Nuclear Radiation Physics - a special value

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Richard Hull
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Nuclear Radiation Physics - a special value

Post by Richard Hull » Mon May 16, 2005 7:08 pm

Nuclear Radiation Physics by Lapp and Andrews represents one of the most incredible values for the money spent. It is commonly found in the $10.00 price range. It is superb for those seeking quick, usable and workable knowledge on basic nuclear physics.

A virtual treasure trove of useful data that is condensed but contains many useful examples of what is being taught. It states that it is made for the first year college level with little need or emphasis on calculus. It would be superb to train a nuclear technician. I especially love the conversion and unit discussions. They present in EMU, ESU and Practical units in the beginning. One gets a real feel for the units and their relationship. Tables and charts make understanding slow and methodical with an eye on retention of basics once the quiz examples are worked through at the end of each section.

If you are totally clueless in radiation physics and go through this book cover to cover and do the exercises. You will exit the other side, not a Phd but, at least, a pretty sharp cookie.

I have 6 copies as the book saw three edtions and many printings within each. The first edition is romantic as it came out in 1948 when the topic was new. The second editon came out in 1954 and gone was the introduction by the author's pal, Compton. Gone also was the introduction where at the end, the authors signed out with their respective alternate locations Washington, DC and Einewetok Atoll. (Able and Baker shots)

Also missing is the dedication. How sad it is that second editions are often so cleaned up as to be sterile. It is just so, as well, with Soddy's book on radium. A lot of charm and history get purged.

Certainly the later editions are updated with newer material, but it is your choice, the books are all usable in the sense of training a radiation neophyte.

Get a junk or blownup copy for $5.00 and underline and tab important sections. It will be a reference for life

Richard Hull
Progress may have been a good thing once, but it just went on too long. - Yogi Berra
Fusion is the energy of the future....and it always will be
Retired now...Doing only what I want and not what I should...every day is a saturday.

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Re: Nuclear Radiation Physics - a special value

Post by Joe Jarski » Thu Aug 26, 2010 2:37 am

"Nuclear Radiation Physics" by Lapp & Andrews, 1948, Prentice-Hall

I just finished reading this book and have to say that Richard hit the nail on the head with this one.

Being nearly clueless about radiation physics, I found this book extremely easy to read and understand. It moved swiftly from one subject to the next presenting a wealth of information without beating a dead horse. As questions formed about things that I wanted to do additional research on, I found that they were usually answered in the next section.

I particularly like the explanations of theory and how measurements were derived along with the historical notes - not just facts and figures laid out, but the how's and why's of where they came from with a hands-on type of feel to it.

I rarely read books from cover to cover, especially of this nature, but this one kept my interest from beginning to end. Now, on to the next... text...

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Re: Nuclear Radiation Physics - a special value

Post by Richard Hull » Tue Aug 31, 2010 4:46 pm

Thanks Joe for the glowing report. I always am glad to see someone else give their book report on the books that are recommended here by all who generate a post stating that they have read a good reference. This book was certainly exceptional. I still have my original copy from my late childhood in the 1950's.

Richard Hull
Progress may have been a good thing once, but it just went on too long. - Yogi Berra
Fusion is the energy of the future....and it always will be
Retired now...Doing only what I want and not what I should...every day is a saturday.

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Re: Nuclear Radiation Physics - a special value

Post by Mike Beauford » Sun Sep 05, 2010 5:49 pm

Hi Richard,

I just got my copy and am reading it intensely. This book is amazing! It definitely is answering a lot of questions I had about radiation detectors and how they work. Thanks for the reading suggestion!

Mike Beauford
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Doug Coulter
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Re: Nuclear Radiation Physics - a special value

Post by Doug Coulter » Mon Sep 06, 2010 3:28 pm

We just got our own copy of this -- nicely inexpensive too. If you think this is a good book, you'd think that

Introductory Nuclear Physics, by David Haliday is even better. Much.
First printing March 1957, 14th 1970, by Wiley/Tuttle, Asian edition
3042-000052-4615 (don't know if that's an ISBN or not)

In exchange for it having slightly less on fission (what it has is better, more thorough, and less speculative in nature) and nuclear health, it's got a lot more on everything else (more data relevant to fusion too), is more accurate, better organized and written in better English, more useful math, more practical examples (so you can back-check your own math), and a far better detector section. Very similar organization, almost a spitting image and good for people not into just esoteric math (but it has that too). Very similar book but with more info theoretical and practical both -- including the correct math for various accelerator types. Nuclear models other than just the liquid drop one mainly used for thermal fission - you name it, Haliday just has more good stuff packed into the same size book.

Usually found for $12 to $20. Having the advantage of being printed somewhat later, it has a lot more of the progress in nuclear physics documented -- the period of time between had a lot going on, and it doesn't have "issues" like one chapter saying "there is no way to measure X ray energy by deflection" in one section, while describing how to do it in another, as the '48 printing of Nuclear Radiation Physics does (the '48 one we got based on Richard's recommendation. Further, Halliday doesn't confuse mesons with muons and other important little issues like that...

Most of the other books of similar titles from that era stink compared to *either* of these, we've found.
Nice to know there's another one almost as good as Haliday -- there aren't many as good as either of these.
I reach for Halliday whenever I find myself having to explain something to someone, it's just that good for a wider range of existing knowledge in the reader.

Both are worth reading every page more than once. The older book needs a little more fact checking (by the reader) based on current knowledge, however.

I don't mean to step on anyone's blue suede shoes here, but you really should check this one out too.

Here's a list of some others we find worthwhile:
http://www.coultersmithing.com/forums/v ... f=47&t=112
Why guess when you can know? Measure!

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Re: Nuclear Radiation Physics - a special value

Post by Joe Jarski » Mon Sep 06, 2010 4:19 pm

Thanks for the additional recommendation Doug. I'll be looking for a copy of that one now.

I liked Nuclear Radiation Physics because of it's presentation and readability. As both you and Richard had mentioned, some of the information is outdated or uses older terminology, like the references to Radium decay products (Ra A, Ra B, Ra C, etc). I tend to find older books much more useful when jumping into a new subject. They lay a great foundation for how we got to where we are and give explanations, right or wrong, of how theory has evolved instead of the hand waving "that's just how it is" answers. I think I've learned more about electronics from reading old vacuum tube texts than any current book on the subject.

As a side note, the preface mentions two earlier books that Nuclear Radiation Physics was based on, which may account for some of the conflicting information if those sections were included intact.

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Re: Nuclear Radiation Physics - a special value

Post by Larry Upjohn » Wed Sep 15, 2010 5:40 pm

Doug, Richard;
Thank you both for your reading/library addition suggestions. Turns out I have Halliday, "Introduction to Nuclear Physics" which I purchased new in a Tuttle Bookstore on Okinawa for the sum of $3.95 a number of years ago (1968-1970 era). Just received the "Nuclear Radiation Physics" from an Amazon site for $8.01 which included shipping. I am pleased as both have proven to be excellent references. I like the orderly and well explained formulae of Nuclear Radiation Physics and now have two sources to give me several approaches to the fundemental math involved. They both are dated of course but the core instrumentation discussion gives many clues to obtaining data from our nuclear constituents. Back to reading....Larry Upjohn.
Larry Upjohn

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