Theoretical Kaleidoscope pp 45-52 | Cite as

# Deuteron—The Hydrogen Atom of Nuclear Physics

Chapter

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.

## Keywords

Orbital Angular Momentum Nuclear Force Radiative Capture Deuteron Wave Function Deuteron Binding Energy
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## References

- 1 fm (fermi) = 10
^{−13}cm.Google Scholar - 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
- 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

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