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Nuclear Structure

  1. Jan Jolie

Published Online: 28 APR 2014

DOI: 10.1002/9783527600434.eap278.pub3

Encyclopedia of Applied Physics

Encyclopedia of Applied Physics

How to Cite

Jolie, J. 2014. Nuclear Structure. Encyclopedia of Applied Physics. 3–44.

Author Information

  1. University of Cologne, Institute for Nuclear Physics, Cologne, Germany

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 28 APR 2014


The basic properties of atomic nuclei are reviewed. Experimental measurements of nuclear masses give access to the nuclear binding energies and are essential to understand nuclear radioactivity and basic properties of atomic nuclei via the semiempirical mass formula. The presence of charges in the atomic nuclei leads to the possibility to measure the nuclear charge distribution. Emphasis is put on the electromagnetic properties of nuclear excitations allowing the determination of several nuclear moments of states and of electromagnetic transition rates in between these states. Following an overview of the observed properties of excited states in atomic nuclei, four nuclear models used to describe the structure of the atomic nucleus are introduced. They are the spherical and deformed shell models, the collective model, and the interacting boson model.


  • radioactive decay;
  • nuclear masses;
  • nuclear charge distribution;
  • nuclear moments;
  • electromagnetic transitions;
  • shell model;
  • Nilsson model;
  • collective model;
  • interacting boson model