The Nucleus and Its Applications

  • David Cassidy
  • Gerald Holton
  • James Rutherford
Part of the Undergraduate Texts in Contemporary Physics book series (UTCP)


The discoveries of radioactivity and isotopes were extraordinary advances. And as usual, they also raised new questions about the structure of atoms, questions that involved the atomic nucleus. We saw in Chapter 17 that the transformation rules of radioactivity could be understood in terms of the Rutherford-Bohr model of the atom. But that model said nothing about the nucleus other than that it is small, has charge and mass, and may emit an a or a β particle. This implies that the nucleus has a structure that changes when a radioactive process occurs. The question arose: Can a theory or model of the atomic nucleus be developed that will explain the facts of radioactivity and the existence of isotopes?


Atomic Nucleus Nuclear Power Plant Nuclear Reaction Fusion Reaction Nuclear Weapon 
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Further Reading

  1. L. Badash, Scientists and the Development of Nuclear Weapons, ( New York: Prometheus, 1995 ).Google Scholar
  2. B. Greene, The Elegant Universe,(New York: Vintage, 2000), (especially recommended as guide to current ideas, from quarks to superstring theory).Google Scholar
  3. G. Holton, Scientists Organizing to Fulfill Their Civic Responsibility, Physics and Society, 28 (1999), 11–13.Google Scholar
  4. G. Holton and S.G. Brush, Physics, The Human Adventure, “Construction of the Elements and the Universe” ( Piscataway, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2001 ), Chapter 32.Google Scholar
  5. Physics Today 50 no. 6 (1997). Issue devoted to the problem of nuclear waste.Google Scholar
  6. R. Rhodes, The Making of the Atomic Bomb, ( New York: Touchstone Books, 1995 ).Google Scholar
  7. R. Rhodes, Dark Sun: The Making of the Hydrogen Bomb, ( New York: Touchstone Books, 1996 ).Google Scholar
  8. J. Rotblat, Scientists and the Quest for Peace: A History of the Pugwash Conferences, ( Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1972 ).Google Scholar
  9. E. Segrè, Enrico Fermi, Physicist, ( Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1995 ).Google Scholar
  10. R. Sime, Lise Meitner: A Life in Physics, ( Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996 ).Google Scholar
  11. S. Weart, Nuclear Fear: A History of Images, ( Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1989 ).Google Scholar
  12. H.G. Wells, The World Set Free,(New York: Harcourt,1914). A remarkably prescient science-fiction book.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Cassidy
    • 1
  • Gerald Holton
    • 2
  • James Rutherford
    • 3
  1. 1.Natural Science ProgramHofstra UniversityHempsteadUSA
  2. 2.358 Jefferson Physical LaboratoryHarvard UniversityCambridgeUSA
  3. 3.American Association for Advancement of ScienceUSA

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