Semi-Empirical Mass Formula

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In nuclear physics, the **semi-empirical mass formula** (**SEMF**) (sometimes also called **Weizsäcker's formula**, or the **Bethe-Weizsäcker formula**, or the **Bethe-Weizsäcker mass formula** to distinguish it from the Bethe–Weizsäcker process) is used to approximate the mass and various other properties of an atomic nucleus. As the name suggests, it is based partly on theory and partly on empirical measurements. The theory is based on the **liquid drop model** proposed by George Gamow, which can account for most of the terms in the formula and gives rough estimates for the values of the coefficients. It was first formulated in 1935 by German physicist Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker, and although refinements have been made to the coefficients over the years, the structure of the formula remains the same today.Weizsäcker, Carl Friedrich von, *Zur Theorie der Kernmassen* (*On the theory of nuclear masses*); in: Zeitschrift für Physik (Journal of Physics) **96** (1935) pages 431-458 The SEMF gives a good approximation for atomic masses and several other effects, but does not explain the appearance of magic numbers.

## The liquid drop model and its analysis

The liquid drop model in nuclear physics treats the nucleus as a drop of incompressible nuclear fluid. It was first proposed by George Gamow and then developed by Niels Bohr and John Archibald Wheeler. The fluid is made of nucleons (protons and neutrons), which are held together by the...

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