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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Physics and Astronomy : Undergraduate (School of Physics and Astronomy)

Undergraduate Course: Nuclear Astrophysics (PHYS11053)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Physics and Astronomy CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Course typeStandard AvailabilityAvailable to all students
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Year 4 Undergraduate) Credits10
Home subject areaUndergraduate (School of Physics and Astronomy) Other subject areaNone
Course website None Taught in Gaelic?No
Course descriptionThis is an advanced course in Nuclear Astrophysics that allows for an extended and more in-depth presentation of Nuclear Astrophysics as a subject in its own right that often drives major scientific and technological advances in modern day research both in nuclear physics and astrophysics.

The course will provide an option for choice of specialized topics within Nuclear Physics (but also Astrophysics). It will also provide an added layer of complexity to the existing Nuclear Physics course and is an optional course at the interface of Nuclear Physics and Astrophysics with the potential to attract students from both the Physics and Astrophysics degree programmes. It provides a more sound knowledge-base both in NP and NA; and a better balance of Nuclear Physics options within the School.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites It is RECOMMENDED that students also take Nuclear Physics (PHYS11041)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs None
Information for Visiting Students
Displayed in Visiting Students Prospectus?No
Course Delivery Information
Delivery period: 2014/15 Semester 2, Available to all students (SV1) Learn enabled:  Yes Quota:  None
Web Timetable Web Timetable
Course Start Date 12/01/2015
Breakdown of Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Lecture Hours 22, Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 20, Summative Assessment Hours 2, Revision Session Hours 2, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 52 )
Additional Notes
Breakdown of Assessment Methods (Further Info) Written Exam 100 %, Coursework 0 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S2 (April/May)Nuclear Astrophysics2:00
Summary of Intended Learning Outcomes
Upon completion of this course it is intended that a student will be able to:
1) Understand the core concepts of Nuclear Astrophysics;
2) Identify the main processes of energy generation and nucleosynthesis in stars;
3) Understand the nuclear processes that take place during different stages of stellar evolution;
4) Compare and contrast the resonant and non-resonant reaction mechanisms;
5) Understand different experimental techniques;
6) Solve problems similar to those discussed in the workshops;
7) Develop critical thinking and independent learning, and work effectively within a team;
8) Produce clear and informative written and oral presentations;
9) Develop judgement capabilities through assessment of their own work and that of others;
10) Critically read and evaluate published papers in the field.
Assessment Information
100% exam
Special Arrangements
Additional Information
Academic description Not entered
Syllabus Aspects of Nuclear Physics and Astrophysics:
* Solar System abundances;
* HR diagram;
* Stellar evolution of single stars;
* Binary stellar systems;
* Review of nuclear properties (masses, binding energies,shell structure);
* Overview of nuclear reactions.

Thermonuclear Reactions in Stars:
* Cross sections and astrophysical S-factor;
* Resonant and non-resonant reactions;
* Reactions with charged particles;
* Reactions with neutron;
* Reactions with photons;
* Electron screening;
* Reaction rates.

* Hydrogen burning (pp chain and CNO cycle);
* Helium burning;
* Advanced burning stages (carbon-, neon-, oxygen-, and silicon-burning modes);
* The s-process;
* The r-process;
* Other nucleosynthesis processes (rp-process, p-process);
* Explosive nucleosynthesis.

Nuclear Physics Experiments:
* General aspects and Equipment;
* Experiments with stable nuclei;
* Experiments with unstable nuclei;
* Targets and related equipment;
* Detectors and techniques;
* Yields and cross sections;
* Recent experimental results.
Transferable skills Not entered
Reading list Suggested textbooks for the course:

C. Iliadis, Nuclear Physics of Stars, Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co., 2007

C.E. Rolfs and W.S. Rodney, Cauldrons in the Cosmos, The University of Chicago Press, 1988

D.D. Clayton, Principles of Stellar Evolution and Nucleosynthesis, The University of Chicago Press, 1983

K.S. Krane, Introductory Nuclear Physics, John Wiley & Sons Inc, 1988
Study Abroad Not entered
Study Pattern Not entered
Course organiserDr Marialuisa Aliotta
Tel: (0131 6)50 5288
Course secretaryMs Dawn Hutcheon
Tel: (0131 6)50 7218
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