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Introduction to Nuclear Science, Second Edition

By Jeff C. Bryan

CRC Press – 2013 – 420 pages

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  • Add to CartHardback: $94.95
    March 4th 2013


This book was written to provide students who have limited backgrounds in the physical sciences and math with an accessible textbook on nuclear science. Expanding on the foundation of the bestselling first edition, Introduction to Nuclear Science, Second Edition provides a clear and complete introduction to nuclear chemistry and physics, from basic concepts to nuclear power and medical applications. Incorporating suggestions from professors using this book for their courses, the author has created a new text that is approximately 60 percent larger and more comprehensive and flexible than the first.

New to This Edition:

  • Thorough review of nuclear forensics, radiology, gamma cameras, and decay through proton or neutron emission
  • More detailed explanations of the necessary mathematics
  • A chapter on dosimetry of radiation fields
  • Expanded discussion of applications, introduced earlier in the text
  • More in-depth coverage of nuclear reactors, including a new chapter examining more reactor types, their safety systems, and recent accidents such as the one in Fukushima, Japan
  • Additional end-of-chapter problems throughout the book
  • A new appendix with nuclear data for all nuclides mentioned

This book covers energetics, nuclear stability, radioactive decay, nuclear reactions, interactions of radiation with matter, detection methods, and safety measures, including monitoring and regulations. It explores applications in medicine, power generation, food safety, waste, and weapons. 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. It also serves as a general introduction to nuclear science for all interested readers.


Praise for the first edition:

"This is an excellent first guide to undergraduate and postgraduate students studying many aspects of the nuclear sciences, from the basics of radioactive decay to nuclear medicine and other applications of radioactivity. It is well written, combining good robust science with clarity and ease of reading."

—Nick Evans, Reviews, July 2011, No. 22, Vol 12




Atomic Structure

Nuclear Transformations

Nuclear Stability

Ionizing Radiation

A Biological Threat

Natural and Anthropogenic Radiation

The Chart of the Nuclides


Mathematics of Radioactive Decay

Atomic Masses and Average Atomic Masses

Nature of Decay

Specific Activity


Branched Decay




Energy and the Nucleus

Binding Energy

Total Energy of Decay

Decay Diagrams


Applications of Nuclear Science I: Power and Weapons

Nuclear Power

Nuclear Weapons

Nuclear Forensics


Radioactive Decay: The Gory Details

Alpha Decay

Beta Decay

Positron Decay

Electron Capture

Multiple Decay Modes

Valley of Beta Stability

Isomeric Transitions

Other Decay Modes


Interactions of Ionizing Radiation with Matter

Ionizing Radiation

Charged Particles


Attenuation of Gamma and x-Radiation


Detection of Ionizing Radiation

Gas-Filled Detectors

Scintillation Detectors

Other Detectors

Gamma Spectroscopy


Applications of Nuclear Science II: Medicine and Food


Radiation Therapy

Food Irradiation

Nuclear Medicine


Nuclear Reactions


Cross Section



Cosmogenic Nuclides


Fission and Fusion

Spontaneous Fission

Neutron-Induced Fission


Stellar Nucleosynthesis

Synthesis of Unknown Elements


Applications of Nuclear Science III: More about Nuclear Reactors

Reactions in Reactors

Other Reactor Types

Reactor Safety Systems

Nuclear Power Plant Accidents

Fusion Reactors


Radiation Protection


Regulations and Recommendations



X-Ray Production

Conventional X-Ray Beams

High-Energy X-Ray Beams


Dosimetry of Radiation Fields

Percent Depth Dose

Tissue-Air Ratio

Tissue Maximum Ratio

Isodose Curves

Moving Fields

Proton and Electron Beam Dosimetry


Appendix A: Useful Constants, Conversion Factors, SI Prefixes, and Formulas

Appendix B: Periodic Table of the Elements

Appendix C

Appendix D: Table of Chi-Squared



Author Bio

Jeff C. Bryan is with the Department of Chemistry at the University of Wisconsin–La Crosse.

Name: Introduction to Nuclear Science, Second Edition (Hardback)CRC Press 
Description: By Jeff C. Bryan. This book was written to provide students who have limited backgrounds in the physical sciences and math with an accessible textbook on nuclear science. Expanding on the foundation of the bestselling first edition, Introduction to Nuclear Science, Second...
Categories: Physical Chemistry, Radiology, Atomic & Nuclear Physics