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Good Textbook for Nuclear science?

  1. Mar 18, 2015 #1
    I am close to finishing learning calculus on my own, I am reading quick calculus
    And I finished reading Merrill Physics and Principles(really liked the book) although I am still taking general physics class in HS.
    I am a little behind on chemistry so I will read this textbook and I am still taking General Chemsitry
    Do I meet the requirements to understand the type of content in a nuclear physics text book? PLEASE ;____; give me some suggestions for good nuclear science books, in particular I am looking for one that is good like the merrill physics book which includes many problems, science explanations and applications to science explained.
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 19, 2015 #2

    Vanadium 50

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    Nuclear physics is studied at the graduate level, although sometimes it is introduced at the advanced undergraduate level. So you have 3-4 more years of study to go.
  4. Mar 19, 2015 #3


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  5. Mar 22, 2015 #4


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    Krane Introductory Nuclear Physics is the "classic" introductory book for nuclear physics. It's a little old fashioned these days, but it's still what I turn to if I need to look up any basics, and what I recommend. It's also readily available. Nuclear Physics: Principles and Applications by Lilley is less old fashioned, cheaper and a bit of an easier read than Krane. I don't like it as much, but it's pretty good.

    If you want a little particle physics as well, there is Martin Nuclear and Particle Physics: An Introduction, which is also pretty ok. Introduction to Nuclear and Particle Physics by Das and Ferbel is also good.

    These are all nuclear physics texts, of course, unlike QuantumPion's suggestion, which is nuclear engineering.

    ETA: You do absolutely require some quantum mechanics though to study nuclear science. After all, nuclear physics is the ultimate example of a finite quantum system.
  6. Apr 16, 2015 #5
    Hi friend, how much quantum mechanics is necessary for nuclear engineering? Do you know of any good books that will fulfill the requirements for quantum mechanics in nuclear engineering? I have heard of Max Born's book on atomic physics, would it be sufficient?
  7. Apr 16, 2015 #6


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    For undergrad level nuclear engineering and practical applications, quantum mechanics does not come into play at all.
  8. Apr 16, 2015 #7
    cool beans friend, thank you very much for all of your outstanding replies.
  9. Apr 16, 2015 #8

    jim hardy

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    I found Glasstone & Sessonske's "Nuclear Reactor Engineering" easier to digest than Lamarsch.

    A beginner might prefer the older edition(early 1960's) with a Yankee plant on front cover (spherical containment). It leans toward the practical , especially the chapter on instrumentation which is notably missing in later editions.


    there's one on ebay now.
  10. Apr 16, 2015 #9


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    The answer depends on what aspect of nuclear science or engineering in which one is interested. There are numerous texts on introductory nuclear physics, which either incorporate some basic material on special relativity and quantum physics/mechanics, which are appropriate for undergraduates, or slightly more advanced texts for graduates, which assume one has a physics degree.

    Nuclear reactor physics or nuclear reactor engineering is quite different from nuclear and particle physics, although there are common elements. I agree with e.bar.goum his recommendations.

    I have a number of Glasstone books, including Glasstone & Sesonske, and Bell and Glasstone. Books that involve transport theory are much more complicated than those that do not. Many older texts in nuclear engineering limit themselves to diffusion theory, which is easier to master.
  11. Apr 17, 2015 #10
    Would glasstone be the better option for nuclear engineering? Will diffusion theory do a good job explaining how nuclear devices work and how to build them? I have little expeirence in nuclear engineering, I think I
    should read glasstone's books first and then go on to read more complicated texts like https://www.amazon.com/Introduction...5&sr=8-1&keywords=lamarsh&tag=viglink20267-20
    wil books that include transport theory still include diffusion theory?
    Last edited by a moderator: May 7, 2017
  12. Apr 17, 2015 #11


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    The Glasstone books are old - 1950-1970. Bell and Glasstone (1970) addresses transport theory. Lamarsh may be a better book; chapter 4 discusses nuclear reactors and nuclear fuel.

    What does one mean by devices?

    The heart of a nuclear reactor is the nuclear fuel. Books like Lamarsh deal more with theory than application. Examples of fuel management are generally limited to first cores. Fuel element design and core design are not addressed in detail, except in specialized courses or on the job.

    If one is interested in nuclear engineering, it would be best to obtain a university degree in nuclear engineering where one learns about the nuclear science and engineering aspects of nuclear energy/systems.

    Nuclear Reactor Design (a relatively modern book)

    http://www.springer.com/us/book/9784431548973 (see download sample pages - some good references there)
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2015
  13. Apr 17, 2015 #12
    I don't know that Lamarsh is "more complicated" than "Glasstone." They are both introductory texts. Lamarsh is the standard introductory textbook for nuclear engineers.

    Neutron transport is only part of the design/operation of a nuclear reactor. DIffusion theory is an approximation of kinetic transport. Its very useful in understand neutron transport, but it has limitations.

    Yes most good texts on transport cover diffusion theory.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 7, 2017
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