In the half dozen years or so since the first publication of Introductory Nuclear Physics, there have been several new developments and changes in the emphasis in the field. This, together with the enthusiastic feedback from colleagues and students, makes it imperative to publish a new edition.
For an active topic of research, a textbook cannot stay static. There are large areas that are basic and well established. These form the core of the first edition and they have stayed more or less the same. At the same time, the students should be made aware of certain new trends, such as superdeformation, relativistic heavy-ion reactions, nuclear astrophysics, and radioactive beams. At the same time, the preparation of students taking a course on nuclear physics is changing as well. Assumptions of a good working knowledge of angular momentum algebra and basic methods of quantum mechanics may no longer be correct for many. For this reason, some parts of the core of nuclear physics have been rewritten to make it more accessible.
The main changes in the second edition are the addition of two new chapters. Heavy-ion reactions, from high-spin states to ultra-relativistic collisions, are now in a totally new chapter. The same approach is also taken on nuclear astrophysics. To keep the book from getting too big, a few of the appendices in the first, edition are either incorporated into the main text or taken out. In addition, some material that is no longer in the forefront of nuclear physics research is shortened or removed altogether.
The Internet has increasingly become the means of providing up-to-date information. From the latest description of major projects to comprehensive data bases, the World Wide Web is now the source of choice. For this reason, Uniform Source Locators (URL) are given as the “reference” for such topics as nuclear binding energies. Unfortunately, changes are frequently made to these electronic addresses and the reader may have to do some search to find the latest one if a particular URL is moved to a new location.