San José State University
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Silicon Valley
& Tornado Alley

What holds a nucleus
together in an atom?


This not the conventional explanation of what holds a nucleus together. The conventional explanation is merely a naming of what holds nuclei together; i.e., the nuclear strong force. This naming has no more empirical content than if physicists said something holds a nucleus together. When the naming was done physicists thought that they could not be wrong, but, as will be be shown below, they were wrong, because their concept of nuclear strong force conflates two disparate phenomena: spin pairing, attractive but exclusive, and non-exclusive interaction of nucleons in which like-nucleons repel each other and unlike attract. Here is the explanation and proof of this assertion.

The case of an odd number of protons is of interest. Here is the graph for the isotopes of Rubidium (proton number 37).

The addition of the 38th neutron brings the effect of the formation of a neutron-neutron pair but a neutron-proton pair is not formed, as was the case up to and including the 37th neutron. The effects almost but not exactly cancel each other out. It is notable that the binding energies involved in the formation of the two types of nucleonic pairs are almost exactly the same.

This same pattern is seen in the case for the isotopes of Bromine.

The Interactions of Nucleons
through the Nucleonic Force


In a nucleus wherever possible the nucleons are linked together through spin pair formation into rings of alpha modules which rotate in four different modes at rapid rates. This rapid rotation results in each nucleon being effectively smeared uniformly throughout a spherical shell.

The nucleons are organized in spherical shells containing at most certain numbers of nucleons. These nuclear magic numbers are explained by a simple algorithm.

Dynamically a nucleus is basically composed of concentric spherical shells which repel each other. This mutual repulsion results in a stable arrangement in which the centers of the concentric spherical shells coincide. This only occurs for repulsion forces that drop off faster than inverse distance squared.

Thus a nucleus is held together by the linkages created by the formation of spin pairs. The rings of alpha modules rotate to create the dynamic appearance of concentric spherical shells which are held together through the repulsion of the nucleonic forces. Neutron spin pairs outside of the concentric spheres are held by their attraction to the concentric spheres. So all of the nuclear forces, repulsions as well as attractions, are involved in holding a nucleus together.

For a review and critique of the conventional theory of nuclei see A statistical test of the conventional theory of the nucleus

For an implication of the above analysis in astronomy see NeutronStars.

For more on the physics of nuclei and other things see New pages.

     Dedicated to K. Serventi
without whose medical and
people skills this would
not have been written.

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