Georgia Journal of Science


The orbits of a nucleon and its respective parent nucleus about their common center of mass are simulated in an effort to provide a pedagogical approach to the understanding of the structure of atomic nuclei. The nuclear exercise is treated by solving the problem with an effective force on the system’s reduced mass. The potential governing the mean field is modeled by the Woods-Saxon form-factor with parameters that enable it to describe experimental findings. The Woods-Saxon potential is preferred over the infinite well and harmonic oscillator methods because both require infinite separation energies of the nucleons. The simulation is created using Easy Java Simulations (EJS) which is part of the Open Source Physics project and a MATLAB version (compatible with Octave) is included in the Appendix.