Nuclear Reactions - Types
When the target nuclei are bombarded by particles, there are some general
types of interactions.
When no energy is transferred between the target nucleus and the incident
particle, the process is known as 208Pb elastic scattering
208Pb (n, n) 208Pb, Q = 0.
When energy is transferred, the process is called inelastic scattering
40Ca (a, a') 40mCa, Q =\= 0.
where a and a'
have different kinetic energies.
In cases when the incident particle is a complicated nuclide, it may
also be left in excited state,
208Pb (12C, 12mC) 208mPb
This process is called mutual excitation.
Both charged and neutral particles can be captured by nuclei. For example,
197Au (p, g) 198Hg
238U (n, g) 239U
Neutron capture reactions are used to produce many radioactive nuclides.
The absorption of a particle accompanied by the emission of one or more
particles is called a rearrangement reaction.
197Au (p, d) 196mAu
4He (a, p) 7Li
27Al (a, n) 30P
54Fe (a, d) 58Co
54Fe (a, 2 n) 56Ni
54Fe (32S, 28Si) 58Ni
Various rearrangement reactions change the number of neutrons and the number
of protons of the target nuclide.
Typical and well-known neutron-induced fission reactions are:
235U (n, 3 n) fission products
239Pu (n, 3 n) fission products
These reactions release energy. The released neutrons induce further
reactions, causing contineous chain reactions.
The fusion reaction of deuterium and tritium is particularly interesting
because of its potential of providing energy for the future.
T (d, n) He