San José State University

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Thayer Watkins
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Two General Nuclear Phenomena That
Provide Confirmation for the Alpha
Module Model of Nuclear Structure

#1: The Fact That There is Only One
Alpha Particle involved in Alpha Decay
is Confirmation of the Alpha Module
Model of Nuclear Structure

Alpha Decay

Many nuclei are unstable and some exhibit there in instability by ejecting an alpha particle. This occurs in nuclei in which there are two many protons relative to the number of neutrons. The alpha particle consists of two protons and two neutrons. Generally there are more neutrons than protons in nuclei. Thus the decay results in nuclei in which the ratio of protons to neutrons is reduced.

The Alpha Particle Model of Nuclear Structure

In the early days of the investigation the nuclear structure the existence of alpha decay was taken to indicate that the nucleons of a nucleus are, wherever possible, organized into alpha particles. That alpha particle theory of nuclear structure stayed around for a long time, neither proven or disproven. Another bit of evidence for the alpha theory of nuclear structure is that the binding energy of an alpha particle is much larger than those of the nuclei having a smaller number of nucleons. On the other hand, the nuclei which are larger than the alpha particle have binding energies that to what would result from their nucleon combining wherever possible into alpha particles.

If the nucleons in any nucleus are organized in alpha particles one would expect more than one alpha particle sometimes being ejected from a decaying nucleus.

The Alpha Module Model of Nuclear Structure

An examination of the effect of an additional neutron on binding energy reveals a sawtooth, odd-even pattern that indicates that wherever possible a neutron forms a spin pair with another neutron. The binding energy values also reveal that wherever possible a neutron forms a spin pair with a proton. Likewise a proton forms a spin pair with another proton and with a neutron. These spin pair formations are exclusive. A neutron forms a spin pair with only one other neutron and with one proton.

If one follows the spin pairs one finds chains of the form n-p-p-n-n-p-p- and so on. These chains consists of modules of two neutrons and two protons, such as -n-p-p-n- or equivalently -p-n-n-p-. These are modules similar to but not necessarily the same as alpha particles.

The chains have to close for otherwise that there would be unpaired nucleons at the end of the chain.

The neutrons and protons are arranged in shells. The occupancies of the neutron shells are the same as the occupancies of the proton shells. The first shells have two nucleons each. But two neutrons and two protons linked together form an alpha particle. So the first shell of nucleus is an alpha particle. The other shells consist of various numbers of alpha module. For example, the fifth shell for each nucleon includes the 29th through 50th nucleons. This amounts to eleven alpha modules.

In addition to the forces associated with the formation of spin pairs, which in all cases are attractive, there is the nuclear strong force which is a repulsion between nucleons of the same type and an attraction between two nucleons of opposite type. The distance between two neutrons in a spin pair is maintained by a balancing of the attractive force for the spin pair with the strong force repulsion between two neutrons. Likewise the distance between two protons is maintained by a balancing of the spin pairs force and the nuclear strong force.

The two forces, spin pair formation and the nuclear strong force, between a neutron and a proton are both attractions. In order to maintain that distance the neutron and proton must be rotating about some center. So a nuclear shell is in the nature of a vortex ring of alpha modules. Here is a symbolic depiction of the situation.

The nucleons would be rotating about the circle given in the diagram. The diagram is not a realistic depiction of the arrangement of the nucleons; it is intended only to illustrate what is meant by the nucleons being in a vortex ring.

The Alpha Module Model accounts for there being one alpha particle in a nucleus. The Alpha Particle Model would have a multitude of alpha particles in each nucleus. Since only one alpha particle is involved in alpha decay the Alpha Module Model seems to be the more realistic. The existence of arrangements of nucleons which are similar to alpha particles would account for the binding energies being comparable to what they would be if all the nucleons were formed into alpha particles wherever possible.

#2: The Flipping Rotation of a Ring of Alpha Modules
Accounts for a Spherical Dynamic Appearance of Nuclei

A rapidly rotating propeller has the dynamic appearance of a blurred disk even though the static propeller itself has no such appearance.

The vortex ring of alpha modules may rotate about three axes. One axis is the axis perpendicular to the plane of the vortex ring. The other two axes are diameters of the vortex ring.

This is illustrated below.

In this animation the two forms of flipping are shown sequentially, but in nature they would occur simultaneously. Upon sufficiently rapid rotation the nuclear shell would appear to look like a sphere. Empirical studies of the shapes of nuclei find that the shapes are spherical or near-spherical. The Alpha Module Model thus gives an explanation for the observed spherical shapes of nuclei.

(To be continued.)

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