Video Lectures

Lecture 4: Binding Energy, the Semi-Empirical Liquid Drop Nuclear Model, and Mass Parabolas

Description: We formally define the binding energy of a nucleus and check our definition with examples from the KAERI Table of Nuclides. We imagine that a nucleus is akin to a droplet of liquid, and construct a semi-empirical mass formula to predict its stability given any number of protons and neutrons. We then construct mass parabolas to explore which nucleus is most stable given a certain number of protons or neutrons. This helps us understand mathematically why certain isotopes undergo which types of radioactive decay, and why certain isotopes are stable.

Instructor: Michael Short

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Course Info

As Taught In
Fall 2016
Learning Resource Types
Lecture Videos
Problem Sets with Solutions
Exams with Solutions
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