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B What are some modern issues in the world of Nuclear physics?

  1. Apr 8, 2016 #1
    Hello!

    I was just wondering what this community is aware of in the world of modern nuclear physics. To be specific, for my assignment I am asked to research a topic or issue that is related to nuclear physics (and has relations to our daily lives). Some examples provided are:

    • The use of radiation for the treatment of foods is a safe way to extend the shelf life of perishable foods and address an impending crisis in food shortages in the world today.
    • The application of nuclear medical technology is an important adjunct to diagnostic medicine and provides an effective means for the monitoring and treatment of disease (we were shown an example of a student who wrote about MRI machines).
    • As a source of energy, nuclear energy provides a safer alternative that current fossil fuel technology for the production of energy for large-scale consumption.
    These examples are great, but since nearly everybody in the year level will be researching these topics, I feel inclined to look into something else.

    If you have any ideas or know of issues/upcoming issues that are worth researching, please tell!

    Thanks,
    Trontor.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 8, 2016 #2

    mfb

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    Related to it, but not the mainstream nuclear energy: radioisotope generators, nuclear rocket propulsion concepts, ... - okay, not the daily life for most of us, but the medical applications are just for a small part of the population as well.
    Tritium is used to make various things glow.

    The three areas you listed have so many different subtopics that everyone can find something there.
     
  4. Apr 8, 2016 #3
    IIRC neutron sources are used in geology (prospecting) - they are lowered into boreholes to map elemental composition of rock layers.

    Carbon/lead/etc radionuclide dating of rocks and manmade structures.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Krypton-85
    Krypton-85 was used in cold-cathode voltage regulator electron tubes, such as the type 5651.
    Krypton-85 is used to test for leaks in semiconductors (MIL-STD-883H) and piping.
    Krypton-85 is used to ionizing of spark gap inlet gases for breakdown voltage.
    Krypton-85 is used in neutralization of electrostatically charged aerosols from nebulization, combustion, or powder dispersion.
    Krypton-85 is also used to measure extruded film or coating weight during online production.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Industrial_radiography
    [/PLAIN] [Broken]
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commonly_used_gamma-emitting_isotopes

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_beta_emitters[/URL] [Broken]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 7, 2017
  5. Apr 8, 2016 #4

    mfb

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    The Dawn spacecraft uses a neutron spectrometer to measure the composition of the surface of Ceres.

    All the radiological dating methods use nuclear physics.

    A significant fraction of the natural background radiation we all receive comes from decay chains involving radon.
     
  6. Apr 8, 2016 #5
    You're on fire! Thanks for all these suggestions, they're awesome. How are you finding these?
     
  7. Apr 8, 2016 #6

    mfb

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    I knew of them before, so randomly thinking about nuclear processes and where they are used leads to such a list.

    We have a thread about Dawn
     
  8. Apr 9, 2016 #7

    ohwilleke

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    Not quite so bright and shiny and happy, but disposing of high level nuclear waste is the biggest barrier by far to wide adoption of nuclear electricity generation.
     
  9. Apr 10, 2016 #8
    Cost seems to be a barrier too. Nuclear power promised to be uber-cheap, but in fact it is only on par with other methods.
     
  10. Apr 13, 2016 #9
    fussion nuclear energy
     
  11. Apr 30, 2016 #10

    ohwilleke

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    Waste disposal concerns is what drives most of the excessive cost.
     
  12. May 12, 2016 #11
    THORIUM is your word. Their are many nuclear fuels that can be used in reactors but the nuclear industry only builds reactors that use Weaponrized material. THORIUM all the nuclear benifits whith no weaponized radioactive elements of enriched Uranium Plutonium
     
  13. May 13, 2016 #12

    Drakkith

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