The nucleus of an atom consists of protons and neutrons. Collectively, they are referred to as nucleons.
The protons have like electric charge. Thus, they experience repulsive electric force. Why didn’t they break apart?
That’s because nucleons also experience another type of force called nuclear force. While electric force push protons apart, nuclear force pulls nucleons together.
Now, nuclear force has a short range. On the other hand, electric force has long range.
In a small nucleus, the nuclear force is strong enough to overcome the electric force to hold the nucleus together, giving lighter elements more stability.
In a big nucleus, a proton at a side of the nucleus will experience little nuclear attractive forces from protons at the opposite side of the nucleus. However, the proton will experience significant electric repulsive forces from protons at the opposite side. This causes instability. It is for this reason that all nuclei having more than 82 protons are radioactive.

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Nuclear Physics – Radioactive Decay ultima modifica: 2018-11-09T07:56:37+00:00 da LearningForKeeps