I Nuclear physics prospects

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Hello! I am sorry if this question is silly, but I really don't know much about nuclear physics so I am actually curious. How much physics insight can the nuclear physics research give us?

Most of the particle physics experiments aim to search for BSM physics, but as far as I understand (again I know almost nothing so please bear with my ignorance) in the nuclear physics they are trying to understand properties of the nucleus to get a better understanding of the nuclear force, how it emerges from the strong force, understand multi body correlations etc.. But this is not really BSM physics, it's physics we know about, we just don't have the mathematical tools to explain it so we need experiments to be able to get a better insight into what is going on.

Overall it seems that most of the nuclear physics experiments are done just because they should be done, so we have a better understanding of the properties of as many nuclei as possible. But is there anything more to it than this? Can something unexpected show up, or something fundamentally new be learnt about nature? Thank you!
 
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Vanadium 50

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You can make the same criticism about solid state physics, accelerator physics, astrophysics, atomic physics, molecular physics, optical physics, biological physics...
 
You can make the same criticism about solid state physics, accelerator physics, astrophysics, atomic physics, molecular physics, optical physics, biological physics...
I didn't make any criticism... As I stated, I don't know much about the latest advances in nuclear physics and it was a genuine question. I didn't mean to imply that new physics can't come from nuclear research, I was just asking what kind of new physics (or anything unexpected/unpredicted by theory) can come out of it. For example, for accelerator physics, you have all the searches at CERN which are looking for DM, SUSY etc. or for solid state physics one can search for high temperature superconductivity, for example or from astrophysics one might get a better insight about DM. My question was just what possibilities are there for nuclear physics.
 

Vanadium 50

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For example, for accelerator physics, you have all the searches at CERN which are looking for DM, SUSY etc.
That's not accelerator physics, which is the physics of accelerators.

for solid state physics one can search for high temperature superconductivity
But this is many-body physics, something that was specifically on your list of things that you pooh-poohed.
 
That's not accelerator physics, which is the physics of accelerators.



But this is many-body physics, something that was specifically on your list of things that you pooh-poohed.
Ok... but this still doesn't answer my question... And again, I am not sure why you assume I "pooh-poohed" nuclear physics. It was a genuine question. I am aware I don't know much about that topic so I was just curious what are the physics frontiers in that area. I am sorry if the question offended you somehow, but it was definitely not meant to offend anyone.
 

Vanadium 50

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I don't think your question is clear enough to answer. Why does many-body physics "count" for solid state and not fro nuclear?
 

ZapperZ

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Hello! I am sorry if this question is silly, but I really don't know much about nuclear physics so I am actually curious. How much physics insight can the nuclear physics research give us? Most of the particle physics experiments aim to search for BSM physics, but as far as I understand (again I know almost nothing so please bear with my ignorance) in the nuclear physics they are trying to understand properties of the nucleus to get a better understanding of the nuclear force, how it emerges from the strong force, understand multi body correlations etc.. But this is not really BSM physics, it's physics we know about, we just don't have the mathematical tools to explain it so we need experiments to be able to get a better insight into what is going on. Overall it seems that most of the nuclear physics experiments are done just because they should be done, so we have a better understanding of the properties of as many nuclei as possible. But is there anything more to it than this? Can something unexpected show up, or something fundamentally new be learnt about nature? Thank you!
The word "insight" here is vague. It seems that it can only be an "insight" if it deals with a BSM physics. Don't you think your criteria for something to produce an "insight" is rather narrow and naive?

In your book, condensed matter physics doesn't produce any "insight" into physics because, obviously it doesn't do research in any BSM physics. But look closely and figure out, for example, where the Higgs mechanism came from.

Overall, you have a very skewered idea of physics and what it does. It is also highly outdated.

Zz.
 

PAllen

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Hello! I am sorry if this question is silly, but I really don't know much about nuclear physics so I am actually curious. How much physics insight can the nuclear physics research give us? Most of the particle physics experiments aim to search for BSM physics, but as far as I understand (again I know almost gnothing so please bear with my ignorance) in the nuclear physics they are trying to understand properties of the nucleus to get a better understanding of the nuclear force, how it emerges from the strong force, understand multi body correlations etc.. But this is not really BSM physics, it's physics we know about, we just don't have the mathematical tools to explain it so we need experiments to be able to get a better insight into what is going on. Overall it seems that most of the nuclear physics experiments are done just because they should be done, so we have a better understanding of the properties of as many nuclei as possible. But is there anything more to it than this? Can something unexpected show up, or something fundamentally new be learnt about nature? Thank you!
Simple answer to your last sentence: yes and yes, unless you DEFINE fundamental in an artificially narrow way.
 

Vanadium 50

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a very skewered idea of physics
LOL! I love your spill chucker!

(But I think you might have meant "skewed", even if "skewered" fits better.)
 

ZapperZ

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LOL! I love your spill chucker!

(But I think you might have meant "skewed", even if "skewered" fits better.)
Can't blame the spell checker on that one. I meant "skewed", but I typed "skewered". I seem to be doing that a lot lately. I'm definitely getting old!

Zz.
 
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Actually, you can learn a good bit about fundamental physics through nuclear reactions. In particular, you can study the CKM matrix via superallowed fermi transitions and pin down the the fermi coupling constant. Other ways to study fundamental physics in nuclear reactions is to look at specific ##\beta##-decays to find evidence that conflicts with the usual phenomenological models, like the shell model. Such discrepancies can indicate the presence of meson currents, which everyone assumes is responsible for binding nucleons, but for which there is no experimental evidence demonstrating that meson currents are required to explain anything that the shell model does not.

Generally, that might be done by looking at decays of "simple" nuclei, i.e., nuclei with closed core plus a single particle or hole. The approach is to basically look for system of such nuclei and then measure the decay rates (and possible branching ratios) from one to some state or states of the other. Other types of experiments are double beta decay, especially neutrinoless, since a neutrinoless double beta decay would indicate that neutrinos are their own anti-particles. Primarily, fundamental physics in nuclear physics means looking at low energy weak interaction phenomena.
 

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