We have a tag on the main site called . It is home to 48 questions and I do not object its general existence. However, I feel troubled by its name. Most tags are either nouns (e.g. ) or a noun connected to an adjective (). Nuclear is an adjective as far as my knowledge of English tells me. Probably that is why I always feel something is missing when I read.$% Just in case: please don’t put a *it* in there; it’s missing for the funzies and on purpose ;)$

I hereby propose renaming to or maybe even — because let’s face it, it’s not chemistry if there are no electrons involved. It should be a flick of @Mart’s (or another mod’s) wand and no big trouble, shouldn’t?$% Same thing here, thanks =D$

  • 6
    $\begingroup$ Yes, mods can rename tags easily. Let's rename it to "nuclear-bomb", I heard that's the trending these days. $\endgroup$
    – M.A.R.
    Oct 28, 2015 at 20:46
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Go with "nuke-u-ler," that's always been a big hit here in the states... $\endgroup$ Oct 29, 2015 at 0:12
  • $\begingroup$ Well chemistry does have "nuclear-chemistry" as a special area. You need special equipment to handle radioisotopes, and for low mass elements different isotopes have different reaction rates - hydrogen and deuterium for example. So the suggestion seems logical to me. $\endgroup$
    – MaxW
    Oct 31, 2015 at 1:04
  • $\begingroup$ Glenn Seaborg, Nobel Prize winner in Chemistry, certainly considered himself a nuclear chemist. But, as far as I can tell, most of the nuclear questions are probably better off on Physics SE. $\endgroup$
    – Jon Custer
    Nov 17, 2015 at 19:14
  • $\begingroup$ @JonCuster Yeah, that’s why I feld fine with nuclear-chemistry. nuclear by itself is more like the nuked (pun not intended) organics tag. $\endgroup$
    – Jan
    Nov 18, 2015 at 9:09

2 Answers 2


tl;dr *sigh* It's not just done with renaming.

Milly Mott shares my feelings.


Nucular is one horrible tag. For the reason you mentioned and for a couple more, well, mainly inconsistency. (And MATT is -2, in words: minus two.)

Defined scope

Let us just start with the basics, the scope definition.

There is no tag wiki for this tag … yet!

Who would have thought... well, at least there is an excerpt, kind of.

relates to the dynamics and processes that occur within and interactions between the nuclei of atoms.

I am not an expert in linguistics, but this is not even a sentence, isn't it? Set aside, I have actually no clue what that is supposed to mean. If someone could please enlighten me.

Since we don't have a defined scope, we can maybe look at the top voted question to determine consistent use. We can and we will. Brace yourselves, this is going to be messy.
brace yourself

Deduced scope

  1. The last element's atomic number
    Basically the topic is Nucleosynthesis.

  2. Do the names of some elements have anything to do with Planets?
    This has something to do with , right? It starts great when the second highest question is a miss-tag.

  3. Is there a simple field test for heavy water?
    I know that there is a branch of chemistry out there called radiochemistry, which is if I recall correctly (mostly) dealing with unstable isotopes in aqueous solution. (I only had an introductory course at university and that has been about ten years ago.) That of course includes radioactive decay and radioactive isotopes.

  4. Turn lead into gold via radioactive decay
    This one is about radioactive decay or more general particle decay.

  5. If radium has such a long half-life, how can radon possibly be a threat to us?
    Radioactive decay again. We are getting somewhere after all.
    Also I would like to bring these comments to your attention:

    Isn't chemistry all about electrons? How can this be on-topic? – Peter Mortensen
    Radioactivity is a part of nuclear chemistry. – Emu27

  6. Radical formation via tritium to helium decay
    We have a decay here again... I see a pattern emerging, but stay tuned.

  7. How is the electron "trapped in the crystal" in irradiated NaCl?
    This is about excited states I think. Does this have anything to do with being nuclear?

  8. Why can't light pass through a gold foil, but alpha particles can?
    ? I read alpha-particles somewhere before, but I think this question does not belong here.

  9. Understanding Beta Decay
    Apart from a horrible title, this is again about decay, but stay tuned, there's something coming, soon.

  10. What is the reason behind choosing the specific elements used for the synthesis of heavier elements?
    Like 1. Great.

I would like to stop now... it's already getting overly crowded in this post.

We can deduce the following:
Out of the top 10 questions, three were not related to nucular, that means (at least) 30% are tagged wrong.
We have Nucleosynthesis twice, and we could probably find more. Does it warrant an own tag? I'll let you do the MATT.
We have one question that is related to radio-chemistry. I think this is an interesting topic, which warrants a tag by itself, even if it is likely to fail MATT, because there are maybe not enough questions to go around.
We have four questions about radioactive decay. So I guess we could use that as the primary scope. So why not use:

Questions relating to radioactive substances and the chemistry of radioactivity.

Oh wait, that is the tag-wiki excerpt for .


The tag is without real scope. Many of the uses might be entirely wrong. Most of the question could be tagged with radioactivity instead. This is probably a task for TRE. It is to determine if nucleosynthesis warrants a unique tag.

It is not done by simply renaming the tag. It needs to be nuked (sorry about the pun - well, actually I am not). Since there are 9 questions with only this tag, I suggest retagging manually.
A different route would be to merge it into radioactivity and then clean it out. This way the tag is gone, but the problems remain.
Let me know in the comments what you think.

Thank you for your attention.

sorry for the long post

  • $\begingroup$ Unfortunately, I’m only good at MATHs, not at MATTs, so I’ll just believe you in that respect. Otherwise well said. Hey, why did your avatar change? =O $\endgroup$
    – Jan
    Oct 29, 2015 at 10:04
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Hhhheeeeeey, you're starting to become like me: Bedtime stories with cute pictures in meta posts. $\endgroup$
    – M.A.R.
    Oct 29, 2015 at 19:24
  • $\begingroup$ Is that from Dr. Who? $\endgroup$ Dec 31, 2016 at 6:34
  • $\begingroup$ @Melanie Yes it is. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wilfred_Mott $\endgroup$ Dec 31, 2016 at 8:06
  • $\begingroup$ God that was the worst scene in the series. I cried and cried. $\endgroup$ Dec 31, 2016 at 8:08

After a short discussion in chat, I propose to make the following changes.

1. Create three new tags for the concerned branches of chemistry, analogous to the existing branch tags , , , etc.

These branches are sometimes combined under the single name nuclear chemistry, and we don’t get many questions about these topics now; therefore, we could use only a single tag as well. However, our site is growing, and if we maintain individual tags now, we don’t have to touch them again later in case the number of questions becomes larger. Furthermore, we don’t lose any information about the distinguishing features of the concerned questions.

2. Revisit the existing questions that are labelled with or , remove these tags, and add one or more of the above-mentioned new tags as appropriate.

3. Find further questions that did not have the tag or but could make good use of one of the new tags.

For example, various questions about radiolysis are not currently tagged or but should be tagged when this tag is created.

Concerned questions (30 December 2016):


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