Nuclear physics is the field of physics that studies the constituents and interactions of atomic nuclei. The most commonly known applications of nuclear physics are nuclear power generation and nuclear weapons technology, but the research has provided application in many fields, including those in nuclear medicine and magnetic resonance imaging, ion implantation in materials engineering, and radiocarbon dating in geology and archaeology.
The field of particle physics evolved out of nuclear physics and is typically taught in close association with nuclear physics.
Nuclear chemistry is the subfield of chemistry dealing with radioactivity, nuclear processes and nuclear properties.
It is the chemistry of radioactive elements such as the actinides, radium and radon together with the chemistry associated with equipment (such as nuclear reactors) which are designed to perform nuclear processes. This includes the corrosion of surfaces and the behavior under conditions of both normal and abnormal operation (such as during an accident). An important area is the behavior of objects and materials after being placed into a nuclear waste storage or disposal site.
A chemical element is a pure chemical substance consisting of one type of atom distinguished by its atomic number, which is the number of protons in its nucleus. Elements are divided into metals, metalloids, and non-metals. Familiar examples of elements include carbon, oxygen (non-metals), silicon, arsenic (metalloids), aluminium, iron, copper, gold, mercury, and lead (metals).
The lightest chemical elements, including hydrogen, helium (and smaller amounts of lithium, beryllium and boron), are thought to have been produced by various cosmic processes during the Big Bang and cosmic-ray spallation. Production of heavier elements, from carbon to the very heaviest elements, proceeded by stellar nucleosynthesis, and these were made available for later solar system and planetary formation by planetary nebulae and supernovae, which blast these elements into space. The high abundance of oxygen, silicon, and iron on Earth reflects their common production in such stars, after the lighter gaseous elements and their compounds have been subtracted. While most elements are generally viewed as stable, a small amount of natural transformation of one element to another also occurs at the present time through decay of radioactive elements as well as other natural nuclear processes.
Mirror nuclei are nuclei where the number of protons of element one (Z1) equals the number of neutrons of element two (N2), the number of protons of element two (Z2) equal the number of neutrons in element one (N1) and the mass number is the same.
In short, Z1=N2 and Z2=N1.
In physical cosmology, Big Bang nucleosynthesis (abbreviated BBN, also known as primordial nucleosynthesis) refers to the production of nuclei other than those of the lightest isotope of hydrogen during the early phases of the universe. Primordial nucleosynthesis is believed by most cosmologists to have taken place between approximately 10 seconds until 20 minutes after the Big Bang, and is calculated to be responsible for the formation of most of the universe's helium as isotope He-4, along with small amounts of deuterium (H-2 or D), the helium isotope He-3, and a very small amount of the lithium isotope Li-7. In addition to these stable nuclei, two unstable or radioactive isotopes were also produced: tritium or H-3; and beryllium-7 (Be-7); but these unstable isotopes later decayed into He-3 and Li-7, as above.
Essentially all the elements heavier than Lithium were created much later, by stellar nucleosynthesis in evolving and exploding stars.