Introduction to Nuclear Science  book cover
4th Edition

Introduction to Nuclear Science

  • Available for pre-order on April 11, 2023. Item will ship after May 2, 2023
ISBN 9781032301808
May 2, 2023 Forthcoming by CRC Press
384 Pages 164 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Written to provide students who have limited backgrounds in the physical sciences and math with an accessible textbook on nuclear chemistry and physics, Introduction to Nuclear Science, Fourth Edition continues to provide a clear and complete introduction to nuclear chemistry and physics, from basic concepts to nuclear power and medical applications. Incorporating suggestions from adopting professors and collaborations with the U.S. Department of Energy funded and American Chemical Society sponsored Nuclear Chemistry Summer School, a new chapter on nuclear structure is now included.

Also new to this edition:

  • A section covering mass excess calculations
  • Isochron dating of rocks
  • The section on statistics is completely re-written to better align with conventional instruction
  • Expanded discussion of recent changes in the nuclear power industry and nuclear medicine

This book covers energetics, nuclear stability and structure, radioactive decay and reactions, interactions of radiation with matter, detection methods, and safety measures, including monitoring and regulations. This updated, expanded edition provides a much-needed textbook and resource for undergraduate students in science and engineering as well as those studying nuclear medicine and radiation therapy.

Table of Contents


Preface to the fourth edition

Preface to the third edition

Preface to the second edition

Preface to the first edition

Chapter 1 Introduction

1.1 Radiation

1.2 Atomic Structure

1.3 Nuclear Transformations

1.4 Nuclear Stability

1.5 Ionizing Radiation

1.6 A Biological Threat?

1.7 Natural and Anthropogenic Radiation

1.8 The Chart of the Nuclides


Chapter 2 The Mathematics of Radioactive Decay

2.1 Atomic Masses and Average Atomic Masses

2.2 The Nature of Decay

2.3 Specific Activity

2.4 Dating

2.5 Branched Decay

2.6 Equilibria

2.7 Statistics


Chapter 3 Energy and the Nucleus

3.1 Binding Energy

3.2 Total Energy of Decay

3.3 Decay Diagrams

3.4 Mass as Energy


Chapter 4 Applications of Nuclear Science I: Power and Weapons

4.1 Nuclear Power

4.2 Nuclear Weapons

4.3 Nuclear Forensics


Chapter 5 Radioactive Decay: The Gory Details

5.1 Alpha Decay

5.2 Beta Decay

5.3 Positron Decay

5.4 Electron Capture

5.5 Multiple Decay Modes

5.6 The Valley of Beta Stability

5.7 Isomeric Transitions

5.8 Other Decay Modes


Chapter 6 Nuclear Structure

6.1 Nuclear Shape and Size

6.2 The Semi-Empirical Mass Equation

6.3 The Shell Model

6.4 Applications of the Shell Model


Chapter 7 Interactions of Ionizing Radiation with Matter

7.1 Ionizing Radiation

7.2 Charged Particles

7.3 Photons

7.4 Attenuation of Gamma and X-Radiation


Chapter 8 Detection of Ionizing Radiation

8.1 Gas-Filled Detectors

8.2 Scintillation Detectors

8.3 Other Detectors

8.4 Gamma Spectroscopy


Chapter 9 Applications of Nuclear Science II: Medicine and Food

9.1 Radiology

9.2 Radiation Therapy

9.3 Food Irradiation

9.4 Nuclear Medicine


Chapter 10 Nuclear Reactions

10.1 Energetics

10.2 Cross Section

10.3 Yield

10.4 Accelerators

10.5 Cosmogenic Nuclides


Chapter 11 Fission and Fusion

11.1 Spontaneous Fission

11.2 Neutron-Induced Fission

11.3 Fusion

11.4 Stellar Nucleosynthesis

11.5 Synthesis of Unknown Elements


Chapter 12 Applications of Nuclear Science III: More About Nuclear Reactors

12.1 Reactions in Reactors

12.2 Other Reactor Types

12.3 Reactor Safety Systems

12.4 Nuclear Power Plant Accidents

12.5 Fusion Reactors


Chapter 13 Radiation Protection

13.1 Terms

13.2 Regulations and Recommendations

13.3 Risk


Chapter 14 X-ray Production

14.1 Conventional X-ray Beams

14.2 High-Energy X-ray Beams


Chapter 15 Dosimetry of Radiation Fields

15.1 Percentage Depth Dose

15.2 Tissue Air Ratio

15.3 Tissue Maximum Ratio

15.4 Isodose Curves

15.5 Moving Fields

15.6 Proton and Electron Beam Dosimetry



Appendix A: Nuclide Data

Appendix B: Table of Chi-Squared

Appendix C: Useful Constants, Conversion Factors and Formulas

Appendix D: Periodic Table of the Elements



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Dr. Bryan has over 100 publications in peer-reviewed journals, including one book chapter and an encyclopedia article. His research has been featured on the covers of one book, two journals, and two professional society newsletters. Dr. Bryan co-authored a nuclear chemistry laboratory manual with Dr. Sid Katz in 2011. In 2015, Dr. Bryan worked with Dr. Nivaldo Tro to revise the nuclear chemistry chapters in Dr. Tro’s General Chemistry textbooks. They also worked as part of a larger group of authors to write 30-Second Chemistry (a.k.a. Know-it-All Chemistry) in 2017.