"A real jewel of an elementary introduction into the main concepts of nuclear theory . . . should be in the hands of every student." — Nuclear Physics. This highly regarded volume, based on a series of lectures given by Landau to experimental physicists in Moscow in 1954, offers concise, lucid discussions of a number of the most important underlying concepts of nuclear physics. The authors, both noted Russian physicists, limit their conclusions concerning nuclear structure to those based on experimental data, using only general quantum-mechanical relations. Throughout, the emphasis is on clarity of physical ideas and on the relation of experiments to theoretical interpretation. Among the topics covered are nuclear forces, including the scattering of nucleons by nucleons and by high energies, the independent particle model of nuclear structure, the structure of the nucleus (light nuclei and heavy nuclei), nuclear reactions (including statistical theory, optical model, and deuteron reactions, pi-mesons, and interactions of pi-mesons with nucleons. "Should prove a decidedly worthwhile addition to any experimental nuclear physicist's library. The book will also appeal to the specialist in other fields who desires insight into the problems of nuclear physics, and should be highly recommended to all physics graduate students." — Physics Today.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This is a nice thin book on nuclear physics that you can read fast and learn the basics. Although it was first published in 1959, nuclear physics has not been turned upside down with new discoveries as it happened with particle physics during the same period. It is true that we now know that the nuclear force is a gauge theory ruled by the SU(3) Lie group but this has almost no effect in the description of the nucleus. That is, so far it has proven extremely hard to use the underlying symmetry to derive the properties of the nuclei. Only when one looks at the structure of the nucleons (protons and neutrons), this group starts playing a role and we have a relative good understanding how to perform the calculations.
The book is aimed towards experimentalists. It is an overview of the facts and how they relate to experiments. The style is that of Landau: simple and to the point. Many calculations and almost all information from quantum mechanics is omitted. Therefore, to read...
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