Nuclear Physics Applications in the Environmental Sciences

Nuclear Physics Applications in the Environmental Sciences

This lecture is part of the modules "Modern Aspects of Physics" and "Selected Topics in Modern Physics"


The nuclear physical fundamentals of stellar nucleosynthesis and the origin of the elements in burning processes in stars and supernova explosions (r- and s-process) are treated. The concept of the isotope is introduced, and physical and chemical isotope effects are discussed. Both, natural isotope effects as well as their technical application in isotope separation are discussed. Stable and radioactive isotopes are used as tracers and clocks in the geosphere, atmosphere and hydrosphere, pedosphere and biosphere. Primary, radiogenic, cosmogenic, and nucleogenic anomalies of isotope abundances are presented with regard to age determinations, e.g. the age of chemical elements, the formation of the solar system and the collision history of small bodies in the solar system.

The cycles of elements in the environment are treated with compartment models and applied to behavior of special nuclides such as H-3, Be-10, C-14, Cl-36 and I-129 in the environment. The physical basics of the production of cosmogenic nuclides in the atmosphere and their in-situ production in the earth's surface are displayed. Stable and radioactive isotopes in the different environmental archives allow the study of the development of general environmental conditions and of anthropogenic changes.

Credit points: 2

Semester hours per week: 2

Place:  4134, room 101, Seminarraum Biophysik, Herrenhäuser Straße 2

Start: Summer semester, monday 2:15 p.m.

Lecturer: Prof. Walther

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DavisMeteorites, Comets and Planets
Siehl - Ernst & Sohn Verlag Berlin (1996)Umweltradioaktivität
Oberhummer - Barth Verlagsgesellschaft, Leipzig (1993) Kerne und Sterne
Choppin, Rydberg, Liljenzin - Butterworth Heinemann, Oxford, 1995 Radiochemistry and Nuclear Chemistry
Marmier, Sheldon -  2 vol., Academic Press, New York, 1970 Physics of Nuclei and Particles
T. Mayer-Kuckuk - (6. Aufl.) Teubner, Stuttgart, 1994 Kernphysik
G.F. Knoll - J. Wiley & Sons, New York, 2000 Radiation detection and measurement
Karlsruhe Chart of Nuclides/Karlsruher Nuklidkarte (free of charge from the university network)
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