This text covers basic concepts of nuclear physics with emphasis on nuclear structure and interactions of radiation with matter. Topics include elementary quantum theory; nuclear forces; shell structure of the nucleus; alpha, beta and gamma radioactive decays; interactions of nuclear radiations (charged particles, gammas, and neutrons) with matter; nuclear reactions; fission and fusion.
- Until now we used quantum mechanics to predict properties of atoms and nuclei. Since we were interested mostly in the equilibrium states of nuclei and in their energies, we only needed to look at a time-independent description of quantum-mechanical systems. To describe dynamical processes, such as radiation decays, scattering and nuclear reactions, we need to study how quantum mechanical systems evolve in time.