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Nuclear terms definitions

Updated on July 15, 2015

Terms & definitions


Nuclear battery: It is a battery in which the electric current is produced from the energy of radioactive decay, either directly or by collecting beta particles or indirectly.


Nuclear binding energy:One which holds together the constituent nucleons of the nucleus of an atom and it is equivalent to the mass difference between the masses of the atom and the sum of the individual masses of its constituents, expressed in MeV or a.m.u.


Nuclear breeder: It is a nuclear reactor in which, in each generation there is more fissionable material produced than is used up in fission.


Nuclear charge: It is the positive electric charge of a nucleus and it is equivalent to the atomic number and to the number of protons in the nucleus.


Nuclear chemistry: It is the study of reactions involving the transmutation of elements, either by spontaneous decay or by particle bombardment.


Nuclear disintegration: Fission, radioactive decay, internal conversion or isomeric transition.


Nuclear emission: It is the emission of gamma ray or particle from nucleus of atom as distinct from emission associated with orbital phenomena.


Nuclear field: It refers to the postulated short range field within a nucleus, which holds protons and neutrons together, possibly in shells.


Nuclear fission: It is the splitting of the nucleus of an atom into nuclei of lighter atoms, accompanied by the release of energy.


Nuclear force: A very strong, short range attractive force acting between nucleons. Nuclear force act over a range up to about 2*10^-15 and are much stronger than electromotive force, so are able to overcome the electrostatic repulsion between protons in the nucleus.


Nuclear isomer: It is a pair of isotopes of the same proton and neutron numbers, but in different quantum states. Thus they have different stability.


Nuclear magnetic resonance: It refers to the nuclei of certain isotopes, behave like small bar magnets and will line up when placed in a strong d.c. magnetic field and it is abbreviated as NMR.


Nuclear magneton:It is a unit of magnetic moment, used to measure proton spin and approximately equal to 1/1836 Bohr magneton.


Nuclear medicine:It is the application of radio nuclides in the diagnosis or treatment of disease.


Nuclear membrane:It is the double membrane punctuated by nuclear pore complex which surrounds the interphase nucleus, the outer membrane being continuous with the membrane of the endoplasmic reticulum.


Nuclear model: One which explains certain properties of the nucleus such as particle model, liquid point model etc.


Nuclear physics: It is the branch of physics that deals with the behaviour, structure and component parts of atomic nucleus.


Nuclear potential: It is the potential energy of a nuclear particle in the field of a nucleus as determined by the short range forces acting.


Nuclear power: It is the electric power generated through nuclear energy.


Nuclear propulsion: Refers to the use of the energy released by a nuclear reaction to provide propulsive thrust heating the working fluid or providing electric power for an ion or similar propulsion system.


Nuclear radius: Refers to the radius of a nucleus within which the density of the nucleons is nearly constant. The radius in meters is 1.2*10^-15 times the cube root of the nuclear number.


Nuclear reaction: It is the reaction which involves nuclei. Such reactions include the spontaneous disintegration of a single nucleus, the formation of a new nucleus from two smaller nuclei or absorption of a photon, neutron or other particle.


Nuclear weapon: It is an explosive device in which explosive energy is produced by nuclear reactions.


© 2009 dinkan53

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