## Saturday, May 21, 2011

### Playing around with this calculator

It is called the Semi Empirical Binding Energy Calculator.  Frankly, I don't know how to use it, nor do I know how to properly describe it.  The thing I did was to plug in some numbers corresponding to what I think is happening with the transmutation from copper back into nickel by one of two processes 1) beta decay and 2) electron capture.  These processes will get you back from an unstable isotope of copper to a stable isotope of nickel.  Then another proton is added which sends you up the chain again to copper and back down again to nickel.  This repeats until you reach a stable isotope of copper.  I calculated it for four protons.  I didn't calculate the fifth for copper because I don't know what happens at that point in terms of energy.  This also doesn't take into consideration the energy requirements to get the proton to fuse with the nickel nucleus at each step.

First, let's look at beta decay

 add proton to nickel yields copper, beta decays back to nickel

 add 2nd proton to nickel yields copper, beta decays back to nickel again

 add 3rd proton to nickel yields copper and back to nickel again

 add 4th proton to nickel yields copper and back to nickel again

The next proton yields stable copper.

Update:  I had some company so I set this post aside for awhile.  Now I am back.  I'll finish this up in just a minute.

Okay, now I've loaded the ones I did for electron capture.

 Electron capture means it takes an electron close to the nucleus.  This converts the proton into a neutron and releases energy.  This happens with proton rich nuclei.  The opposite occurs with neutron rich nucleii.

 Just work through the same process as with beta decay, but don't know which one would occur before the other would.  Perhaps the rule would be which takes the least energy.

 In these pics, I am speculating that these reactions are feasible.  If there is any info here that suggests otherwise, well, please excuse the amateurishness.  I am after all, an amateur.

 It looks like electron capture releases more energy.
And there it is.  Maybe it happens this way, or perhaps I am full of it.  Anybody who is trained up on this stuff, feel free to comment.