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About the field of nuclear physics

  1. Sep 25, 2017 #1
    hi dears
    first i hope that this is the right position to my topic
    I am a student and i want to know what is the future of nuclear physics researches and what if this field is still promising or not
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 25, 2017 #2


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    nuclear physics (not to be confused with particle physics) is a relatively mature field for research, but there are some things of interest still going on. Very recently there was a paper on the decomposition of Carbon-12 into 3 alpha particles. A lot of nuclear physics research is motivated by the need to develop better nuclear reactor designs.
  4. Sep 29, 2017 #3


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    Well, there's also nuclear physics in the ultrarelativistic energy regime, i.e., heavy-ion research, and there some of the most interesting questions are asked, e.g., where does the mass of the matter surrounding us (and we are made of) come from, and the answer is not the Higgs field, which makes only about 2% of the mass; the rest is due to the strong interaction and not very well understood yet. Another question to be answered is about the equation of state of hot and dense strongly interacting matter, including phase (or cross-over) transitions between a partonic (quark-gluon plasma) and hadron-resonance gas phase, how everything is related to confinement and chiral symmetry (and its breaking), how to understand neutron stars, including neutron-star mergers and gravitational-wave signals related to them (maybe being announced in October by LIGO/Virgo), supernova explosions, and what not. Related is also the question about the processes creating the heavy elements in the universe going on not only in stars during their usual lifecylce (leading to the elements up to iron) but also in supernova explosions and neutron-star mergers, involving neutron-rich nuclei which can only be investigated in heavy-ion facilities.

    Such research is going on for quite some decades now. At the moment active are the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider at the Brookhaven National Lab on Long Island, at the LHC@CERN, and at GSI (Helmholtz Center for Heavy Ion Research) in Darmstadt, Germany. There a new accelerator is built up in the new Facility for Antiproton Ion Research, FAIR. Another one under construction is the Nuclotron-based Ion Collider fAcility (NICA) in Dubna, Russia and one more planned at JPARC in Japan. Here are some links to these labs:

  5. Sep 29, 2017 #4
    Another area of nuclear physics of current interest is in stellar nulceosysthesis the study of the formation of the elements and their distributions in stars. These studies typically take place at relatively low energies that do not require massive facilities.

    Visit the Joint Institute of Nuclear Astrophsyics: http://www.jinaweb.org/html/vision.html
  6. Sep 29, 2017 #5


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    Just a friendly advice, since I'm guessing that English may not be your first language. You should not address someone, especially in the professional setting as "dears".

    Coming back to the topic, maybe it might help if you let us know what you think is this field of study called "nuclear physics". It might be best to start there, BEFORE you consider it as something you want to consider. In other words, let's figure out if you know what it is, and maybe correct a few wrong impressions that you might have first.

  7. Oct 15, 2017 #6
    One topic of potential future research I ran into in school that I found interesting was the theory of an island of (relative) stability in the chart of includes.

    The idea is that given the inherent nuclide stability given by the "magic numbers". (Not magic, just what they're called) There is a proposed region of super heavy elements that would actually be pretty stable. So currently as you increase the element number they become more and more unstable with shorter half lives but eventually you hit the island and half lives get much longer.
  8. Oct 17, 2017 #7
    The structure of nuclei far from stability. There are a number of facilities in operation and under construction around the world directed at this kind of research using rare isotope beams.
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