nuclear molecule

Nuclear molecule

A quasistable entity of nuclear dimensions formed in nuclear collisions and comprising two or more discrete nuclei that retain their identities and are bound together by strong nuclear forces. Whereas the stable molecules of chemistry and biology consist of atoms bound through various electronic mechanisms, nuclear molecules do not form in nature except possibly in the hearts of giant stars; this simply reflects the fact that all nuclei carry positive electrical charges, and that under all natural conditions the long-range electrostatic repulsion prevents nuclear components from coming within the grasp of the short-range attractive nuclear force which could provide molecular binding. But in energetic collisions this electrostatic repulsion can be overcome. See Nuclear structure

nuclear molecule

[′nü·klē·ər ′mäl·ə‚kyül]
(nuclear physics)
A quasistable entity of nuclear dimensions formed in nuclear collisions and comprising two or more nuclei that retain their identities and are bound together by strong nuclear forces.
Full browser ?