Computer reasoning about nuclear physics processes

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Nuclear Process Theory (NPT) is a new process theory which models nuclear physics processes using a formal grammar. This, in turn, allows one to write computer programs which simulate nuclear process interactions. Knowledge of the nuclear physics process is expressed in terms of a basic nuclear physics model and an aggregate effects model. The basic nuclear physics model has the capability of expressing knowledge of nuclear physics processes for different types of reactions. The products of reactions are expressed in either deterministic or probabilistic values. The aggregate effects model coordinates basic nuclear physics processes expressed in the basic nuclear physics model. NPT has been tested by using it to represent several nuclear physics processes, including fission, radioactive capture, beta negative and positive decay, that occur in a homogeneous reactor core. A simulator called NPTsim was written in C to demonstrate the principles of NPT representation. Three examples of running 20 second simulations have been carried out using NPTsim. The three experiments used differing amounts of 235U and 238U corresponding to pure, natural and enriched Uranium. The experimental results are very closed to expected theoretical results. Unique approaches to symbolically representing the state space and probabilistic space equations required for nuclear physics processes are presented. In addition, a unique explanation mechanism for how products of nuclear physics processes arise is enabled by the NPT approach. This mechanism is illustrated in the thesis.