AUTHORPeierls, Rudolf E.
TITLEThe Atomic Nucleus
PERIODICAL TITLEScientific American
DATE PUBLISHED1959
VOLUME NUMBER200
ISSUE NUMBERJanuary
PAGE NUMBERS75-82
ISSN0036-8733


This 1959 article by nuclear physicist Rudolf Peierls describes the nucleus of the atom and the different models that scientists have devised to represent the nucleus. Peierls begins by briefly reviewing the history of knowledge about the atom as a whole and by noting steps in attaining that knowledge: identification of the forces between particles, understanding of the mechanical laws that govern motion under those forces, and the creation of a model with which scientists could work. Next, Peierls applies those steps to the nucleus. The liquid-drop, shell, and optical models are among the models of the nucleus that he analyzes. Throughout the article, he discusses the work of key scientists in the atomic field, including Niels Bohr, Ernest Rutherford, Max Planck, Werner Heisenberg, and Wolfgang Pauli. The article contains diagrams and pictures.


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