Introduction to Nuclear Physics Physics 124 Solution Set 6

J.T. Burke January 18, 2000

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Using the conservation of momentum equation m1 v1 = m1 v1 + m2 v1 + m2 v1 . Then examine the specific cases of scattering from 2 H. we assume head-on collisions. and 238 U. m1 v1 = m1 v1 + m2 v2 2 m1 v1 = m1 v12 + m2 v22 12 C. We begin the derivation using the basic principles.Problem 22 In order to thermalize a neutron it must undergo multiple elastic collisions. (m1 + m2 ) 1 (5) (6) . We will first work out in general a formula describing energy loss from multiple elastic scattering. conservation of momentum (1) (2) Where we define: m1 is the particle being moderated m2 is the particle being scattered v is the velocity of the particle before interacting v is the velocity of the particle after interacting For simplicity. Upon each interaction it will lose some energy which is transfered to the scattering particle. and energy. m1 for each interaction. We can divide the energy equation by the momentum equation to obtain 2 m2 v22 m1 (v1 − v12 ) = m2 v2 m1 (v1 − v1 ) (3) (4) v2 = (v1 − v1 )(v1 + v1 ) = v1 + v1 (v1 − v1 ) Now we can use this result to determine the energy lost by the particle being moderated. v1 = v1 (m1 − m2 ) .

(8) We can rearrange this to find the final energy after n interactions log n= log Ef inal Einitial m1 −m2 m1 +m2 2 (9) We then find that it takes the following number of collisions to moderate the neutron down to thermal energy on the order of scattering from 2 H. n = 54 U. ≈ 1017 1.The maximum energy loss. n = 8 scattering from scattering from 12 1eV 40 : C. The number of fission events per second is then n= P 1 10MW 106 W = = . for a head on collision. per interaction is simply δE = m1 2 (m1 − m2 ) m1 2 (v1 − v12 ) = v1 (1 − 2 2 (m1 + m2 ) δE = Einitial (1 − (m1 − m2 ) (m1 + m2 ) 2 2 ). In Krane’s derivation he takes into account the average energy loss per interaction whereas I treated every interaction as a maximum energy loss. (7) ).602×10−13 J E 200MeV sec 200MeV ( 1M eV ) 2 (10) . n = 1074 238 Note: There is a more detailed way of making this calculation that is performed in Krane. section 12. Problem 23 The main thing to realize is that each fission event releases an average energy of 200 MeV for a 235 U produced chain reaction.2. a) The average power of a research reactor is P = 10 MW.

By examining figure 13. sec 3 (14) . These radioactive isotopes have various half-lives ranging from seconds to millions of years. sec sec (11) Problem 24 The fuel used in nuclear reactors usually consists of a few percent of mixed with 238 235 U U. When the fuel is being used in the reactor many radioactive isotopes are formed from the fission fragments at a relatively high rate. calculated above in question 23. Since U is the most abundant element the initial 238 activity of the fuel is primarily due to the U. 235 U has a half life of 7. However the isotopes are now primarily beta and gamma emitters.b) The fuel burning rate can then be determined as follows. sec 238grams (13) (12) fission products formed by burning a total of Mass = 10−4 grams × 3. A(f uel) λf uel Nf uel In 1 year of running there are approximately Nproducts = 10−4 grams 6. So lets calculate a ratio of activities between the products and the fuel per cubic centimeter for 1 year of running.95 × 10−22 g ≈ 10−4 .47 × 109 years.154 × 107 sec = 3154grams. The final state of the burnt fuel is that it is far more radioactive than the unburnt fuel.30 in Krane we can get a rough idea of an effective half life for the burnt fuel. The initial half life appears to be a couple of years.022 × 1023 × 3.038 × 108 years and 238 U has a half 238 life of 4. F uelBurningRate = 1017 1 g 3.154 × 107 sec ≈ 8 × 1024 . using the mass of 235 U. A(products) λproducts Nproducts = .

our main concern is solving the radial Schroedinger equation which is h2 d2 R(r) 2 dR(r) ¯ l(l + 1)¯ 2 h − + + R(r) = ER(r). The density of uranium is 19 grams per cubic centimeter so we have burnt 166 cubic centimeters of fuel.A.incs.anl. kr (18) 4 . Handbook of Mathematical Functions (New York: Dover. A(products) = A(f uel) = 4. Because of the spherical symmetry.gov as well as in Nuclear Energy by R.022 × 1023 atoms × 19 = 4. Abramowitz and I. Stegun.8 × 1022 atoms 4.8 × 1022 atoms 2years ln2×1year 4. (16) 2 So we can conclude that the products of the nuclear reactor are approximately 109 times more radioactive than the initial fuel. Now we can determine the number of products formed per cubic centimeter as 4.of uranium.L.47×109 years (15) Now we can determine the ratio of the activities per cubic centimeter.819 × 1022 atoms . 1965): j0 (kr) = sin(kr) . a = 5 fm. the solutions to the radial equation are the spherical Bessel functions from M. More information on this topic can be found on the world wide web at www.47 × 109 ≈ 2 × 109 . 238grams cm3 cm3 ln2×1year 4. Also note that in the end the ratio of activities is dominated by the ratio of the half lives of the fuel and products and is independent of the power of the reactor. Murray.807 × 1022 . Nf uel = atoms grams 6. 1980. The number cm3 of atoms of fuel per cubic centimeter can be determined from the density of uranium and the molar mass. Problem 25 We have an infinite spherically symmetric potential well with radius. 2 2 2m dr r dr 2mr (17) In the region where the potential is zero.

the wave function must go to zero.68.70. E1 = 16.j1 (kr) = j2 (kr) = j3 (kr) = sin(kr) cos(kr) . 10.79. 2m (22) to determine the energy of the first three radial excitations for l = 0.2.58.90. From these values we can now calculate k and thus the energy of each state. 10.49. for l = 1 the first three zeros occur at: ka = 4.28. 9. (kr)3 (kr)2 kr 15 15 6 1 − sin(kr) + + cos(kr). for l = 0 the first three zeros occur at: ka = 3. 4 2 3 (kr) (kr) (kr) kr We must use these function combined with the boundary condition and the energy relation. 49. 7.14.99. jl (ka) = 0. 32. At the boundary.and 3. 1965. E0 = 8. 126.20. From the Handbook of Mathematical Functions edited by M.76.73. 98. 68.19 MeV.A. 73. E2 = 27. E= h2 k 2 ¯ . for l = 2 the first three zeros occur at: ka = 5. 6. The energy levels are.78 MeV. 13. − (kr)2 kr (19) (20) (21) 3sin(kr) 3cos(kr) sin(kr) − − . Abramowitz and I.69.77 MeV.42. 12.76. 5 .09. for l = 3 the first three zeros occur at: ka = 6. we have. a = 5 fm.1.32.41. (23) We must look up the first three zero crossing values in order to determine the value of k so we can calculate the energy of each excited state. Stegun. 9.

N = 8. Of course we are ignoring the spin of the nucleon in this discussion of degeneracy. Now what are the degeneracies of these levels? The complete wave function for the states also includes the spherical harmonics. N = 20. Alternatively. in some cases.62. IExperiment = 5/2 K : Z = 19. we see that there are actually only four cases where we can make a prediction in this case: 17 39 F : Z = 9. Examining the list. N = 50.09. Therefore the degeneracy of each level is identical to that of angular momentum in quantum mechanics. The degeneracies are then: for l = 0 degeneracy = 1. we can determine the spin of the ground state. IShell = 5/2. we can consider it as a ”hole. for l = 3 degeneracy = 7. 156.6 of Krane. IExperiment = 3/2 (this is a case with Rb : Z = 37.” By filling in the levels on the shell model diagram on page 123 figure 5. 90. Problem 26 The shell model is useful at predicting the ground state spin state of nuclei that have a single unpaired nucleon which lies above a closed shell. for l = 2 degeneracy = 5. for l = 1 degeneracy = 3. if a shell is one nucleon short of being full.04 MeV. IShell = 5/2.E3 = 40. IExperiment = 3/2 (what happens here 6 a hole) 87 . IShell = 3/2.

N = 101. but our simple-minded approach should be applied with caution. In conclusion we have been able to correctly predict a couple of the ground state spins. 125). Why this is so is beyond the material that we covered). IExperiment = 1/2 (this nucleus has A beyond the range of A < 150. where the model is expected to work well. p. 171 Y b : Z = 70. see Krane. IShell = 5/2. THANK YOU FOR THE GREAT SEMESTER ! 7 .is that the 1f shell fills first. leaving a hole in the 2p shell.