Balance = Stability
One of the things noted in early studies of the nucleus was the dominance of EVEN numbers of nucleons in stable nuclei. There are far more stable nuclei with EVEN numbers of nucleons than with odd numbers of nucleons. For example:
“Valley of Stability” involves or contains all the stable nuclei of all the elements.
“Path of Stability” involves the connected stable nuclei in the Valley of Stability.
“Satellite isotopes” or nuclei are stable nuclei not connected to the Path of Stability and reside unattached and adjacent to the Path of Stability within the Valley of Stability.
Along the Path of Stability there are gaps or open steps that exist in the continuous flow of stable nuclei. These gaps always involve odd numbers of nucleons.
The two proton gaps are highlighted in RED
All the skipped numbers are odd. This is true for both protons and neutrons.
Neutron & Proton Gaps
The importance of even numbers of nucleons in a nucleus suggest some type of radial symmetry. It is easier to achieve balance using even numbers of particles than using odd numbers of particles. When building the nuclear lattice structure even numbers of nucleons are an essential requirement for stable nuclei.
Balance and Symmetry
This indicates that the number 2 as a very important “magic number” for nuclei. The next two important magic numbers for the nucleus are 4 and 6.
Balance = Stability in Nuclear Growth Patterns
There are many clues about balance and symmetry that can be deduced from nuclei that are within the Valley of Stability. Following are three stable nuclear growth patterns that provide clues about how and why stable nuclei occur.
Balance = Stability in Stable “Satellite Isotopes.”
Isotopes adjacent to the Path of Stability are the result of adding or removing neutrons. When only one neutron is added or removed the nucleus that is left is unbalanced, which results in instability. However, add or remove two neutrons from a nucleus and in some cases sufficient balance is maintained that a stabile isotope of the element results. These are what are being labled “satellite” isotopes.
There is always a gap of one neutron between nuclei of a satellite nucleus and nuclei on the path of stability and between two stable satellite nuclei. There are no adjacent satellite isotopes.
This indicates that neutrons are added symmetrically around the center of the nuclear structure. Thus to maintain balance when two neutron or two protons are added to a nucleus, the two nucleons always form a straight line that passes through the center point of the nuclear structure.
Balance = Stability, Results in Dominance of Even Numbers of Nucleons
Even proton number nuclei always have an odd number of connected stable isotopes why?
This necessity to build the nucleus in even number of nucleons indicates that the growth must be symmetrical. This is evident because nuclei with odd numbers of protons have minimal numbers of isotopes. Varity in stable isotopes always occurs in nuclei with an even number of protons and outliers like satellite isotopes always involve even number of both protons and neutrons.
Balance = Stability, Two Even Numbered Neutron Isotopes Surround Neutron Gaps
Elements that have nuclei with an odd number of protons generally have one isotope except in two special cases where they have two isotopes.
Odd number of proton nuclei created by the deuteron step. That involves all odd number of proton nuclei that are lighter than oxygen, see figure 1.
Odd number of proton nuclei that straddle a neutron gap have two stable isotopes, see figure 2.
When a nucleus with an odd number of protons has two stable isotopes, the stable nuclei are always separated by an unstable isotope with an odd number of neutrons. Thus, both stable isotopes have an even number of neutrons. For elements heavier than oxygen there is no stable isotope with an odd number of protons and an odd number of neutrons.
The first two sets of neutron gaps, 19 & 21 and 35 & 39, provide valuable incite into balance within the nucleus
Completion of The Core Phase
Completion of The Star Phase
Completion of the star phase is where the second set of neutron gaps occurs. These two gaps occur at 35 and 39 neutrons.
These two sets of gaps occur at the transition between phases of building the nucleus. The first set occurs at the transition between the initial building of the Core Phase and the starting of the Star Phase. The second set occurs between the Star Phase and the commencement of the Loops Phase. The next neutron gaps 5 thru 8 at 45, 61, 71 & 89 neutrons and the two proton gaps at 43 & 61 protons are related to transitions in the Loops Phase. All these gaps provide clues about a slight skew in the shape of the six sided of the alpha particle. This skew is further indicated by the nucleon binding energy which peaks at nickel, two elements before the lattice closes at zinc.
This skewness results from differences in the magnitude of the electric poles and magnetic dipoles of the quarks which creates a slight warping of the symmetry of the six sided alpha particle. Thus when a phase closes or the structure of the nuclear lattice closes slight adjustment is needed which reduce the energy that would be available if the final nucleons slid in without the need for these accommodations in the lattice structure.
All the above examples relate to the balance and symmetry that exist within stable nuclei. This symmetry is with respect to the center point of the nucleus. Balance indicates that nucleons are added in a fashion that will minimize “vibration” within the nucleus.