Kinetic Energies of Protons and Neutrons in Heavy Nuclei

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Physics and Astronomy

Date of Award

Spring 2018


The distribution of protons and neutrons within a nucleus has been of great concern for the field of nuclear physics. Within heavy nuclei the number of neutrons outweigh the number of protons; the excess neutrons form what is considered the neutron skin. The neutron skin thickness has been under review through theoretical models and experimentally at nuclear facilities, however the true value of the neutron skin is still under debate. In many-body theories and experimental observations the average kinetic energy of protons is greater than that of neutrons in nuclei. Using the same principles applied to complex many-body theories I modified the Extended Thomas-Fermi model to calculate the average kinetic energies of protons and neutrons in heavy nuclei with the hope of relating the difference in kinetic energy to the neutron skin and further constrain the value of the neutron skin for 208Pb.


Bao-An Li

Subject Categories

Physical Sciences and Mathematics | Physics