Nuclear Reactors

Nuclear Physics from Rocks to Reactors

Recent research on the neutron-proton (np) reaction could help us understand the age of the Earth and build less expensive nuclear power plants. The np reaction plays a role in potassium-argon dating and in the removal of neutrons from nuclear reactor cores, leading to core shutdown. In recent studies, nuclear scientists used a new neutron source to show that np reaction rates occur in ways very different from scientists’ initial expectations.