Definitions and Notation
A nucleus is characterized by its proton and neutron numbers Z and N. Their sum, the mass number A = N + Z, is also frequently used. One of the reasons for A being an important quantity is that the volume of a nucleus is, to a very good approximation, simply proportional to the number of particles. This property is associated with the saturation of nuclear forces and it permits the formulation of a macroscopic approach to the description of certain aspects of the nuclear many-body problem. This approach focuses its attention on the degrees of freedom describing the shape of the nuclear surface which, although not perfectly sharp, is known experimentally to be fairly well defined, except for small nuclei.
KeywordsNuclear Matter Coulomb Energy Multipole Moment Spherical Nucleus Liquid Drop Model
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