleus can decay in a number of ways or channels, so the
compound nucleus is formed which is unstable and thus broken into
fragments with the release of energy is called Compound Nuclear
Reactions or Transmutation Reaction i.e.

a+ X [ X ] y + b+Q

A. PHYSICAL QUANTITIES CONSERVED IN NUCLEAR


REACTIONS

1. Charge: Total charge is conserved in every type of nuclear reactions. We


say that

Z=constant
all

2. Mass Number: The total number of nucleons entering & leaving the
reaction is constant i.e.

A=constant
all

3. Linear Momentum: Like in all isolated mechanical systems, linear


momentum is conserved in every type of nuclear reaction.
If the target particle X is initially at rest (LAB system), linear momentum
brought into the reaction by the projectile is distributed among the
reaction products. In the centre of mass system, the total linear
momentum is zero at all time.
4. Angular Momentum: The total angular momentum is a constant of motion.
5. Mass-Energy: In nuclear reactions, neither kinetic energy not rest mass is
conserved by itself but their total is always conserved.
The amount of energy Q liberated in any reaction is always equal to the
reduction in the total rest mass energy of all the constituents of the
reaction. The equivalence is:

Hisham Shah

63

1 MeV = 0.001074 a.m.u; or


1 a.m.u = 931.5 MeV
6. Statistics: For odd

Einstein for Even

, the statistics is Fermi-Dirac for Fermions & Bose-

for bosons through the process of nuclear

reactions.
7. Isobaric Spin: As far as the nuclear forces are believed to be truly charged
independent it is expected theoretically that total isobaric spin is
conserved in any nuclear reaction in a manner analogous to the
conservation of total angular momentum.
8. Parity: In every type of nuclear reaction, the parity is conserved.

B. QUANTITIES NOT CONSERVED


The most prominent physical characteristics which are not conserved in nuclear
reactions are the magnetic dipole moments & the electric quadruple moments
of the reacting nuclei. These moments depend on the internal distribution of
masses charges and currents within the nuclei involved & are not subject to
conservation laws.

THE Q VALUE AND BALANCE OF MASS AND ENERGY


Consider a nuclear reaction:
Y +b (1)
a+ X
Since the total mass and energy is conserved; we have
E
( a+ ma c )+ M x c =( E y + M y c2 )+ ( Eb + mb c 2 ) (2)

Where:
Ea Kinetic Energy of the Projectile ' a '
E x Kinetic Energy of target X .

Similarly for

ma c2 Rest mass energy of Projectile .

.
M x c 2 Rest mass energy of target X

Eb , mb c2E y M y c 2 .

Hisham Shah

64

The target nucleus is at rest (in the LAB coordinate system); so

E x =0

and we

have then the Q value of the reaction as:


Q=( E y + Eb ) Ea (3)
Equation gives the change in total kinetic energy in a nuclear reaction; causing
the
nuclear
disintegration.
From equation (2) then on re-arranging:
E
2

y
+
E
(
b )E a= [ ( M x + ma ) ( M y + mb ) ] c (4)

From (4), Q is then the change in the total rest mass.


A reaction is exoergic if Q is positive & the nuclear reaction is endoergic if Q is
negative.
So Q is positive if the masses of the incident particle and target nucleons are
greater than the masses of the product particle and product nuclei. Or the
energy of the product particle & nuclei are greater than the incident particle
provided that the target is assumed to be at rest and Q is negative and vice
versa.

Q-VALUE EQUATION IN THE LAB COORDINATE SYSTEM


Consider the following schematic diagram of the two body nuclear reaction in
LAB coordinate system and with the given prescribed data:

We have:
M1 Mass of Projectile
M2 Mass of target
M3 = Mass of emitted particle
M4 = Mass of residual nucleus

E1 Energy of Projectile
E2= 0 (target is at rest in LAB coordinate system)
E3 = Energy of emitted particle
E4 = Recoil Energy of M4

By the basic definition of Q-value:

Hisham Shah

65

Q=( E 3+ E4 ) E1 ( 5 )
For exoergic reactions: Q>0
> ( E 3+ E 4 ) E1 >0

> E3 + E 4 > E1(6)

For endoergic reactions: Q<0


> ( E 3+ E 4 ) E1 <0

> E3 + E 4 < E1(7)

From the Kinematic figure of reaction products, we have by the Conservation of


Linear Momentum:

P 1+
O=
P3 +
P4 (8)
This is a vector equation. In components form, we can decompose eq (8) into
two following equations: Using

P= 2 ME= 2 EM =M 2 V 2 givesthen

2 M 1 E 1= 2 M 3 E3 cos + 2 M 4 E 4 cos (9)


0= 2 M 3 E 3 sin 2 M 4 E 4 sin (10)

(Horizontal component of P)

(Vertical component of P)

Suppose that measurements are made on M 3 (emitted particle) i.e. we measure


E3 of M3 at an angle . So that (E 1, M1) & (E3, M3, ) are known (measured)
quantities, from (9) and (10), we have;
2 M 4 E4 cos= 2 M 1 E1 2 M 3 E 3 cos (11)

2 M 4 E 4 sin= 2 M 3 E3 sin (12)


Squaring and adding (11) and (12) gives
2 M 4 E 4=2 M 1 E1 4 M 1 M 3 E1 E 3 cos +2 M 3 E3
M1
M3
M 1 M 3 E 1 E 3 cos (13)
E1 +
E 32
M4
M4
M4

( ) ( )

E4 =

This is the recoil energy of residual nucleus M4. Since


Q=( E 3+ E4 ) E1

Hisham Shah

66

Putting (13) in the above equation for E4 gives


Q=

[( ) ( )

Q=

[( ) ( )

M1
M
M 1 M 3 E1 E3 cos + E E
E1 + 3 E3 2
3
1
M4
M4
M4

M1
M
M 1 M 3 E 1 E3 cos+ E (14 )
1 E1 + 3 +1 E 32
3
M4
M4
M4

For a special case when the emitted particle or product particle come out at
angle 90o to the collimated beam of the projectile, we have
Q=

M
M1
1 E 1+ 3 +1 E3 .
M4
M4

) (

Equation (14) is the Q value Equation in the LAB Coordinate System.


This equation can be used to derive many useful results and conclusions in
many different ways. The cases of interest are:
is fixed:
One can look at the variation of E3 w.r.t. E1 for the fixed . We can write
the Q value equation as:

i.

E3 1+

M3
M 1 M 3 E1 E3 cosE 1 M 1 Q=0 (15 )
2
1
M4
M4
M4

a= 1+
Let

b=2

M3
M4

M 1 M3 E1 cos
M4

c= 1

M1
M4

(16)

, then equation (15) is:

a E3b E 3( c E1 +Q )=0= a E3 b E3 ( c E1+ Q )=0 (17)

This is quadratic in

E3

, then

b b 2+ 4 a (C E1 +Q)
(18)
E3 =
2a

Hisham Shah

67

E3 =

M 1 M 3 E 1 cos
M4

4 M 1 M 3 E1
M

2
4

cos 2 + 4

2 1+

E3 =

M 1 M 3 E1 cos
M 3+ M 4

u=

Let

M 1 M 3 E1

( M3 + M 4 )

M3
M4

cos +

M 3+ M 4
M4

) [(

M 4M 1
E1+ Q
M4

M 4 Q+ E 1 (M 4M 1 )
(19)
M 3+ M 4

M 1 M 3 E1 cos

M 3+ M 4
(20)
M 4 Q+ E1 (M 4 M 1)
v=
( M3 + M 4 )

E3=u u 2+ v (21)
From eq (21), those reactions are possible for which

E3

is real & +ve i.e.

u u2 +v> 0 , then
u+ u2 + v> 0
2
u u + v> 0(22)
Case 1 in eq (22) is definitely positive. From case 2, then
u u2 + v> 0=u> u 2+ v >u2 >u2 +v = v <0

M 4 Q+ E1 ( M 4 M 1)
<0
M 3+ M 4

> M 4 Q+ E1 ( M 4M 1 ) <0 (23)


This is valid for two reasons:
i.
ii.

Either Q < 0
(Endoergic Reactions)
M4 - M1 < 0 i.e. a reaction induced by a heavy ion M1 > M4

Hence the physical factors which are responsible for making a particular angle
of emission of M3 energetically possible are the negative values of Q and a

Hisham Shah

68

heavy projectile M1, such that M4 - M1 is negative and a large angle of


observation such that cos is negative.
Usually M1 << M4, thus the value of V is positive for all bombarding particle
energies.
Thus E3 to be single valued Q > 0 and M 4 > M1, Ey depends on Q and will be
smallest in backward direction =180o.

ENERGETICS OF EXOERGIC (Q>0) REACTIONS


i.

Zero bombarding energy

E1 0

One good example of the thermal energy neutrons reactions. In this low
E1
energy range, we have then for
u=

M 1 M 3 E 1 cos (24 a)
M 3+ M 4

v=

And

Then because
E 3=

M 4 Q+ E1 (M 4 M 1)
M 4Q

( 24 b)
M3 + M 4
M 3+ M 4

E3=u u 2+ v= E3 =v

M4Q
=constant (25)
M 3 +M 4

Hence for all , the Kinetic Energy E3 is the same. Since


Q=( E 3+ E4 ) E1
For

E1 0

Q=E 3+ E 4 (26)
From the Conservation of Linear Momentum equations for

E1 0

, we have

2 M 3 E 3 cos + 2 M 4 E 4 cos =0= 2 M 3 E 3 cos = 2 M 4 E 4 cos


and

2 M 3 E 3 sin= 2 M 4 E 4 sin

Hisham Shah

69

Dividing by gives
tan + tan =0 (27)
tan ( + ) =

tan +tan
1tan tan

tan ( + ) =0
>+=180o (28)
So M3 and M4 are emitted in the Forward direction with respect to incident M 1
direction. Also a reaction is impossible for those values of for which cos =1 .
ii.

Endoergic Reaction:

All the endoergic reactions have negative values when

E1 >0

so eq

E3=u u 2+ v

gives negative value. Because Q is negative if the value of the

Q=( E 3+ E4 ) E1

, the value of E1 is greater than E3 + E4 i.e. the energy of the

incident particle is greater than the energy of the emitter and residue nucleus,
and E3 is imaginaty, means that these reactions are not possible. So the
smartest value of incident particle energy E1 at which the reaction can take
place is called threshold energy. The reaction first becomes possible when E1 is
u2 +v =0.

large enough to make


E1=Q

M3 + M 4
M M
M 3 + M 4 M 1 1 3 sin 2
M4

Hence,

At =0, E1 is minimum and is threshold energy.

( M 3+ M 4)
( E1 )th=Q M + M M
3
4
1

Using approximation

]
M 1 Q/ c 2 , we have

Eth =Q

M1 + M 2
M2

)
Hisham Shah

70

Thus we see that the threshold or the reaction particle first appear in Q=0
direction with K.E.
2

E3=u =( E1 )th

M1M3
M 4+ M 3

As the bombarding particle energy is raised, the product particle begins to


appear at angle Q>0.

NUCLEAR FISSION
The process in which a heavy nucleus like 92U235 is to be broken under the
bombardment of slow neutron is called nuclear fission.
Nuclear fission reaction is one of special type of nuclear reaction where a
relatively heavy nucleus splits into two fragments, for example:
U 235 + n10 U 236 A+ B+Q
Where A and B are radioactive nuclei of mass number between 70-170 and
energy released per fission reaction is 150 MeV. This is very large energy
released
in
comparison
with
other
nuclear
reactions.
The phenomenon can be understood by considering semi-empirical binding
energy formula. The binding energy per nucleon (B/A) is a function of mass
number A (as shown) can explain the energy release in fission.
If we consider the case of
nucleus with A=240, with
BE1800 MeV into two
nuclei
with
total
BE2*120*7.52040 MeV.
The BE difference give
resultant energy of 240
MeV.
In
order
to
counterbalance the excess
of
neutrons
than
the
protons, we observe that
excess of neutron number
in the fission fragments
causes
emission.
Therefore
the
fission
fragments will be emitter
to become stable through a chain reaction.

Hisham Shah

71

98

98

98

41 Nb 42 Mo n
U 235 +n 10 U 236 40Zr136
0
136

136
52Te 53 I 54 Xe +2

92

And typical beta emitter is

54

140

140

140

140

140

Xe 55Cs 56 Ba 57 La 58Ce ( stable)

The basic facts concerning fission reaction is


a. Uranium bombarded by neutrons breaks up as follows

92

235

U +n T e 52+ Z r 40

144

90

56 Ba + 36 Kr +2 n0

b. Fission fragments recoil in opposite directions as with range which


corresponds to energy greater than 75 MeV. The range is short as the
fragments are heavy but ionization is large because of huge energy loss
(depositions) per unit path length.
c. Fragments are highly radioactive because the excess of neutron leads to a
chain reaction.
d. A few fast neutrons and high energy -rays are emitted simultaneously
with the fission fragments. If extra neutrons are available and are
redirected to uranium fuel, a chain reaction can be started.
Fission reaction was 1st recognized by Otto Hahn and Fritz Strassman (1836),
when Uranium was bombarded with neutrons in addition to fusion a 23 minutes
-activity was also induced. The amount of this activity was not probable due to
the rare 0.7% isotope of U235 but was due to the abundant isotope U 238. The 23minutes -decay was followed by 2.3 day activity and a chain was eventually
shown.
U 238 + n U 239 +
U 239 N p239 + + (23 min)
N p 239 P u239 + + (2.3 days)
Neptunium and Plutonium were new transuranic nuclides.

Types of Fission:
a. Thermal Fission: Thermal neutrons add negligible energy to the fissionable
nucleus, the fission of the nuclei in which compound nucleus of even-even
structures take place even with thermal neutrons. Fission of U 235 and Pu239
by thermal neutrons is most important.

Hisham Shah

72

b. Fast Fission: Other isotope of Uranium & other elements which for
compound nucleus of even-odd structure enters into (n,f) reaction with
fast neutrons (1 MeV). Example is U239, Pa231 etc.
c. Charge Particle Fission: Element with Z 10 show fission process with
protons, deuterons and -particles and even high energy charged particle
induces fission in the element of the middle of the periodic table as well.
d. Photo Fission: High energy photons also induce fission in heavier elements
A=5.1 MeV -ray also produce fission with U238.

Books are the carriers of civilization. Without books, history is silent, literature dumb, science
crippled, thought and speculation at a standstill. Without books, the development of civilization
would have been impossible. They are engines of change (as the poet said), windows on the world
and lighthouses erected in the sea of time. They are companions, teachers, magicians, bankers of the
treasures of the mind. Books are humanity in print."
Barbara

Tuchman

THEORY OF NUCLEAR FISSION


Nuclear fission reaction is a special class of nuclear reaction, which has
importance both in relevance to the defence and energy production
technologies. In order to understand phenomenon involved in nuclear reaction,
one need to know the details involved in fission process.

A. Fission Products-Mass Yield


We know that -mostly- fissionable nucleus gives two fission fragments which
decay by -emission to a stable end product. The mass distribution of the fission
products is shown most conventionally in the form of a fission yield curve, in
which the percentage yield (in large scale) of the different products is plotted
against mass number.
The yield is defined as
Y ( A )=

Number of nuclei of mass number A formed fission100


Total number of fission

Y ( A )=

NA
.100
N0

When the percentage of fission yield is plotted against mass

number A for fission chains of U235, we get a mass distribution of fission


fragments as below.
It is clear from the figure that the most probable values for mass numbers of the
two fission fragments are 95 & 139.

Hisham Shah

73

Notice that the yield is minimum for


A117
which
corresponds
to
symmetrical fission (equal masses).
This just cant be understood on the
basis of a liquid drop model of nucleus.
The asymmetrical mass distribution of
the fission fragments involves the shell
structure of nuclei, as expressed in the
existence of magic numbers.
Notice that for A95 & 139, the
corresponding atomic numbers are
Z42 & 57. On the other hand for
A117
(minimum
yield),
the
corresponding Z50 which corresponds
to a magic number Z50 (strong BE).
Symmetric fission is more probable
with increasing the neutron energy and
single peak appears for high energy neutrons. The mass distribution of the
fission fragments can also be obtained from the distribution of their Kinetic
Energies. The nucleus undergoing fission can be considered at rest initially and
if the emitted neutrons are neglected then the conservation of momentum gives
E1 M 2
M1V1=M2V2 and E 2 = M 1

. Thus we see that the masses are inversely

proportional to the Kinetic Energies.

B. Neutron Emission
Accurate knowledge of neutron emitted in nuclear reaction is one of the
important factors to be considered. There are two types of neutrons; prompt
neutrons & delay neutrons. Most of the neutrons are emitted with possibly 10 -13
sec and are called prompt neutrons. A smaller number of neutrons is also
emitted with the time of several seconds or more than a minute after the
fission. These neutrons are called delay neutrons.
For sufficiently large piece of fissionable substance, the neutrons emitted are
reabsorbed by other nuclei and produce new processes which in turn produce
other neutrons. Some of the nuclei goes to the excitation due to absorption of
these neutrons & emits gamma rays, rather than fission. The ratio of the
radiations captured & fission cross-section is given by i.e.

and the

number of neutrons release per neutrons absorbed in the fissionable nuclide is

Hisham Shah

74

given by
fission is

V ave
1+

where the probability that compound nucleus decay by

( 1+ )1

C. Spontaneous Fission
Most of the heavy nuclides undergo spontaneous fission reaction rather than
emitting alpha particles & can be predicted by the empirical mass formula.
Consider a special case of symmetric and neglecting the pairing term in the
semi-empirical mass formula, the Q-value of the fission reaction can be written
as

A /2
2
Ef = z M A 2 ( z
/2 M ) c ( A )

Using Weizsachers semi-empirical mass formula

( A2 Z )
Z2
+ aa
1 /3
A
A

M ( Z , A ) =Z m p+ ( AZ ) M nav A +a s A2 /3 + ac

Substituting the values of ZMA and

{(

Ef = a s A2 /32

( ) )}
1
A
2

Ef =3.42 A 2/ 3+ 0.22

2 /3

{(

+ ac

z/2

MA/2 in equation (A), we have:

1
Z
2

( )
( )
2

Z2

A1 /3
1
A
2

1 /3

)}]

Z
MeV
1/ 3
A

This equation shows the interdependence of the Coulombs and surface energy
in such a way that change in one and that in other tends to cancel one other
partially.
Thus for spontaneous fission
2 /3

3.42 A +0.22

Ef 0

Z2
0
A 1/ 3

Hisham Shah

75
2

>3.42+0.22

Z
0
A

>0.22

>

Z
3.42
A

Z2
15
A

This relation shows that the spontaneous fission is possible if

Z2
15
A

which

gives the possibility for A 85 . However the fission with slow neutrons is still
not possible in number of heavier nuclei. To explain this discrepancy, Bohr &
Wheeler considered the Coulombs Potential Barrier of the two fragments at the
instant of the separation. The existence of this barrier prevents immediate
breaking of these two. If the height of the potential is E b, we can say that the
Ef > Eb
nucleus will be unstable and break apart into its two fragments if
. The
barrier height Eb is,
2

1
Z e2
2
Eb =
=
4 o (2 R)

( )

Eb Ef =

Z e
32 o R o

=
1/ 3

( 12 A )

0.15 Z
MeV
1/ 3
A

0.15 Z 2
Z2
Z2
2 /3
2 /3

3.42
A
+0.22
=3.42
A
0.07
A1 /3
A 1/3
A1 /3

The condition for stability is


3.42 A 2/ 30.07

It is clear that

Eb Ef > 0

Z2
Z2

0=
49
A
A 1/ 3
Z2
50 corresponds to the
A

nucleus of mass number 250, hence a


nuclide (A>250) would be unstable to exist
for more than 10-12 sec. Computing the
values of Ef & Eb for symmetric fission and
Eb E f
plotted as shown. The graph shows that

for A=250 &

Ef > Eb

for nuclei

Hisham Shah

76

with A>250. This indicate that we dont expect nuclei with A>250 to be found in
nature. The graph also shows that fission becomes exoergic in neighbourhood of
A 85 in agreement of earlier results.

"He begins working calculus problems in his head as soon as he awakens. He did calculus while
driving in his car, while sitting in the living room, and while lying in bed at night."
Mary Louise Bell, divorce complaint.

D. Fission with Liquid Drop Model


The process of Nuclear Fission can be explained on the basis of liquid drop
model, where the nucleus is treated like a drop of liquid. The incident neutron
combines with the nucleus and forms a
highly excited compound nucleus. Its extra
energy is partly the kinetic energy of the
neutron but largely added binding energy of
the incident neutron. This energy gives a
series of oscillations to the drop, which tends
to distort its spherical shape and become
ellipsoidal. The surface tension forces ends
to make the drop return to its original
spherical shape, while the excitation energy
tends to distort the shape still further. If the
excitation energy is sufficiently large, the
drop will attain the shape of dumb-bell as shown in figure.
If the oscillations are so violent, the stage fourth reaches critical stage, and
then the fission stage is not avoidable. Thus there is a threshold or critical
energy required to produce stage four after which the nucleus cant return to
stage 1st. If the distortion is not too large, the nucleus may return back to its
spherical shape by emitting the excitation energy as -rays. We thus have
radioactive captured process than the fission reaction.
The potential energy of the drop in different stages can be plotted as function of
degrees of deformation from the spherical symmetry. It is plotted against r,
where r being the separation of centres of two fission fragments. The curve is
supposed to be divided into three regions as shown in figure.

Hisham Shah

77

In region 1st, the fragments are completely


separated and their potential energy is
simply their Coulombs energy, resulting
from mutual repulsion of the two positively
charged nuclear fragments. If the distance
is 2R, the drop just touch each other,
Energy E at this point is less than the
corresponding
Coulombs
energy
by
amount of CD. This amount is equal to the
potential of the surface force which is just
active at this point. As we pass through
Region-II, we reach the critical distance r c
where potential energy curve has a
maximum value Eb. This corresponds to the barrier height and explains why
E >0
fission doesnt take place spontaneously in all cases where f
. An additional
energy

Ea E bE f

, the activation energy is required by the nuclear system,

before the potential barrier is surmounted and fission reaction takes place. In
the Region-III, the short range nuclear forces are dominant and nuclear fission is
not sure.

BOHR & WHEELERS THEORY OF NUCLEAR FISSION


The first theoretical attempt to explain nuclear fission was made by Bohr and
Wheeler in 1939. They applied simple form of analysis (Legendre Polynomial
Expansion) to express the radius r making angle with maximum deformation.

r=R 1+ l Pl ( cos )
l=0

R [ 1+ 2 P 2 ( cos ) + 3 P3 ( cos )+ ] ( A )
Here R is radius of the spherical nucleus and r is radius of the deformed
nucleus. The coefficient 2, 3 are the deformation parameters. Here 0=1=0,
as the centre of mass of the drop is assumed to remain unchanged. The surface
energy of the drop is

Es =4 R2 T , where T is the surface tension. Hence the

surface energy of the deformed drop


Es =4 r 2 T

Hisham Shah

78

2
o

r=R A

2/ 3

[ (

3
1+ 2 cos 2 +
2

2
> E s=4 R20 A2 /3 T 1+ 22+
5

Esphere
=4 R 2 T =4 R20 A2 /3 T
s
E s=E sE sphere
=4 R 20 A 2/ 3 T
s

[ ]

2 2
2 2
2 + =E sphere

s
5
5 2

The Coulombs Potential Energy of a spherical drop

Esphere
=
s

3 Z2 e2
5 4 0 r

and hence

2 2

Ec =

the deformed drop is


3
Ec = .
5

3
Ec = .
5

3 Z e
5 4 o r .

Z 2 e2
1
3
1
4 o A 3 R o 1+ 2 cos 2 +
2
2

[ (

Z 2 e2
1
3

4 o A Ro

[ (
1+ 2

1
Ec =E sphere
1 22 +
c
5

)]

3
1
cos2 +
2
2

)]

E c =Ec Ecsphere=E sphere


c

1 2
+
5 2

The total energy of variation is


1
E= E s+ Ec = 22 [ 2 E sphere
Esphere
]
s
c
5

Hisham Shah

79
sphere

2 Es

If it is positive i.e.

sphere

>Ec

, the drop is stable to the small distortions.

Fission reaction may occur spontaneously if

4 R20 A 2 /3 t<

1
E=veE s< E sphere
.
2 c

3 Z 2 e2
Z2

>45
40 o A 1/3 Ro A
Esphere
/2 E sphere
c
s
is known as fissionability parameter represented by

The ratio of
symbol .

<1 , the nucleus is stable against the spontaneous fission . It is

Thus when

possible to estimate the degree of distortion of a nucleus in the critical state by


equating the critical or threshold energy E th to the total energy of variation E.
The
sphere

Es

semi-empirical
sphere

=520 MeV Ec

4 R T =13 MeV ,

data

=830 MeV amd thus 2=

1
7 .

The

hence

energy

that

U238,

for
has

to

be

imported to the nucleus in order to reach this critical shape, the threshold
energy is given by
2

Eth =4 R2 Tf ( )=4 R20 A 3 Tf ( ) =17.8 A 3 f ( ) MeV


This energy can be calculated by neglecting the second order change in energy
due to the neck joining of the two fragments.

Eth =2 ( 4 R o ) T

Eth
4 R 2o T A 2/ 3

1 2 /3
A
2

2
3 1
Ze
5 2
( Ze )2
3
2 2/ 3
4 R o A T +

.
1 1/3 5 4 o R A 1/ 3
4 o Ro A
2

2.

( )
( )

=f ( )=0.2600.215

For an uncharged droplet

=0,f ( 0 )=0.260 , hence the critical energy is just the

work done against the surface tension in separating the two drops. For

1 ,a

small deformation from the spherical shape cause the drop to reach the critical
shape and separate.

Hisham Shah

80

If the critical energy is compared with the excitation energy, it becomes possible
Ee
to predict fission probability. The excitation energy
can be estimated by
using differences in binding energy.
Ee =B ( A +1, Z )B ( A , Z )=z M A + M nz M A+1
The values of the excitation energy calculated in this way are compared with the
corresponding values of the critical energies for different cases. It has been
observed foe Uranium-238. A critical deformation energy of 6.5 MeV is
necessary for fission, but it requires only 5.9 when it take up neutron of zero K.E.
Thus no fission is possible with thermal neutron (E~0.03 MeV). If neutron having
kinetic energy of 0.6 MeV, fission becomes possible. Expression indicates that
energy above 1 MeV is needed for fission in Uranium-238. The fission crosssection in even rapidly with neutron energy of U238 but decreases for U235. In the
case of U235, the excitation energy or the energy available by the capture of slow
neutron is greater than the threshold and unstable U 235 to become fissionable.
The reason that why for U235 and U238are fissionable different condition is in
pairing term of semi-empirical mass formula. This contribute about 0.5 MeV
extra for U238 and zero for U235 and similarly zero for U239 but is again 0 for U238.
Thus the odd-even effect is mainly the excuse for the different fission reaction in
the isotopes of the same element (lie Uranium), for different neutron energies.
In general, for various types of nuclei, after the neutrons capture, the nuclei
undergo fission with larger energies if either it contains even protons and odd
neutrons or both with odd numbers. The fission with fast neutrons will occur
with odd-even or even-odd in the some mass region of the nuclei (isotopes etc).

Quantum Effects:
The values of the excitation energy, threshold energy etc. calculated on the
above theory (Bohr and Wheeler) does not match with the experiments. The
disagreement of the theory may be due to some quantum mechanical effect.
1. Fission may occur before the threshold due to some finite probability as a
result of Quantum Tunneling effect.
2. The vibration of the drop in the distorted mode will have zero point
energy.
Using quantum tunnelling, the fission barrier penetration probability can be
expressed as

[
P e

2
(2 M ( V E ))1/2 dr
a

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81

Where M is reduced mass of the two fragments, (V-E) is the negative kinetic
energy in barrier with width b. We assume that the potential barrier has a
parabolic form i.e.

1
V = K ( rR )2
2

where r is the separation of the two

fragments and R is the separation at the top of barrier. The width of the barrier
1
b is given by ( for R= 2 b

being size of the nucleus of the fragment);

1
1
1
E= K b b b= 2 E/ K
2
2
2

Thus for the parabolic function, we have

[ ( )( ) ]
P exp

M
K

[( )
exp

For

1/2

b
1 /2
( 2 ME )
2

U 238 , E 6 MeV , b=1.51014 mM =240 / 4=60 a . m. u .

P exp100
Frankel & Metropolis obtained the life time of the spontaneous fission using
barrier penetration as
21

t=1 0

7.85 E th

10

sec
2

Where Serberg calculated it by using heavy element as

21

t =10

10

753.75

( ZA ) sec

Comparing the two equations give

Eth =19.0=0.3

( )
Z
A

which in agreements with

experiments.

Hisham Shah

82

However, if we do discover a complete theory, it should in time be understandable in broad principle by


everyone, not just a few scientists. Then we shall all, philosophers, scientists, and just ordinary people,
be able to take part in the discussion of the question of why it is that we and the universe exist. If we find
the answer to that, it would be the ultimate triumph of human reason - for then we would know the mind
of God.
Stephen Hawking, A Brief History of Time

NUCLEAR FUSION REACTIONS


"I would like nuclear fusion to become a practical power source. It would provide an inexhaustible
supply of energy, without pollution or global warming."
Stephen Hawking
Thermonuclear fusion reactions offer an inexhaustible source of energy for the future. In this
process, two light nuclei combine to form a heavier one, the total final mass being slightly less than
total initial mass. The mass difference m appears as energy E. According to Einsteins famous
equation E=mc2. It is believed that such a source of energy will provide easy, cheap and relatively
radiative free route of energy for our future needs. There are two possible ways to obtain fusion.
Beam Target Mechanism: The energetic light nuclei beam may be directed towards stationary light
nuclei in solid or gaseous form. The beam & target nuclei undergo fusion reactions and this process
is called Beam Target Mechanism. However, the technique do not work, because most of deuterons
lose energy by scattering before undergoing a fusion reaction.
THERMONUCLEAR FUSION IN STARS AND SUN

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83

The sun produces energy almost by hydrogen burning with Helium as an end point products of the
mass and sun. To get hydrogen burning started must have come from the conservation of
gravitational energy. We can estimate the gravitational energy released in the contraction of a
diffused cloud of gas to a body of the size of the sun.
Suppose the initial cloud of gas to have had the mass of sun and to have been spread over a volume
of the sun to be approximately constant density rho, then
R

Ereal = F grad dr =
0

G M1M2
dr
R
R0

( v )( A )
G
4
16 2 G
16 2 G 5 2
Ereal =G
dr = R 3 ( 4 R2 ) 2 dr=
R 4 dr=
R

R
R0 3
3
15
0
0

16 2 G 2
16 2 G 5 2
4
R
dr=
R

3
15
0

Ereal =

As

2
16 2 G R 50 M 20
3 G M0
=
15
16 2 6 5 R
R
9

M =Mass of Sun 21033 grams

R=71010 cm

G=6.6108 ( cgs units )

Ereal =210 48 ergs


Since the energy of a mass of a gas at temperature T is RT per mole, one mole of ionized hydrogen
gas is approximately equal to grams. If the sun is pure atomic hydrogen, then it contains
2*10^33 moles, and at temperature T, the thermal energy will be Eth 2*10^33 RT.
If all the gravitational energy released in the contraction of the sun to present, size was converted to
heat, then the temperature is given by,
210 48=210 33 RT=T =179 K
In the central region, the temperature and the pressure of the star will be at maximum and because of
the continual loss of the radiation from the surface, a temperature gradient will exist in the star and
the energy which is generated in the core will transport outward and become degraded until it is
radiated from surface. The surface temperature of the sun is 6000 K, and so the mean temperature
gradient is 1 K per 100 meters. If the temperature of 10^7 K in the interior of the sun was insufficient
to drive the thermonuclear process at a rate capable of sustaining the sun in equilibrium, then the sun
would contract releasing more gravitational energy and hence raising the interior temperature until

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84

the hydrogen burning went far enough to prevent further collapse. We must conclude that a
temperature of 10^7 K is sufficient to generate thermonuclear power at a rate that will balance
energy loss.
NUCLEAR FUSION
In contrast to fission reaction, nuclear fusion is a process where light nuclei fuse together and form a
relatively heavier nucleus. The mass difference of the reacting and product nucleus and particle goes
to the energy carried by the products. The general form of the reaction is
X +Y Z +a+Q(energy released , carried by Z A)

The energy release per fusion reaction is actually less than the fission reaction but the energy releases
in this case is large in comparison with fission reaction per mass of the fuel. In simple words, in
order to obtain the same amount of energy as released by one gram of fissionable material, we need
fuel less than one gram. In this way, we prefer fusion reaction than fission. Another important
advantage of fusion is that the fuel is cheap, easy to obtain and have large abundance. The reason
that nuclear fusion reaction in certain nuclei is possible can be explained using binding energy curve.
The BE/nucleon in the lower mass number A (nuclei) favour nuclear fusion than nuclear fission in
having mass number.
SOURCE OF ENERGY IN STARS AND SUN
It has been observed that the sun (our home star) emits
continuously electromagnetic radiation at rate of about 10^26
The energy released in
joule. The second astronomical and geological data provide
fusion of lighter nuclei into
evidence that sun has been emitting this much energy for
heavier nuclei is called
several billion years. Chemical reactions can not be a source of
this much energy, because even if the sun is supposed to thermonuclear fusion.
consist of pure carbon, its complete combustion would supply energy to mantain the radiations only
for few thousand years. The question is how can the sun have maintained this much energy output so
long and what is the source of all stellar energy? Helmholtz (1853) suggested that source of energy in
sunmmight be due to the gravitational contraction and conversion of gravitational energy into heat
energy. This conversion of energy is similar to the production of electricity from falling water.
However it was shown later on that if the contraction take place, the supply of energy from the sun
could not be more than 1% of the total output needed and the life of the sun must be too short. With
discovery of radioactivity at the end of 19th century, it was suggested that radioactivity is contributing
the energy of the sum of annihilation of the +ve and ve changes are the most valid source. In the
core of the sun, thermonuclear reactions occur which are responsible for about 90% of the suns
energy similarly all other stars are examples of plasma state.
Bethe in 1939 suggested that the production of stellar energy is caused by thermonuclear reaction in
which helium nuclei are synthesized by four hydrogen nuclei (i.e. proton). Recent results show that
sun temperature corresponds to the proton-proton chain. In carbon-nitrogen chain, cyclic carbon act
as a short catalyst in facilitating four hydrogen combined to form helium nucleus. The reactions are,

Hisham Shah

85
13
6
C12+ 1 H 1 (7 N 13
) 7 N + ( 1.94 MeV ) ; ( 10 years )

++ ( Q=2.2 MeV ) ; ( 10 minutes )


13
13

7 N ( 6C ) +
14
5
C13+ 1 H 1 (7 N 14
) 7 N + ( Q=7.55 MeV ) ; ( 210 years )

15
7
H 1+7 N14 (8O 15
) 8O + ( Q=7.15 MeV ) ; ( 310 years )

++ ( Q=2.76 MeV ) ; ( 2 minutes )


15
15

8O 7 N +

12
4
4
H 1 +7 N15 8O16
6C + 2 He + ( Q=4.96 MeV ) ; ( 10 years )

++2 + ( Q=26.7 MeV )


1

4 1 H 2 He +2
It must be noted that this chain reaction can be started either with carbon or nitrogen since each is
reproduced in the reaction.
The four protons are associated with four electrons to maintain electrical neutralit, where two are
required in helium...and rest of two combine readily with protons emitted in the form of gamma rays.
In P-P chain, two protons first fuse together to produce deutronic (1H4). These reactions can be
represented as
++ ( Q=0.42 MeV ) ; ( 7107 years )

1 1
2

1 H + 1H 1 H +

H 2 +1 H1 2 He3 + ( Q=5.5 MeV ) ; ( 10 sec )

+ ( Q=12.8 MeV ) ; ( 3105 years )


He 3 +2 He3 2He4 + 1 H 1 + 1 H 1+

++2 +2 (Q=26.7 MeV )


1

4 1 H 2 He +2
The proton emitted are annihilated with free electron forming gamma rays.

Hisham Shah

86

H. Bondi and S.S. Salpeter (1952) developed experimental relation for the rate at which energy is
liberated in each of the above equations. The P-P chain reaction varies slowly with temperature,
roughly T^4 and is more important at lower temperatures. The carbon-nitrogen cycle dominates at
high temperature in the vicinity of about 18*10^6 K.
The rate of energy generation in the sun is the same both for P-P and C-N but P-P dominates (96%)
because interior temperature of the suns core is 1.5*10^6 K.
CONTROLLED THERMONUCLEAR FUSION
Controlled thermonuclear fusion is assumed to be inexhaustible source of energy for the future. It is
believed that such a source will provide energy cheap and relatively radiative free route of energy for
our future needs. The most promising method to achieve controlled fusion is to heat the fuel to a
sufficient high temperature so that thermal velocities of the nuclei are high enough to produce the
required reactions, such a sssss is referred to Thermonuclear Fusion reactions. The few reactions of
particular interests are

3 1

D + 1 D 2 He 0n ( Q=2.73 MeV )

D2 + 1 D2 1T 3 + p ( Q=4.03 MeV )

D2 + 1T 3 2 He4 + 0n1 ( Q=17.6 MeV )

D2 + 2 He3 2 He4 + 1 H 1 ( Q=18.3 MeV )

The energy released in the fusion of


lighter nuclei into heavier nuclei is
called
thermonuclear
fusion.
Controlled thermo- nuclear reactors
or thermonuclear powerplants are the
primary source of energy for future.
The temperature required to start the
fusion reaction can be obtained by
bombarding the protons with high
energy particle and with high energy
laser beam.

Among all these nuclear fusion reactions, the deuterium-tritium

D + 1T 2 He+ 0n 1

has

large cross-section even at relatively low (~10^4 KeV) temperature and has large Q value as
compared to

D2 + 1 D2 reactions .

For those reactions most of experimental test reactor programs are based on D-T fuel and probably
the first prototype commercial reactor will utilize D-T fuel. To achieve Thermonuclear Fusion
energy, one needs to solve two problems.
1. To produce and heat the fuel (plasma of the fuel) to thermonuclear fusion temperature.
2. To confine it for long enough time in suitable arrangements to produce more fusion energy
than expended in heating the fuel.

Hisham Shah

87

These twin requirements can be written as

P output
=
Pinput

When =1, we say that the power consumed to heat and confined are equal and is called break-even
condition. For commercial reactor, we would require about > 10. The value of = 1 is critical
value and after > 1, we will have a self-sustained fusion reaction. The output power fusion power
(output of the reactor) is (for D-T case).
=nD n T

.....................

n D , nT

Where

are the deuterium and tritium particle elements.

Q is the energy released per fusion (D-T fusion) reaction.


v> DT
is D-T fusion reaction cross-section average over Maxwells velocity distribution.

The input power is related to the internal (thermal) energy (of the fuel plasma) i.e.
E

is the energy confinement time. For break-even (D-T) confinement,

n D nT <

For

3 KT
n
2 E . Hence

v> DT Q DT
3 KT
2 nD
2 E

( )

=1

n=2n D =2 nT

n E=

12 KT
v> Q

v> DT ( 10 KeV )=1.11016 c m3 /sec

1014 sec
DT
c m3 for

The relation

is called Lawson criterion which relates the density of the fuel to the

confinement time E for a fixed temperature.

Hisham Shah

88
14

n E 10 sec/c m for DT reaction


n E 1016 sec /c m3 for DDreaction
Once the fuel attain the temperature, the density etc and confinement time above these values the
reaction by products (say alpha particles and neutrons in case of DT) deposits their energy of MeV
level within the fuel plasma and self sustained reaction start-up. The condition where the fusion
reaction ignites the plasma further to react is known as ignition temperature. Once we reach to
ignition temperature, we in principle, dont need any further heating. The ignition temperature for
D-T and D-D reactions are
T I ( DT ) 4 KeV
T I ( DD ) 36 KeV

Approaches to Controlled Fusion


In order to achieve the goal of controlled fusion one need heat, confine the hot dense plasma of the
usual deuterium-tritium or deuterium-deutrium gas. There are two common and popular approaches
i.e. Inertial Confinement Fusion (ICF), and Magnetic Confinement Fusion being pursued for
controlled thermonuclear reactions to take place. There are two approaches based on non-thermal
process called Cold Fusion e.g. muon-catalysized and fusion through electrolysis, both are less
popular.
In pinch device, the plasma formation is smaller as like an ordinary light blue, but high density of the
fuel is filled in the cylindrical class tube and is discharged by passing a current of kilo to mega
ampere level within short time. The first power discharge generates strong magnetic field on the
surface of the cylindrical plasma column. If the current flows in Z direction, a magnetic field in Fr =J z B
direction is produced. The plasma is then compressed due to Lorentz force
. Such a type
of compression by self generated magnetic field is known as pinch-device. The few common type
pinch devices used for controlled fusion are z-pinch (current flow in z-direction), -pinch (current
flows in -direction) and plasma focus etc. Hot and dense plasma formation have been observed in
all these devices.
In magnetic mirror, the fusion fuel plasma is usually confined in a bottle shaped magnetic field. The
system consist of straight tube with magnetic coils wounded around it in such a way as to provide a
field that is considerably stronger at the ends than in the middle. The ion moves in spiral orbits with
radius of curvature

(r = mveB )

inversly proportional to the strength of the magnetic field and in

certain conditions reflect back when move in the region of strong magnetic field. This arrangement
for longer time without loss of particles. In closed end devices like toroidal (TOKAMAK) and
twisted toroidal (stellerator), the plasma confined so that the particles loss problems associated with
Hisham Shah

89

the opened device could be overcome. In tokamak, a popular one, the magnetic field with the line of
force parallel to the circumference of the ring-type tube is produced by winding a coil of wire around
thr tube passing electric current through it. In order to avoid certain problems, additional coils are
usually placed at the centre which gives an additional magnetic field. To date, Tokamak is the most
successful and has reached the limits of break-even condition on big machines like JET (Joint
European Torus, in UK) and TFTR (Princeton, USA). Scientific community hopes that availability of
commercial fusion reactor will be possible within one or two decades. In this regard, conceptual
design of ITER (International Test Experimental Reactor) is in completion and will be available for
operation upto 2010, probably.
INERTIAL CONFINEMENT FUSION
In inertial confinement fusion (ICF) approach, the objective is to compress and heat a pullet (a solid
spherical ball shaped fuel of fusion) by focusing of implos... (inward compression due to pressure of
oblating material) carried by some drivers e.g. Laser or particle beams as shown.

When light fall on the surface of the fuel pellet, the... oblates and generates pressure inward radially
(rocket like ach... due to Newtons third law). The rest of the fuel is compressed due to this pressure
and becomes very hot (strong shock-wave propagation). The strong shockwave generated by the
ablation pressure converges at the centre resulting dense and hot plasma a centre of pellet as shown
in stage 3. The dense hot deuterium-tritium fuel burn due to fusion reaction and in result, alpha
particle deposit their energy within the fuel pellet heating further it and heat propagates outward as
shown in stage 4. The whole process takes few nanoseconds and therefore......................................

Magnetic Confinement Fusion:


Historically, this method was find among all the pursued due to the fact that electrically charged
plasma particles (D-T ions and electrons) treats along a line of magnetic field or spiral around in a
cork-screw fashion. In this approach, the D-T fuel plasma ions are trapped in a suitable shape in a
magnetic field, away from the wall of the container, for sufficiently long time. During this time of
plasma confinement the high temperature and density has to be built up so that sufficient reaction can
take place. There are two types of machines i.e. open and closed type, each one has their merits
and demerits. The requirement of temperature density and confinement time have, so far, been met
separately in different devices but at one simultaneously. The few famous type of arrangements are
as shown

Hisham Shah