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Chemistry LibreTexts

Nuclear Energetics and Stability

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  • Nuclear energy is the energy that holds together the nuclei of atoms. Atoms are the most simple blocks that make up matter. Every atom has in its center a very small nucleus. Normally, nuclear energy is hidden inside the atoms. However, some atoms are radioactive and send off part of their nuclear energy as radiation. Radiation is given off from the nucleus of unstable isotopes of radioactive substances.

    • Energetics of Nuclear Reactions
      Nuclear reactions are associated with changes in both mass and energy. In this module, the relationship between these two concepts are examined on a nuclear level.
    • Nuclear Magic Numbers
      Nuclear Stability is a concept that helps to identify the stability of an isotope. The two main factors that determine nuclear stability are the neutron/proton ratio and the total number of nucleons in the nucleus.