|Nucleus · Nucleons (p, n) · Nuclear force · Nuclear reaction|
Mirror nuclei are nuclei where the number of protons of element one (Z1) equals the number of neutrons of element two (N2), the number of protons of element two (Z2) equal the number of neutrons in element one (N1) and the mass number is the same.
In short, Z1 = N2 and Z2 = N1.
Examples of mirror nuclei:
- 3H and 3He: Jπ = +1/2
- 14C and 14O: Jπ = +0
- 15N and 15O: Jπ = −1/2
- 24Na and 24Al: Jπ = +4
- 24mNa and 24mAl: Jπ = +1
Pairs of mirror nuclei have the same spin and parity. If we constrain to odd number of nucleons(A) then we find mirror nuclei that differ one another by exchanging a proton by a neutron. Interesting to observe is their binding energy which is mainly due to the strong interaction and also due to Coulomb interaction. Since the strong interaction is invariant to protons and neutrons one can expect these mirror nuclei to have very similar binding energies. 
- "Focus: Gazing into a Nuclear Mirror". http://link.aps.org/doi/10.1103/PhysRevLett.88.172502. APS physics. Retrieved 19 Nov 2012.