An alternating quark ball-and-stick model of nuclear structure



Protons and neutrons each contain three quarks. No consensus exists for quarks in nuclear structure but treating protons and neutrons as point-like particles has been sufficient to explain an enormous body of experimental results. However, the methodologies employed to achieve these results are quite complex and computationally intensive. The alternating quark model (AQM) is a representational model aimed at first-year university science students. A rule-based geometric method of elucidating alternating quark structures is presented. Structures of the first 33 stable elements are tabulated, and statistical correlation is near-perfect with accepted nuclear radii. Distance between the average positions of sequential quarks equals the proton radius. Best-fit structural solutions conform to anisotropic cylindrical lattices of stacked 6-nucleon (18-quark) rings exhibiting shell-like periodicity and repeating every 12 nucleons. Periodicity in the sign and magnitude of nuclear magnetic moments strongly correlates with respective quark struc-tures. The AQM nuclide structure acts as a substrate that sterically selects either a proton or neutron in nucleosynthesis, analogous to base pair selection in DNA replication. A novel criterion of nuclear stability is presented: Nuclides containing contiguous alternating quark sequences tend to be stable; those con-taining discontiguous quark sequences tend to be unstable. Implications for nuclear fusion are discussed.

Version notes

This version contains an updated introduction that places AQM in the context of contemporary models of the atomic nucleus.


Thumbnail image of AQM ball stick manuscript.pdf

Supplementary material

Thumbnail image of Alt Quark 10'.mov
Alt Quark 10'
A short introduction to the alternating quark model, a ball and stick quark model of nuclear structure
Thumbnail image of AQM 41'.mov
AQM 41'
A 41' introduction to the alternating quark model, a ball and stick quark model of nuclear structure
Thumbnail image of AQM supplemental.xlsx
AQM structural determinations
This spreadsheet contains the center of mass and radius calculations for the first 33 stable nuclides presented within the manuscript. Also included are the calculations of the coulomb barrier height for deuteron Dash deuteron prime fusion by two approaches: antiparallel and axial.