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Radioactivity - quantum tunnelling

  1. Sep 3, 2012 #1
    Can anyone link to a synthetic and understandable explanation of radioactivity through basic quantum mechanics? It does not need to be a comprehensive explanation at all, examples or partial explanations are fine. Online class notes are welcome but so are books suggestions.

    Thanks in advance
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 3, 2012 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    What do you mean by "synthetic"?
  4. Sep 3, 2012 #3
    Relatively short.
  5. Sep 3, 2012 #4


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    What does or doesn't work for you about the WP article(s)? Do you want something more technical? Re the title of the thread, of the common types of decay, only alpha decay and fission are usually interpreted as proceeding through tunneling. Beta and gamma are different. The quantum mechanics of gamma decay is fundamentally no different than the quantum mechanics involved in atomic transitions, so if you already know about that, you're good there as far as the basics.
  6. Sep 4, 2012 #5
    WP article about radioactive decay is too detailed. All I need is something that links a "potential well" situation to the half life of a substance, for instance.
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