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B Overcoming binding energy

  1. Jun 15, 2017 #1
    I understand that nuclei can overcome some of their binding energy by being excited, which allows them to promptly emit nucleons. Is there any requirement as to how this energy is delivered/ obtained? For example, a Be 9 nucleus emits a neutron when excited via photon to 1.667 MeV. Would the same emission occur if a Be 9 4+ ion (Be 9 nucleus) were accelerated to 1.667MeV of kinetic energy? In short, are these types of reactions effected by how the nucleus gains the energy needed to trigger them?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 15, 2017 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    No, because that energy isn't going into one of the states that the nucleons can take, it's going into the acceleration of the entire nucleus. To cause an emission of a neutron one or more nucleons need to be excited out of their ground states.

    It's a bit like the difference between accelerating in a jet fighter to mach 3 versus sitting on the ground and pulling the ejection handle. The pilot may have far more energy when flying at mach 3, but the energy isn't going into launching them out of the cockpit.
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