Nuclear Force – Class 12 | Chapter – 13 | Physics Short Notes Series PDF for NEET & JEE

Nuclear Force: The nuclear force is the force that holds the nucleus of an atom together. It is one of the four fundamental forces in nature, along with gravity, electromagnetism, and the weak force. The nuclear force is responsible for binding protons and neutrons together in the nucleus despite the strong repulsion between the positively charged protons.

The nuclear force is a very strong force at short distances, but it has a very short range and becomes weaker over greater distances. This is why the size and stability of the nucleus are limited by the strength of the nuclear force.

The nuclear force is mediated by particles called mesons, which are particles similar to photons (particles of light) but with a much larger mass. There are two types of mesons that mediate the nuclear force: pions and mesons. Pions are responsible for the strong nuclear force between nucleons, while mesons are responsible for the residual nuclear force between nucleons.

The nuclear force is very important in nuclear physics, as it is responsible for holding the nucleus together and determining the properties of nuclei. The strength of the nuclear force also affects the stability and decay of nuclei, as well as the energy released in nuclear reactions.

Properties of Nuclear Force

The nuclear force is a strong force that holds the protons and neutrons in the nucleus of an atom together. Here are some of the key properties of the nuclear force:

  • Strong: The nuclear force is one of the strongest forces in nature, about 100 times stronger than the electromagnetic force. This allows it to overcome the strong repulsion between the positively charged protons in the nucleus.
  • Short-Range: The nuclear force has a very short range, only extending to about 1 femtometer (10^-15 meters). Beyond this distance, the force becomes negligible. This short range is due to the exchange of mesons, which are heavy particles that can only travel short distances before being absorbed.
  • Attractive and Repulsive: The nuclear force can be both attractive and repulsive. At very short ranges, it is highly attractive and overcomes the repulsion between protons. However, at slightly larger ranges, it becomes repulsive, preventing the nucleus from collapsing in on itself.
  • Isospin-Dependent: The nuclear force is dependent on the isospin of the particles involved, which is a quantum number that describes the proton-neutron symmetry in a nucleus. This means that the force between two protons is slightly different than the force between a proton and neutron.
  • Spin-Dependent: The nuclear force is also dependent on the spin of the particles involved. This is because the exchange of mesons between particles depends on their spin orientations.

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