Deuteron—The Hydrogen Atom of Nuclear Physics

Part of the Lecture Notes in Physics book series (LNP, volume 747)

It is known that Fermi usually started the investigation of a difficult problem with the question: “What plays the part of a hydrogen atom for this problem?” As for nuclear physics, the answer to this question causes no doubts: its hydrogen atom is the deuteron. It is surprising how many nontrivial problems related to the deuteron can be solved by means of sufficiently simple, sometimes truly back-of-the-envelope analytical calculations. Some of them are considered in this chapter.


Orbital Angular Momentum Nuclear Force Radiative Capture Deuteron Wave Function Deuteron Binding Energy 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1 fm (fermi) = 10 13 cm.Google Scholar
  2. Of course, one can obtain the same number of possible spin states for two unpolarized particles with spin 1/2 otherwise, independently of their orbital angular momentum. It is sufficient to count all possible combinations of their spin projections: (+ +), (+ –), (– +), (– –).Google Scholar
  3. Let us recall in this connection the molecular hydrogen ion H+2 . Here the bound state forms due to the tunneling of the electron (particle 1) between the potential wells near two nuclei (particles 2 and 3). However, this example differs from our problem essentially since each nucleus by itself bounds the electron.Google Scholar
  4. See: L. D. Landau and E. M. Lifshitz, Quantum Mechanics. §35.Google Scholar
  5. See again: L.D. Landau and E.M. Lifshitz, Quantum Mechanics. §35.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer 2008

Personalised recommendations