Interactions of nucleons: Their role in understanding the Sun's origin, composition, and source of energy
This dissertation confirms and demonstrates the utilization of the "Cradle of the Nuclides" in deciphering the Sun. The "Cradle of the Nuclides" is the nuclear energy surface of all 2,850 known nuclides presented as three-dimensional (3-D) plots of mass or atomic number versus charge density versus average energy per nucleon. The systematic properties of nuclides defining the cradle (i.e., nuclear systematics) indicate that n-p interactions are strongly attractive while n-n and p-p interactions are repulsive and symmetric with the exception of Coulomb effects in the latter. Nuclear systematics have been used to understand the internal structure of the Sun and the abundance of elements and isotopes in the Solar System. The abundance values were then compared to the values derived from the study of the spectra of the solar atmosphere, meteorites, and lunar samples implanted with solar wind. After correcting for mass fractionation, the most abundant elements in the Sun were found to be the even-Z elements with tightly bound nucleons - Fe, Ni, O, Si, S, Mg, and Ca. These findings confirm Harkins' theory that abundance should depend on nuclear structure; however, they contradict the accepted high hydrogen model of the Sun where fusion of hydrogen is the dominant source of solar energy. Instead, repulsion between like nucleons has been shown as a plausible source of solar energy. Thus nuclear systematics have been used to illustrate possible mechanisms for the Sun's origin, composition, and source of energy. The definition of these mechanisms is important because the Sun comprises ≈99.8% of all mass in the solar system and serves as a model for other stars.
0738: Nuclear chemistry