Hamilton, Joseph H. Department of Physics and Astronomy, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee.
Cerny, Joseph University of California, Berkeley, California.
- Structure and decay
- Neutron-rich nuclei
- Proton-rich nuclei
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
Nuclei with ratios of neutron number N to proton number Z much larger or much smaller than those of nuclei found in nature. Studies of nuclear matter under extreme conditions, in which the nuclei are quite different in some way from those found in nature, are at the forefront of nuclear research. Such extreme conditions include nuclei at high temperature and at high density (several times normal nuclear density), as well as those with larger or smaller N/Z ratios or very high angular momentum. The N/Z ratio depends on the nature of the attractive nuclear force that binds the protons and neutrons in the nucleus and its competition and complex interplay with the disruptive Coulomb or electrical force that pushes the positively charged protons apart.
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