Answer to Question #32056 in Atomic and Nuclear Physics for Ramachandra Naik

Question #32056
Why is it that only á- particles are emitted by radioactive nuclei, while protons and neutrons are not?
Expert's answer
The reason for departure of alpha particles from the nucleus is tunneling.

The particle passes through a tunnel barrier, and is emitted from the nucleus.

The energy of alpha particles is 4-7 MeV.

Protons and neutrons are not emitted from the nucleus,because that there is Binding energy.

Binding energy.

Binding energy is the mechanical energy required to disassemble a whole into separate parts. A bound system typically has a lower potential energy than the sum of its constituent parts — this is what keeps the system together. Often this means that energy is released upon the creation of a bound state. This definition corresponds to a positive binding energy.

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