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Nuclear Physics: A Very Short Introduction

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Nuclear physics began long before the identification of fundamental particles, with J. J. Thomson's discovery of the electron at the end of the 19th century, which implied the existence of a positive charge in the atom to make it neutral. In this Very Short Introduction Frank Close gives an account of how this area of physics has progressed, including the recognition of how heavy nuclei are built up in the cores of stars and in supernovae, the identification of quarks and gluons, and the development of quantum chromodynamics (QCD). Exploring key concepts such as the stability of different configurations of protons and neutrons in nuclei, Frank Close shows how nuclear physics brings the physics of the stars to Earth and provides us with important applications, particularly in medicine.

Author: Close Frank
Pages: 123
ISBN: 9780198718635
Cover: Paperback
Edition Number: 1
Release Year: 2015

Frank Close is Professor Emeritus of Theoretical Physics at Oxford University and Fellow Emeritus in Physics at Exeter College, Oxford. He was formerly Head of the Theoretical Physics Division at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory at Harwell, vice president of the British Association for Advancement of Science and Head of Communications and Public Education at CERN. He was awarded the Kelvin Medal of the Institute of Physics for his 'outstanding contributions to the public understanding of physics' in 1996, an OBE for 'services to research and the public understanding of science' in 2000, and the Royal Society Michael Faraday Prize for communicating science in 2013. As a young man he worked with Rudolf Peierls, in circumstances he describes in this book.

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