PHYC30090 Nuclear Physics

Academic Year 2024/2025

Introduction and summary/review of elementary concepts. Natural and artificial radioactivity. Radioactive Decay. Radioactive equilibrium. Interaction of radiation with matter (heavy charged particles, electrons, gamma and X-rays, neutrons). Overview on modes of radioactive decay. Theory of alpha decay - Gamow theory of alpha decay. Beta decay and the electron neutrino. Fermi theory of beta decay. Parity and its non-conservation in the weak interaction. Gamma decay and internal conversion. Liquid drop model of the nucleus. Spontaneous and induced fission. Modern fission reactors. Neutron activation analysis. Nuclear reactions. Nuclear fusion, including properties and confinement of high temperature plasmas. Proto-type fusion reactor.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of this module the student should have acquired a basic knowledge of key topics in modern nuclear physics. The student should also be able to solve problems related to the various topics covered, having acquired a competence in the manipulation of appropriate mathematical tools. The module should provide the appropriate foundation for more advanced courses in nuclear physics at postgraduate level.

Indicative Module Content:

Introduction and summary/review of elementary concepts. Natural and artificial radioactivity. Radioactive Decay. Radioactive equilibrium. Interaction of radiation with matter (heavy charged particles, electrons, gamma and X-rays, neutrons). Overview on modes of radioactive decay. Theory of alpha decay - Gamow theory of alpha decay. Beta decay and the electron neutrino. Fermi theory of beta decay. Parity and its non-conservation in the weak interaction. Gamma decay and internal conversion. Liquid drop model of the nucleus. Spontaneous and induced fission. Modern fission reactors. Neutron activation analysis. Nuclear reactions. Nuclear fusion, including properties and confinement of high temperature plasmas. Proto-type fusion reactor.

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours
Lectures

33

Tutorial

3

Specified Learning Activities

48

Autonomous Student Learning

36

Total

120

Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
Lectures, supported by graded problem assignments. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations
Learning Requirements:

Module Dependencies: Pre-requisites are PHYC10080 and PHYC20020, or equivalent.


Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
 
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Assignment(Including Essay): Three take home problem sets, covering each of the sections in the module. Each problem set contains between 6-12 problems. Each problem set carries equal marks. n/a Standard conversion grade scale 40% No

20

Exam (In-person): End of trimester exam. In-person exam at the exam centre. n/a Standard conversion grade scale 40% No

80


Carry forward of passed components
Yes
 
Resit In Terminal Exam
Autumn Yes - 2 Hour
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Marked corrected assignments returned to students. Solutions posted in Brightspace.