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The History of Nuclidic Masses and of their Evaluation

Abstract : This paper is centered on some historical aspects of nuclear masses, and their relations to major discoveries. Besides nuclear reactions and decays, the heart of mass measurements lies in mass spectrometry, the early history of which will be reviewed first. I shall then give a short history of the mass unit which has not always been defined as one twelfth of the carbon-12 mass. When combining inertial masses from mass spectrometry with energy differences obtained in reactions and decays, the conversion factor between the two is essential. The history of the evaluation of the nuclear masses (actually atomic masses) is only slightly younger than that of the mass measurements themselves. In their modern form, mass evaluations can be traced back to 1955. Prior to 1955, several tables were established, the oldest one in 1935.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, February 8, 2006 - 10:50:26 AM
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G. Audi. The History of Nuclidic Masses and of their Evaluation. International Journal of Mass Spectrometry, Elsevier, 2006, 251, pp.85-94. ⟨10.1016/j.ijms.2006.01.048⟩. ⟨in2p3-00025584⟩



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