Stable nuclei only occur in a very narrow band in the Z - N plane. All other nuclei are unstable and decay spontaneously in various ways discussed in this chapter. In β-decay, a weak interaction process, a neutron (proton) is converted into a proton (neutron); α-decay is the emission of a4He nucleus; spontaneous nuclear fission of a nucleus can happen if the nuclei are very heavy while induced nuclear fission may be caused by the injection of a low energy neutron into a heavy nucleus; excited nuclear states produced in such reactions may decay electromagnetically by photon emission.
KeywordsHeavy Nucleus Neutron Capture Beta Decay Daughter Nucleus Giant Dipole Resonance
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