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Nucleus of iron molecule

  1. Jun 10, 2012 #1
    I have heard that iron is quite special in that no matter how much temp. and pressure is present, it will not change to a molecule of greater atomic number. I keep wondering about the geometry of the arrangement of protons and neutrons in the iron atoms' nucleus that could account for this effect. Is there a theory or explanation of how comfortable, or locked in these parts can be?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 10, 2012 #2


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    You are mixing several concepts and your nomenclature is off, so it is hard to say what you mean. When you write molecule you most likely mean atom. And it is not true that iron nucleus can't be changed to anything else (if that's what you mean). Yes, iron nucleus has the highest binding energy per nucleon, which means if will not spontaneously fuse into anything else (if "spontaneous" makes sense in this context at all). But in the correct conditions it is possible to use iron nuclei in the synthesis of heavier elements, just the reaction is endothermic - you need to put the energy in for the synthesis to occur.
  4. Jun 10, 2012 #3
    Yes, atom; sorry. So I'm wondering if there is any theory regarding the makeup of the nucleus. What would that be called? Thanks much.
  5. Jun 10, 2012 #4


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  6. Jun 10, 2012 #5


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    And you should be learning about basic atomic and then nuclear physics first before trying to apply that to explain the properties of iron nucleus.

    The topic on nuclear theory is now off topic to the Atomic, Solid State, Comp. Physics forum.

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