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Nuclear Energy and Elementary Particles

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1 Nuclear Energy and Elementary Particles
Chapter 30 Nuclear Energy and Elementary Particles

2 Processes of Nuclear Energy
Fission A nucleus of large mass number splits into two smaller nuclei Fusion Two light nuclei fuse to form a heavier nucleus Large amounts of energy are released in either case

3 Nuclear Fission A heavy nucleus splits into two smaller nuclei
The total mass of the products is less than the original mass of the heavy nucleus First observed in 1939 by Otto Hahn and Fritz Strassman following basic studies by Fermi Lisa Meitner and Otto Frisch soon explained what had happened

4 Fission Equation Fission of 235U by a slow (low energy) neutron
236U* is an intermediate, short-lived state Lasts about s X and Y are called fission fragments Many combinations of X and Y satisfy the requirements of conservation of energy and charge

5 More About Fission of 235U About 90 different daughter nuclei can be formed Several neutrons are also produced in each fission event Example: The fission fragments and the neutrons have a great deal of KE following the event

6 Sequence of Events in Fission
The 235U nucleus captures a thermal (slow-moving) neutron This capture results in the formation of 236U*, and the excess energy of this nucleus causes it to undergo violent oscillations The 236U* nucleus becomes highly elongated, and the force of repulsion between the protons tends to increase the distortion The nucleus splits into two fragments, emitting several neutrons in the process

7 Sequence of Events in Fission – Diagram

8 Energy in a Fission Process
Binding energy for heavy nuclei is about 7.2 MeV per nucleon Binding energy for intermediate nuclei is about 8.2 MeV per nucleon Therefore, the fission fragments have less mass than the nucleons in the original nuclei This decrease in mass per nucleon appears as released energy in the fission event

9 Energy, cont An estimate of the energy released
Assume a total of 240 nucleons Releases about 1 MeV per nucleon 8.2 MeV – 7.2 MeV Total energy released is about 240 Mev This is very large compared to the amount of energy released in chemical processes

10 Chain Reaction Neutrons are emitted when 235U undergoes fission
These neutrons are then available to trigger fission in other nuclei This process is called a chain reaction If uncontrolled, a violent explosion can occur The principle behind the nuclear bomb, where 1 kg of U can release energy equal to about tons of TNT

11 Chain Reaction – Diagram

12 Nuclear Reactor A nuclear reactor is a system designed to maintain a self-sustained chain reaction The reproduction constant, K, is defined as the average number of neutrons from each fission event that will cause another fission event The maximum value of K from uranium fission is 2.5 In practice, K is less than this A self-sustained reaction has K = 1

13 K Values When K = 1, the reactor is said to be critical
The chain reaction is self-sustaining When K < 1, the reactor is said to be subcritical The reaction dies out When K > 1, the reactor is said to be supercritical A run-away chain reaction occurs

14 Basic Reactor Design Fuel elements consist of enriched uranium
The moderator material helps to slow down the neutrons The control rods absorb neutrons

15 Reactor Design Considerations – Neutron Leakage
Loss (or “leakage”) of neutrons from the core These are not available to cause fission events The fraction lost is a function of the ratio of surface area to volume Small reactors have larger percentages lost If too many neutrons are lost, the reactor will not be able to operate

16 Reactor Design Considerations – Neutron Energies
Slow neutrons are more likely to cause fission events Most neutrons released in the fission process have energies of about 2 MeV In order to sustain the chain reaction, the neutrons must be slowed down A moderator surrounds the fuel Collisions with the atoms of the moderator slow the neutrons down as some kinetic energy is transferred Most modern reactors use heavy water as the moderator

17 Reactor Design Considerations – Neutron Capture
Neutrons may be captured by nuclei that do not undergo fission Most commonly, neutrons are captured by 238U The possibility of 238U capture is lower with slow neutrons The moderator helps minimize the capture of neutrons by 238U

18 Reactor Design Considerations – Power Level Control
A method of control is needed to adjust the value of K to near 1 If K >1, the heat produced in the runaway reaction can melt the reactor Control rods are inserted into the core to control the power level Control rods are made of materials that are very efficient at absorbing neutrons Cadmium is an example By adjusting the number and position of the control rods, various power levels can be maintained

19 Pressurized Water Reactor – Diagram

20 Pressurized Water Reactor – Operation Notes
This type of reactor is commonly used in electric power plants in the US Fission events in the reactor core supply heat to the water contained in the primary system The primary system is a closed system This water is maintained at a high pressure to keep it from boiling The hot water is pumped through a heat exchanger

21 Pressurized Water Reactor – Operation Notes, cont
The heat is transferred to the water contained in a secondary system This water is converted into steam The steam is used to drive a turbine-generator to create electric power The water in the secondary system is isolated from the water in the primary system This prevents contamination of the secondary water and steam by the radioactive nuclei in the core

22 Reactor Safety – Containment
Radiation exposure, and its potential health risks, are controlled by three levels of containment Reactor vessel Contains the fuel and radioactive fission products Reactor building Acts as a second containment structure should the reactor vessel rupture Location Reactor facilities are in remote locations

23 Reactor Safety – Loss of Water
If the water flow was interrupted, the nuclear reaction could stop immediately However, there could be enough residual heat to build up and melt the fuel elements The molten core could also melt through the containment vessel and into the ground Called the China Syndrome If the molten core struck ground water, a steam explosion could spread the radioactive material to areas surrounding the power plant Reactors are built with emergency cooling systems that automatically flood the core if coolant is lost

24 Reactor Safety – Radioactive Materials
Disposal of waste material Waste material contains long-lived, highly radioactive isotopes Must be stored over long periods in ways that protect the environment Present solution is sealing the waste in waterproof containers and burying them in deep salt mines Transportation of fuel and wastes Accidents during transportation could expose the public to harmful levels of radiation Department of Energy requires crash tests and manufacturers must demonstrate that their containers will not rupture during high speed collisions

25 Nuclear Fusion Nuclear fusion occurs when two light nuclei combine to form a heavier nucleus The mass of the final nucleus is less than the masses of the original nuclei This loss of mass is accompanied by a release of energy

26 Fusion in the Sun All stars generate energy through fusion
The Sun, along with about 90% of other stars, fuses hydrogen Some stars fuse heavier elements Two conditions must be met before fusion can occur in a star The temperature must be high enough The density of the nuclei must be high enough to ensure a high rate of collisions

27 Proton-Proton Cycle The proton-proton cycle is a series of three nuclear reactions believed to operate in the Sun Energy liberated is primarily in the form of gamma rays, positrons and neutrinos 21H is deuterium, and may be written as 21D

28 Fusion Reactors Energy releasing fusion reactions are called thermonuclear fusion reactions A great deal of effort is being directed at developing a sustained and controllable thermonuclear reaction A thermonuclear reactor that can deliver a net power output over a reasonable time interval is not yet a reality

29 Advantages of a Fusion Reactor
Inexpensive fuel source Water is the ultimate fuel source If deuterium is used as fuel, 0.06 g of it can be extracted from 1 gal of water for about 4 cents Comparatively few radioactive by-products are formed

30 Considerations for a Fusion Reactor
The proton-proton cycle is not feasible for a fusion reactor The high temperature and density required are not suitable for a fusion reactor The most promising reactions involve deuterium (D) and tritium (T)

31 Considerations for a Fusion Reactor, cont
Deuterium is available in almost unlimited quantities in water and is inexpensive to extract Tritium is radioactive and must be produced artificially The Coulomb repulsion between two charged nuclei must be overcome before they can fuse

32 Requirements for Successful Thermonuclear Reactor
High temperature  108 K Needed to give nuclei enough energy to overcome Coulomb forces At these temperatures, the atoms are ionized, forming a plasma Plasma ion density, n The number of ions present Plasma confinement time,  The time the interacting ions are maintained at a temperature equal to or greater than that required for the reaction to proceed successfully

33 Lawson’s Criteria Lawson’s criteria states that a net power output in a fusion reactor is possible under the following conditions n  1014 s/cm3 for deuterium-tritium n  1016 s/cm3 for deuterium-deuterium The plasma confinement time is still a problem

34 Magnetic Confinement One magnetic confinement device is called a tokamak Two magnetic fields confine the plasma inside the doughnut A strong magnetic field is produced in the windings A weak magnetic field is produced in the toroid The field lines are helical, spiral around the plasma, and prevent it from touching the wall of the vacuum chamber

35 Some Fusion Reactors TFTR JET Tokamak Fusion Test Reactor Princeton
Central ion temperature of 510 million degrees C The nt values were close to Lawson criteria JET Tokamak at Abington, England 6 x 1017 DT fusions per second were achieved

36 Current Research in Fusion Reactors
NSTX – National Spherical Torus Experiment Produces a spherical plasma with a hole in the center Is able to confine the plasma with a high pressure ITER – International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor An international collaboration involving four major fusion programs is working on building this reactor It will address remaining technological and scientific issues concerning the feasibility of fusion power

37 Other Methods of Creating Fusion Events
Inertial laser confinement Fuel is put into the form of a small pellet It is collapsed by ultrahigh power lasers Inertial electrostatic confinement Positively charged particles are rapidly attracted toward an negatively charged grid Some of the positive particles collide and fuse

38 Elementary Particles Atoms Atom constituents
From the Greek for “indivisible” Were once thought to the elementary particles Atom constituents Proton, neutron, and electron Were viewed as elementary because they are very stable

39 Discovery of New Particles
Beginning in 1937, many new particles were discovered in experiments involving high-energy collisions Characteristically unstable with short lifetimes Over 300 have been cataloged A pattern was needed to understand all these new particles

40 Quarks Physicists recognize that most particles are made up of quarks
Exceptions include photons, electrons and a few others The quark model has reduced the array of particles to a manageable few The quark model has successfully predicted new quark combinations that were subsequently found in many experiments

41 Fundamental Forces All particles in nature are subject to four fundamental forces Strong force Electromagnetic force Weak force Gravitational force

42 Strong Force Is responsible for the tight binding of the quarks to form neutrons and protons Also responsible for the nuclear force binding the neutrons and the protons together in the nucleus Strongest of all the fundamental forces Very short-ranged Less than m

43 Electromagnetic Force
Is responsible for the binding of atoms and molecules About 10-2 times the strength of the strong force A long-range force that decreases in strength as the inverse square of the separation between interacting particles

44 Weak Force Is responsible for instability in certain nuclei
Is responsible for beta decay A short-ranged force Its strength is about 10-6 times that of the strong force Scientists now believe the weak and electromagnetic forces are two manifestations of a single force, the electroweak force

45 Gravitational Force A familiar force that holds the planets, stars and galaxies together Its effect on elementary particles is negligible A long-range force It is about times the strength of the strong force Weakest of the four fundamental forces

46 Explanation of Forces Forces between particles are often described in terms of the actions of field particles or quanta For electromagnetic force, the photon is the field particle The electromagnetic force is mediated, or carried, by photons

47 Forces and Mediating Particles (also see table 30.1)
Interaction (force) Mediating Field Particle Strong Gluon Electromagnetic Photon Weak W and Z0 Gravitational Gravitons

48 Paul Adrien Maurice Dirac
1902 – 1984 Instrumental in understanding antimatter Aided in the unification of quantum mechanics and relativity Contributions to quantum physics and cosmology Nobel Prize in 1933

49 Antiparticles For every particle, there is an antiparticle
From Dirac’s version of quantum mechanics that incorporated special relativity An antiparticle has the same mass as the particle, but the opposite charge The positron (electron’s antiparticle) was discovered by Anderson in 1932 Since then, it has been observed in numerous experiments Practically every known elementary particle has a distinct antiparticle Exceptions – the photon and the neutral pi particles are their own antiparticles

50 Hideki Yukawa 1907 – 1981 Predicted the existence of mesons
Nobel Prize in 1949

51 Mesons Developed from a theory to explain the strong nuclear force
Background notes Two atoms can form a covalent bond by the exchange of electrons In electromagnetic interactions, charged particles interact by exchanging a photon A new particle was proposed to explain the strong nuclear force It was called a meson

52 Mesons, cont The proposed particle would have a mass about 200 times that of the electron Efforts to establish the existence of the particle were done by studying cosmic rays in the 1930’s Actually discovered multiple particles Pi meson (called pion) Muon Plays no role in the strong interaction

53 Pion There are three varieties of pions Pions are very unstable
+ and - Mass of MeV/c2 0 Mass of MeV/c2 Pions are very unstable - decays into a muon and an antineutrino with a lifetime of about 2.6 x10-8 s

54 Richard Feynmann 1918 – 1988 Contributions include
Work on the Manhattan Project Invention of diagrams to represent particle interactions Theory of weak interactions Reformation of quantum mechanics Superfluid helium Challenger investigation Shared Nobel Prize in 1965

55 Feynman Diagrams A graphical representation of the interaction between two particles Feynman diagrams are named for Richard Feynman who developed them

56 Feynman Diagram – Two Electrons
The photon is the field particle that mediates the interaction The photon transfers energy and momentum from one electron to the other The photon is called a virtual photon It can never be detected directly because it is absorbed by the second electron very shortly after being emitted by the first electron

57 The Virtual Photon The existence of the virtual photon would be expected to violate the law of conservation of energy But, due to the uncertainty principle and its very short lifetime, the photon’s excess energy is less than the uncertainty in its energy The virtual photon can exist for short time intervals, such that E t 

58 Feynman Diagram – Proton and Neutron
The exchange is via the nuclear force The existence of the pion is allowed in spite of conservation of energy if this energy is surrendered in a short enough time Analysis predicts the rest energy of the pion to be 130 MeV / c2 This is in close agreement with experimental results

59 Classification of Particles
Two broad categories Classified by interactions Hadrons – interact through strong force Leptons – interact through weak force

60 Hadrons Interact through the strong force Two subclasses
Mesons Decay finally into electrons, positrons, neutrinos and photons Integer spins Baryons Masses equal to or greater than a proton Noninteger spin values Decay into end products that include a proton (except for the proton) Composed of quarks

61 Leptons Interact through weak force All have spin of 1/2
Leptons appear truly elementary No substructure Point-like particles Scientists currently believe only six leptons exist, along with their antiparticles Electron and electron neutrino Muon and its neutrino Tau and its neutrino

62 Conservation Laws A number of conservation laws are important in the study of elementary particles Two new ones are Conservation of Baryon Number Conservation of Lepton Number

63 Conservation of Baryon Number
Whenever a baryon is created in a reaction or a decay, an antibaryon is also created B is the Baryon Number B = +1 for baryons B = -1 for antibaryons B = 0 for all other particles The sum of the baryon numbers before a reaction or a decay must equal the sum of baryon numbers after the process

64 Conservation of Lepton Number
There are three conservation laws, one for each variety of lepton Law of Conservation of Electron-Lepton Number states that the sum of electron-lepton numbers before a reaction or a decay must equal the sum of the electron-lepton number after the process

65 Conservation of Lepton Number, cont
Assigning electron-lepton numbers Le = 1 for the electron and the electron neutrino Le = -1 for the positron and the electron antineutrino Le = 0 for all other particles Similarly, when a process involves muons, muon-lepton number must be conserved and when a process involves tau particles, tau-lepton numbers must be conserved Muon- and tau-lepton numbers are assigned similarly to electron-lepton numbers

66 Strange Particles Some particles discovered in the 1950’s were found to exhibit unusual properties in their production and decay and were given the name strange particles Peculiar features include Always produced in pairs Although produced by the strong interaction, they do not decay into particles that interact via the strong interaction, but instead into particles that interact via weak interactions They decay much more slowly than particles decaying via strong interactions

67 Strangeness To explain these unusual properties, a new law, conservation of strangeness, was introduced Also needed a new quantum number, S The Law of Conservation of Strangeness states that the sum of strangeness numbers before a reaction or a decay must equal the sum of the strangeness numbers after the process Strong and electromagnetic interactions obey the law of conservation of strangeness, but the weak interactions do not

68 Bubble Chamber Example
The dashed lines represent neutral particles At the bottom, - + p  0 + K0 Then 0  - + p and K0   + µ- + µ

69 Murray Gell-Mann 1929 – Worked on theoretical studies of subatomic particles Nobel Prize in 1969

70 The Eightfold Way Many classification schemes have been proposed to group particles into families These schemes are based on spin, baryon number, strangeness, etc. The eightfold way is a symmetric pattern proposed by Gell-Mann and Ne’eman There are many symmetrical patterns that can be developed The patterns of the eightfold way have much in common with the periodic table Including predicting missing particles

71 An Eightfold Way for Baryons
A hexagonal pattern for the eight spin 1/2 baryons Strangeness vs. charge is plotted on a sloping coordinate system Six of the baryons form a hexagon with the other two particles at its center

72 An Eightfold Way for Mesons
The mesons with spins of 0 can be plotted Strangeness vs. charge on a sloping coordinate system is plotted A hexagonal pattern emerges The particles and their antiparticles are on opposite sides on the perimeter of the hexagon The remaining three mesons are at the center

73 Quarks Hadrons are complex particles with size and structure
Hadrons decay into other hadrons There are many different hadrons Quarks are proposed as the elementary particles that constitute the hadrons Originally proposed independently by Gell-Mann and Zweig

74 Original Quark Model Three types
u – up d – down s – originally sideways, now strange Associated with each quark is an antiquark The antiquark has opposite charge, baryon number and strangeness

75 Original Quark Model, cont
Quarks have fractional electrical charges +1/3 e and –2/3 e All ordinary matter consists of just u and d quarks

76 Original Quark Model – Rules
All the hadrons at the time of the original proposal were explained by three rules Mesons consist of one quark and one antiquark This gives them a baryon number of 0 Baryons consist of three quarks Antibaryons consist of three antiquarks

77 Additions to the Original Quark Model – Charm
Another quark was needed to account for some discrepancies between predictions of the model and experimental results Charm would be conserved in strong and electromagnetic interactions, but not in weak interactions In 1974, a new meson, the J/ was discovered that was shown to be a charm quark and charm antiquark pair

78 More Additions – Top and Bottom
Discovery led to the need for a more elaborate quark model This need led to the proposal of two new quarks t – top (or truth) b – bottom (or beauty) Added quantum numbers of topness and bottomness Verification b quark was found in a Y meson in 1977 t quark was found in 1995 at Fermilab

79 Numbers of Particles At the present, physicists believe the “building blocks” of matter are complete Six quarks with their antiparticles Six leptons with their antiparticles See table 30.5

80 Color Isolated quarks Physicist now believe that quarks are permanently confined inside ordinary particles No isolated quarks have been observed experimentally The explanation is a force called the color force Color force increases with increasing distance This prevents the quarks from becoming isolated particles

81 Colored Quarks Color “charge” occurs in red, blue, or green
Antiquarks have colors of antired, antiblue, or antigreen Color obeys the Exclusion Principle A combination of quarks of each color produces white (or colorless) Baryons and mesons are always colorless

82 Quark Structure of a Meson
A green quark is attracted to an antigreen quark The quark – antiquark pair forms a meson The resulting meson is colorless

83 Quark Structure of a Baryon
Quarks of different colors attract each other The quark triplet forms a baryon The baryon is colorless

84 Quantum Chromodynamics (QCD)
QCD gave a new theory of how quarks interact with each other by means of color charge The strong force between quarks is often called the color force The strong force between quarks is carried by gluons Gluons are massless particles There are 8 gluons, all with color charge When a quark emits or absorbs a gluon, its color changes

85 More About Color Charge
Like colors repel and opposite colors attract Different colors also attract, but not as strongly as a color and its anticolor The color force between color-neutral hadrons is negligible at large separations The strong color force between the constituent quarks does not exactly cancel at small separations This residual strong force is the nuclear force that binds the protons and neutrons to form nuclei

86 QCD Explanation of a Neutron-Proton Interaction
Each quark within the proton and neutron is continually emitting and absorbing virtual gluons Also creating and annihilating virtual quark-antiquark pairs When close enough, these virtual gluons and quarks can be exchanged, producing the strong force

87 Weak Interaction The weak interaction is an extremely short-ranged force This short range implies the mediating particles are very massive The weak interaction is responsible for the decay of c, s, b, and t quarks into u and d quarks Also responsible for the decay of  and  leptons into electrons

88 Weak Interaction, cont The weak interaction is very important because it governs the stability of the basic particles of matter The weak interaction is not symmetrical Not symmetrical under mirror reflection Not symmetrical under charge exchange

89 Electroweak Theory The electroweak theory unifies electromagnetic and weak interactions The theory postulates that the weak and electromagnetic interactions have the strength at very high particle energies Viewed as two different manifestations of a single interaction

90 The Standard Model A combination of the electroweak theory and QCD form the standard model Essential ingredients of the standard model The strong force, mediated by gluons, holds the quarks together to form composite particles Leptons participate only in electromagnetic and weak interactions The electromagnetic force is mediated by photons The weak force is mediated by W and Z bosons

91 The Standard Model – Chart

92 Mediator Masses Why does the photon have no mass while the W and Z bosons do have mass? Not answered by the Standard Model The difference in behavior between low and high energies is called symmetry breaking The Higgs boson has been proposed to account for the masses Large colliders are necessary to achieve the energy needed to find the Higgs boson

93 Grand Unification Theory (GUT)
Builds on the success of the electroweak theory Attempted to combine electroweak and strong interactions One version considers leptons and quarks as members of the same family They are able to change into each other by exchanging an appropriate particle

94 The Big Bang This theory of cosmology states that during the first few minutes after the creation of the universe all four interactions were unified All matter was contained in a quark soup As time increased and temperature decreased, the forces broke apart Starting as a radiation dominated universe, as the universe cooled it changed to a matter dominated universe

95 A Brief History of the Universe

96 George Gamow 1904 – 1968 Among the first to look at the first half hour of the universe Predicted: Abundances of hydrogen and helium Radiation should still be present and have an apparent temperature of about 5 K

97 Cosmic Background Radiation (CBR)
CBR represents the cosmic “glow” left over from the Big Bang The radiation had equal strengths in all directions The curve fits a blackbody at ~3K There are small irregularities that allowed for the formation of galaxies and other objects

98 Connection Between Particle Physics and Cosmology
Observations of events that occur when two particles collide in an accelerator are essential to understanding the early moments of cosmic history There are many common goals between the two fields

99 Some Questions Why so little antimatter in the Universe?
Do neutrinos have mass? How do they contribute to the dark mass in the universe? Explanation of why the expansion of the universe is accelerating? Is there a kind of antigravity force acting between widely separated galaxies? Is it possible to unify electroweak and strong forces? Why do quark and leptons form similar but distinct families?

100 More Questions Are muons the same as electrons, except for their mass?
Why are some particles charged and others neutral? Why do quarks carry fractional charge? What determines the masses of fundamental particles? Do leptons and quarks have a substructure?

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