4th Edition

Introduction to Nuclear Science

By Jeff C. Bryan Copyright 2023
    406 Pages 164 B/W Illustrations
    by CRC Press

    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.


    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




    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.