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A Brief Note on Atomic Physics and Nuclear Physics

Author(s): Celeste Castilo

Nuclear physics investigates the components (protons and neutrons) and interactions of atomic nuclei while atomic physics examines atoms as a standalone system of electrons and an atomic nucleus. Molecule physics and characteristics are also covered in atomic physics. What matters most is how the electrons are arranged around the nucleus and how these arrangements vary, including the role of ions and neutral atoms. There are many uses for nuclear physics, including radioactive dating in geology, palaeontology, archaeology, and the arts, as well as ion implantation in materials engineering and medical diagnosis (PET, MRI). Other uses include nuclear power generation and national security (nuclear weapons stockpile)

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